ATIF HASSAN (aatiff@gmail.com)
Nov 30 - Dec 06, 2009

Executive master in business administration provides an opportunity to professionals to obtain a degree in business administration with flexible time schedules that do not interrupt routine job.

Such programs include a group class structure that offers a collective effort, planned curriculum in an executive setting. In other words, members of each class begin the program at the same point, move through the curriculum together, and typically complete the degree requirements for graduation as a group. Executive MBA (EMBA) students are required to complete their degrees in two years or less. During that, they gain a wide variety of new skills and sharpen their logical abilities by combining coursework with on-job experiences.

An exclusive aspect of an EMBA program is the combined professional experience of its participants, which deeply supplement the educational environment. A group approach is often used to allow for the sharing of varied viewpoints on various topics among students; this interface results in a challenging, motivating, and learning experience that leads to highest return on time and resources invested.

EMBA students possess several years of professional experience. Most students are sponsored both financially and through release time by their employing organizations, and all continue to work full-time while enrolled in the executive program. To ensure optimum benefits to participants and the sponsoring organizations, class size and class structure facilitate close interaction between faculty and participants.

Acquiring an MBA degree is an investment; an investment in learning and in a person's career and future. The high quality of faculty, facilities, and support staff required to provide a successful EMBA program dictates that such programs include an investment by the participant's sponsoring organization.

Program expenses are low in comparison to the benefits yielded. In the some of cases, their employers sponsor students fully or in part. Employers understand the competitive advantage they gain from having an employee whose management skills have been brought to the highest possible level. Students who are not sponsored by their companies often qualify for loans, scholarships, and/or other financial aid.

An MBA degree reflects a sophisticated level of knowledge and skills concerning a wide range of contemporary management topics. It also implies a well-developed understanding of strategic thinking and planning in a globally competitive world.

MBA provides the skills needed to gain additional management responsibility. For the entrepreneur, the knowledge gained through MBA can make the difference between success and failure in highly competitive environment.

Courses offered in an EMBA program are normally the same as those taught in traditional MBA programs accounting, finance, statistics, management, marketing, and information systems. However, EMBA courses are enhanced by the extensive professional experience of the participants and are uniquely structured to teach a maximum amount of course material in an accelerated timetable.

In addition, senior faculty experienced in teaching and consulting are employed as principal instructors. Once all coursework is satisfactorily completed, a Master of Business Administration degree or equivalent is awarded.

A diverse group of professionals enters and completes EMBA programs. What they share is a sincere desire to grow professionally by obtaining the degree, and a motivation and ability to meet program time and course requirements. A number of factors are considered in selecting candidates for an EMBA program. In most cases, each applicant is evaluated on his or her own professional performance, academic records, aptitude test scores, professional recommendations, and a demonstrated ability to accomplish graduate-level business coursework.

Most EMBA students enter a program with five or more years of professional and/or managerial experience. An undergraduate degree is generally required, though it needs not be a degree in business. Evaluation of students for admission to an EMBA program is a much individualized process. While test scores, grade point averages and other objective criteria are all considered, a prospective student's background, work experience, career goals, desire to succeed, and numerous other factors are considered in making an admission decision.

EMBA students find themselves excited to be back in the classroom among their professional and intellectual peers, where they can share the challenge of learning new methods and means for managing the business of doing business. Success in professional life demands a substantial and regular time commitment, and it is no different in an EMBA program.

Over the course of the program, at least 15-20 hours each week should be allotted for some combination of classroom work, computer and research efforts, and course assignments. Added to the already heavy demands of a business career, the time involved in pursuing an MBA is considerable and requires a high level of motivation and commitment. The burden is eased by the support of other students and by the assistance of the EMBA program staff.

In Pakistan, IBA and LUMS are market leaders in offering EMBA program. SZABIST, Iqra University, Hamdard University, and Bahria University are also offering high quality EMBA program. EMBA program of Preston University is most popular because of its synthesis of specialized courses and affordability.

Almost all the public and private sector universities in Pakistan are trying to train the working managers through their EMBA program to help prepare them against future challenges.

(Writer is lecturer at Defence Authority College of Business, Karachi)



Seven leading universities in Pakistan have joined the Oracle Academy and have integrated its Advanced Computer Science and Enterprise Business Applications programs into their IT curricula. As a result, over 2,400 students from the participating universities will develop vital business and technology skills by gaining access to world-class technical curriculum and hands-on experience with Oracle's industry-leading database, middleware, and applications software.

Participating universities include Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan, Sukkur Institute of Business Administration, Riphah International University, Air University, University of Arid Agriculture, Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar, and Sarhad University, Peshawar. Pakistani students will join more than 850,000 students at 4,400 institutions in 91 countries that benefit from their participation in the Oracle Academy.

"Keeping up with the latest developments in computer science and adapting curricula accordingly is a challenge for academic institutions. The Oracle Academy provides our faculty and students with the tools they need to develop in-demand industry skills," said Dr. Afaq Hussain, Professor and Chair, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Air University.

Advance Computer Science and Enterprise Business Applications programs are designed for college and university computer science departments. This option provides faculty with Oracle database and middleware software, and curriculum for teaching use.

Participating students gain exposure to how IT applications are used in industries such as finance, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, and manufacturing.

"The Oracle Academy is committed to preparing students for the 21st century workforce and to providing teachers with world-class professional development opportunities," said Mr. Natasak Rodjanapiches, Regional Managing Director-ASEAN, Oracle. "By partnering with these seven universities, we are helping them to meet the increased demand for a skilled IT workforce in Pakistan.

Students participating in Oracle Academy classes can choose to install the Oracle software on their personal computers. Those that choose to install the software are required to create a Student Membership then print, review, sign and submit the terms and conditions of the Oracle Academy Student License Agreement to their instructor.

"The Oracle Academy provides our faculty members and students with access to the latest technologies. This collaboration with Oracle will help us meet industry requirements and improve the quality of education for our students," said Dr. Iftikhar Azim Niaz, Head of Computing Department, Riphah International University, and Islamabad.

"The Oracle Academy will allow our students to enhance their IT skills and expertise. Students who complete the program will have a competitive edge when they enter the workforce," said Mr. Riasat Khan, Chairman, Islamabad Board Council (IBC).