Grad School Options for Leaders

Grad School Options For Leaders

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

For many business leaders, a graduate degree can be a great way to expand your knowledge and accelerate your career. But with so many different options including an MBA, executive education courses, and graduate certificates, it can be hard to determine the best option for you. 

The Carlson School has a wide array of options available. No matter which program you choose, you’ll have access to the Graduate Business Career Center for personalized career support. 

Find out which of these options is best for your career trajectory and work situation.

MBA

In the Carlson MBA programs (with Full-Time, Part-Time, and Online options), you can grow into the kind of leader you want to be. With courses offered in person, online, or in a hybrid setup, you can find the format that best fits your lifestyle.

Throughout the program, you’ll develop a deep understanding of your strengths and weaknesses in leadership, create a personalized plan, and hone your skills and mindset through coaching and practice.

The program’s leadership curriculum, collaboratively developed by our field-defining faculty and industry experts to include both theoretical concepts and practical techniques, includes a 360-degree self-assessment, ongoing assessment surveys and feedback, group activities, and a personalized leadership development plan.

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Executive MBA

Designed for students who are further in their careers than those typically in the MBA program, the Carlson Executive MBA program (CEMBA) has leadership at the foundation of its curriculum. To start the program, you’ll take a personal leadership workshop and spend the next two years developing their skillset through structured leadership courses that focus on goal-setting and the use of a 360-degree assessment.

You also have the opportunity to practice and improve new leadership skills through the Virtual Team Projects where you’ll work with peers in China and Vienna on a semester-long project. You then can take those skills and work with teams across continents, cultures, and industries.

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Graduate Certificates

Designed for working professionals, Graduate Certificates offer high-impact learning in a specific topic area. Whether you want to gain new knowledge or hone your existing skills to stay on top of the latest trends, our for-credit Graduate Certificates allow for an immediate application on the job, In these programs, you’ll take MBA-level classes alongside Carlson School graduate students.

One specific certificate offered is the Leadership for Managers certificate, which covers the key principles of effective leadership, identifying personal leadership through feedback, and developing leadership skills through practice.

With these graduate certificates, you’ll earn a “micro-credential” that stands on its own or allows you to apply the credits you’ve earned into an MBA or master’s degree program.

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Executive Education

Not interested in a full degree program? Choose short, targeted courses designed to empower you and your team. Carlson Executive Education courses fit into 2-3 workdays or can be completed online over 4-8 weeks. 

Programs are non-credit, meaning there are no grades and courses do not count toward degree requirements. Courses are focused on discussion and practical application of insights and trends. Collaboration and networking with peers in the class are also important parts of the Executive Education experience.

Learn more

 

Events

Learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom. Throughout the year, the Carlson School offers a wide range of events and workshops to help you develop your leadership skills. Learn from well-known executives at the monthly 1st Tuesday Speaker Series, meet with other women in business during the annual Women’s Leadership Conference, or the MN Cup, a startup competition and hub to connect Minnesota's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Learn more 

 

Which program is right for you?

Full-Time MBA
Average 5 years work experience
2-year program
On-campus classes during fall & spring semesters
GMAT/GRE waiver available
Job Functions: Finance, Marketing & Sales, Operations & Logistics, General Management, Information Technology, Consulting, Accounting, HR, Medicine, Law, IT, Engineering
Industries: Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods, Financial Services, Non-Profit, Consulting, Manufacturing, Technology, Retail
96% of graduate receive job offers within 3 months of graduation
Executive MBA
Average 15 years work experience
2-year program
Friday & Saturday classes on alternating weekends
No GMAT required
Job Functions: Management, Business, and Financial Operations, Consulting, Healthcare Practitioners, Sales, Architecture, and Engineering, Legal, HR
Industries: Manufacturing, Health Care and Social Assistance, Finance and Insurance, Professional and Technical Services, Management of Companies and Enterprises
30% received a promotion within one year
Part-Time MBA
Average 6 years work experience
Flexible Timeline: Typically 3½ years
Evening, weekday, weekend, and online classes
GMAT/GRE waiver available
Job Functions: Finance, Marketing & Sales, Operations & Logistics, General Management, Information Technology, Consulting, Accounting, HR, Medicine, Law, IT, Engineering
Industries: Healthcare, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Technology, Consumer Goods, Non-Profit, Retail, Consulting, Energy, Hospitality, Real Estate
84% of graduates made a significant job change
Online MBA
Average 6 years work experience
Flexible Timeline: Typically 2 years
Courses are online and asynchronous
GMAT/GRE waiver available
Job Functions: Finance, Marketing & Sales, Operations & Logistics, General Management, Information Technology, Consulting, Accounting, HR, Medicine, Law, IT, Engineering
Industries: Healthcare, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Technology, Consumer Goods, Non-Profit, Retail, Consulting, Energy, Hospitality, Real Estate
30% average salary increase within 4 months of graduation
Graduate Certificates
Average 2-5 years work experience
12-months
On-campus and online classes (depending on the certificate)
No GMAT/GRE required; No work experience required
Job Functions: Sales, Operations, Business Development, Engineering, Information Technology, Finance, Program and Project Management, Marketing, Media and Communications
Industries: IT, Hospital and Health Care, Finance, Higher Education, Computer Software, Retail, Insurance, Medical Devices, Construction, Marketing and Advertising
Coursework can be applied to a master’s degree
Executive Education Programs
Average 10 years work experience
2-3 days (depending on program)
Live, online, live online
Job Functions: Management, C-Suite, Sales, Operations, Business Development, Engineering, Information Technology, Finance, Program and Project Management, Marketing, Media and Communications
Industries: Management of Companies and Enterprise, IT, Hospital and Health Care, Finance, Computer Software, Consumer Goods, Insurance, Medical Devices, Energy, Professional and Technical Services
#15 Top 100 World Business School Research Rankings