USA vs UK – comparing the cost of my Executive MBA programme

posted in: Compass, Reasons why | 0

Paul Kenyon of the New York Stock Exchange explains how flying to the UK for his Executive MBA is more cost-effective than studying at an American business school.

Paul Kenyon.

Upon graduating from university in 2008 with a major in Economics, Money, Banking and Finance, I recall trying to map out the various steps I’d need to take to achieve my career goals.

Fast forward ten years, following a positive career trajectory, I was named Head of Sales and Relationship Management for the New York Stock Exchange, a position that elevated my responsibilities and exposure within the industry.

I achieved a long-term goal I’d set for myself by the age of 31, and was faced with the daunting question of “what next?”

Going for an EMBA… but not at American prices

Embarking on an Executive MBA would be a challenge and experience that would be the next step in my personal and career development, continuing to set me up for future successes.

However, I was disillusioned by the sticker prices of the various EMBA options on my doorstep in the United States (prices correct as of September 2018):

  • NYU Stern EMBA: $194,876
  • Columbia Business School EMBA: $202,080
  • Wharton School EMBA: $205,200

Better prices and a better schedule at UK schools

I was pleasantly surprised to find that schools in the UK were significantly less expensive, even for non-UK residents.

The Cambridge EMBA programme now costs £69,200 (or approximately $90,000).

Not only is the programme much more reasonably priced, it is set up in a way that is not disruptive to a busy work schedule.  Students gather for class approximately once every three weeks on Fridays and Saturdays.

A time-and-cost-effective commute from New York City to Cambridge

The short 6.5 hour flight from New York City is surprisingly manageable.  I usually travel throughout the night on the Wednesday prior to a teaching weekend.  If you plan in advance you can find round trip flights for approximately $500.  Once in Cambridge, there are many reasonably priced lodging options within the city.

This makes the all-in cost of the Cambridge EMBA programme significantly less expensive than the upfront cost of its U.S. counterparts.

My impression of Cambridge

Upon arriving for the first time at Cambridge for EMBA Orientation week, bleary-eyed from my New York City red-eye flight and slightly disoriented by the impressive beauty of a medieval campus that dates back earlier than the country in which I now reside, I was excited. Excited to join a student body with impressive minds, re-connect with my English roots, learn and be challenged in a new way, and excited to meet peers that will undoubtedly shape my future career.

North America is a significant market for post-graduate education and after signing up for the Cambridge EMBA, I was surprised not to see a larger American representation in our cohort, especially given the cost difference between Cambridge and most U.S. universities, as well as the relative ease of commuting back and forth around once a month.

Fees and funding for the Cambridge Executive MBA >

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