Many people believe that once they hit 30, an MBA is an unrealistic or impractical goal. While some top b-schools may be a bit more selective when it comes to age, or have definite age bias and try to encourage 30+ candidates to pursue a part-time or executive option, this concern tends to be blown out of proportion. In fact, with a solid application, candidates between 30 and 40 years of age may even have a better chance of getting accepted to the MBA programs of their choice. Sure, there are fewer admits at age 30 than say 27, but part of the reason is probably that fewer 30+ year-olds apply in the first place.

It’s true that you are never too old for more education, but there are several things to consider when preparing an application for an MBA over 30. While schools peruse thousands of individual applications, they also have their statistics to consider. Older applicants don’t always contribute to positive outcomes, which are based on factors such as job placement and salary increases. Review your profile to determine how YOU can help boost these statistics, and be sure to highlight these points.

If you feel that top-10 full-time MBA programs are not right for you at this point, there are several other options to consider. EMBA programs and Global EMBA programs are more suitable for older and more experienced professionals. Programs like Stanford MSx, London Business School Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy and MIT Sloan Fellows are designed programs and good options for older and more senior candidates. European MBA programs, especially LBS and IMD, tend to be more tolerant towards older candidates. Whenever you are considering whether a program is right for you, you should look at the profile of the students that they admit and the sort of recruiters that they typically work with – but also the type of teaching that they use. So an experienced 35 year old will not gain as much from a teaching style that doesn’t give them a chance to relate their own experiences to their new learning. A program aimed at younger, less experienced candidates for example, may not include as much group work as another.

While traditional full-time MBA programs are built for professionals with minimal managerial experience and take a more thorough and academic approach to the basics of business management, providing students with a solid foundation as they launch their careers, EMBA programs are more fast-paced. They are generally part time programs, created to provide experienced business executives with real-world tools and information to advance their careers without impacting their busy schedules and work-related responsibilities. Students in EMBA programs are usually around 37 years of age, with at least 10 years of experience in an executive position. A minimum of 7 years’ work experience is generally required, but the GMAT is often optional.

The Stanford MSx Program is a one-year, full-time Master of Science degree program for experienced leaders, who wish to pursue a Master of Science degree. Students have 12 years work experience on average.

The MIT Sloan Fellows Program is a 12-month, full-time executive MBA program designed to prepare an elite group of global mid-career managers to magnify their impact as leaders.

LBS-Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy is taught over 12 months with flexible options. Sloan MSc brings profound career benefits whether you are progressing into a more senior leadership role within your existing organisation, or looking to make a career move post-programme. Students have 18 years work experience on average.

For the full article, including a table comparing between US top 10 MBAs, European top 10 MBAs, Top 10 EMBAs and Top 10 GEMBAs, please visit: