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Fast facts on business learning

Executive education isn't cheap, but it can open the door to greater rewards.
Executive education isn't cheap, but it can open the door to greater rewards.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The classic MBA last two years, but accelerated courses are becoming popular
  • The world's first business school was France's ESCP-EAP, opened in 1819
  • The biggest accreditation body for business schools is the U.S.-based AASCB

(CNN) -- Want to know a little more about your education options? CNN has compiled some fast facts about executive education programs.

Students and courses

The classic MBA is a two-year, full-time program. Accelerated and distance-learning MBAs are increasingly popular.

A typical MBA student has several years' work experience and is in their late 20s. Those who take an Executive MBA, or EMBA, tend to be older, more senior managers.

Rewards

The cost of an MBA varies enormously. However, many students end up spending $100,000 on a two-year course, counting living expenses.

Courses are expensive, but the rewards are high. Based on data from the Financial Times' Global MBA rankings 2010, alumni from the top five schools made an average salary of $154,000 after graduation.

Schools

The world's first business school was France's ESCP-EAP, which opened in 1819.

The first U.S. school opened in 1881. It was the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

The United States dominates business education -- according to the Financial Times Global MBA rankings for 2010, six of the top 10 were based at U.S. schools.

However, there are a number of increasingly good schools in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The biggest accreditation body for business schools is the U.S.-based AASCB. Another notable one is the Association of MBAs in the UK.

Courses

China and India are among the fastest-growing markets in the world for business education.

According to educational experts, demand to take MBA courses can often be strongest when the economy is weak.

The converse is often true -- demand to enter business schools dropped markedly during the dot-com boom.

As well as general MBAs, specialist courses exist in everything from social entrepreneurship to luxury goods and the wine trade.

International perspective

Increasing numbers of MBAs offer an international perspective, and many demand students spend some time studying abroad.