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The grass may be greener on the other side for executive MBA graduates, an analysis of alumni survey data reveals. Those graduates who relocated following their studies were more likely to feel they had succeeded in changing careers and in increasing their earnings.

Among more than 5,250 alumni from the class of 2008 who responded to the FT survey (which is used as part of the 2011 EMBA ranking), around 14 per cent lived in a different country three years after graduation compared with before they started. Roughly half moved to a foreign country, while the remainder returned home.

Both groups of migrants reported above-average success in changing careers – 59 per cent of those who moved overseas indicated that they had achieved this aim, while the proportion was 56 per cent for those returning home. The overall average was 51 per cent.

While most alumni felt the EMBA boosted their earning potential – 84 per cent reported that completing the programme had helped them with this objective – 90 per cent of those who became foreign nationals after graduation reported increased pay.

In contrast, graduates who returned home were the most likely to start their own businesses. About one-third did so. Regardless of where they relocated, the majority of alumni felt they had progressed in their career – two-thirds reported that completing their course had enabled them to realise their professional ambitions.

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