Difference between PGDM and MBA



Recently, management education has become very lucrative course, and it is attracting best minds across the country-Engineers, working professionals, business-savvy people and doctors too.

And after researching throughout web, brochures and discussion forums, majority of management aspirants are struck at these basic questions:-

  • Which one should I go for? An MBA or a PGDM?
  • What is the difference between these two?
  • Which one has greater scope? In terms of placement, package and job profile.

A lot has been discussed and written about them in past, but confusion still exists.

Technical Differences

MBA or Master in Business Administration is a post graduate degree, which only a college affiliated to any University can offer. Additionally, they have to be approved by AICTE, New Delhi, which regulates technical and management education in India.

PGDM or post Graduate Diploma in Management is a post graduate diploma course, which any college can offer, if approved by AICTE.

For this reason institutes like JBIMS, PUMBA, FMS can offer an MBA degree while IIMs cannot. Institutes which are not affiliated to university are autonomous and can offer PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management).

Is degree better than diploma?

Majority of students take it for granted that a degree would be always better than a diploma. But, in India, it is the other way around.

Actually management course has to be flexible to change, industry oriented, pro-active towards developing skills like leadership, entrepreneurship in students. It is not important only for better placement, but, making you a better manager.

A college offering PGDM has greater autonomy over its administration, course content, curriculum, exams and faculty, such that it may mold its students according to industry needs.

A PGDM course is highly effective in ensuring the student remains updated with business news and applications of managerial theories, such that they are better equipped to face the corporate world. Their day to day routine includes group activities and presentations. Therefore, they fare better, both during placement season and during their professional stint.

However, colleges offering MBA have to be University affiliated. That means the course, curriculum, faculty, examinations, admissions, placements- all have to be decided by university, rather than college itself. MBA course is believed to be more theory based and it responds slowly to industry needs.

For example, a PGDM college, on an average revamps its course content, once in every two years period, while an MBA college/University reviews and changes only in four years’ time period.

Industry Recognition

There is common perception that MBA degree being a masters is more recognized in the market. This is because some recruiters favor an MBA over a PGDM. But the reputation of a degree cannot be considered in isolation. The reputation of the school plays a big role in deciding whether PGDM is as popular as MBA. For example SP Jain, Mumbai offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Management which is very reputed. ISB also offers a PGPM program which is highly recognized in the industry.

International Recognition

But, it is not true a PGDM course is always better. MBA course is widely and internationally recognized degree and can help in getting international recognitions and jobs. While, a PGDM course will always require you to carry an MBA Equivalence Certificate. It may limit your higher studies or foreign plans, if the same is not produced when required.

As per wikipedia A PGDM holder cannot pursue Ph.D. since the PGDM is not recognized. So, if you are considering higher education in Indian universities, you should go for an MBA instead of a PGDM. IIMs also offer FPM (Fellow program in Management) which is equivalent to a PhD.

Final Verdict

But, the irony of the story is, even IIMs and XLRI offer PGDM and not MBA, yet they are best management institutes in India.

Experts believe and the same opinion is shared by management students, that it does not really matter, whether one has done PGDM or MBA. What really matter is your college. It has to be a college of repute.

Do check the track record of various courses offered by your prospective institute, talk to their alumini, their existing students and even administration (including faculty) to get an insider view of what actually happens inside college. Does it has an excellent faculty and infrastructure, needed for management education? What about its placement record and its reliability. It’s all India ranking on different educational and career portals and magazines. PGDM from a reputed school like SP Jain, MDI Gurgaon, NMIMS scores above the MBA from less reputed school.


I started TargetAdmission in 2009 to help students find out right college based on their profile. I am also a technology enthusiasts and I like playing around with the latest shiny things in web tech world. You can reach me on twitter or G+.

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