• By Sneha Dasgupta
  • 5 December 2018

To choose between MBA or PGDM is an ongoing debate. Many feel that both are quite similar and provide similar opportunities in the future. But that is not the case. MBA and PGDM, both are management programs which are quite different from each other in terms of curriculum, specifications, pedagogy, orientation etc. If you are a student who is stuck between MBA and PGDM then, this article is just for you. Read below to understand the difference between MBA and PGDM to choose the best option for yourself and your career!


Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is a degree course provided by the University or colleges recognized by the Universities which are approved by University Grants Commission (UGC), and sometimes also by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and operations in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy. Most programs also include elective courses.


PGDM courses are offered by private B-Schools that are not affiliated with any University. PGDM is awarded by autonomous institutes offering management program, these institutes prepare their own syllabus, and they are no way dependent on the universities and enjoy the full autonomy of their courses. A two year PGDM is equivalent to MBA. All autonomous/private universities in India cannot award MBA & they should award a PGDM (IIMs also confer PGDM for those joining PGP)  

Key Differences Between MBA and PGDM:

Some of the key differences between them are listed below:-

M.B.A.     P.G.D.M.
Full form Masters of Business Administration Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies
Type Degree Diploma
Programme Offered by an institution that is affiliated to a University. Offered by an institution that is not affiliated to any University.
Study Based on developing technical skills and business knowledge. Based on Industry-specific needs.
Examples IGNOU, IIT IIM’s, XLRI's
Focus Generally, MBA focuses more on theoretical aspects of management. Generally, PGDM focuses more on building soft skills.
Orientation Exam Industry
Affordability Generally, more affordable Generally, less affordable
Curriculum Rigid, due to an involvement of the University. Flexible.
Duration Two to three years One to two years
Controller of Examination University Institute itself
Entrance Examination Generally, through state-level university examination. Generally, through CAT/MAT/GMAT.


Why should you choose PGDM?

Given below are a few advantages of PGDM course which you must understand before making your decision.

  • Industry Synced Curriculum:

The course structure of PGDM is such that it is more industry-oriented as compared to MBA. Since autonomous institutes offer this course, therefore the curriculum is kept in accordance with the latest developments. Also, PGDM has a more practical approach, whereas, MBA just gives you bookish knowledge.

  • Specialization in any field:

PGDM lets you specialize in your areas of interest. For example, if you choose to go for specialization in Human Resource Management, then you can choose minor subjects like Marketing/ Finance/IT/Project management which gives you an edge over other candidates.

  • Preference for Higher Studies:

Many reputed Business schools in India, as well as Abroad, give preference to PGDM students over MBA students. This is due to the practical insight which PGDM offers an MBA which is more theoretical lacks. Hence it gives you an advantage over other students provided it is done from a reputed institute.

  • Industry Exposure:

A PGDM course prepares the participants for the challenges in the corporate world. The professors employed for this program are usually entrepreneurs or industry leaders. International industrial tours and summer internship training is also provided to enable the participants to gauge the current business scenario. These tours and internships help candidates to translate theoretical concepts into reality.

  • Better Placement Offers:

An AICTE approved PGDM program also paves the way for umpteen placement opportunities for the candidates. In today’s highly competitive world, the employers always prefer candidates with some out-of-the-box and wacky ideas, who can perceive roadblocks as opportunities and challenges. Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management course prepares the participants to develop such ideas and have a go-getter attitude.

  • Experienced Faculty:

In institutes offering PGDM, the teachers are more qualified as they are offered lucrative salary packages whereas in MBA colleges due to the outdated rules of universities, college makes extra efforts to bring the latest corporate learnings.

  • Develop Workplace Skills:

Today’s competitive business world calls for business experts who could present themselves as a complete package. That’s why along with the knowledge of the core area, it is extremely crucial to have professional skills. A PGDM program is well-equipped for the development of mannerism and other such skills to prepare the participants for a bright career. It makes your job ready for the leadership and managerial skills you learn. These skills help you in surviving the competitive corporate world with ease.  

Why Should You Choose MBA?

If you feel that PGDM is not the right choice for you, then you can always go for an MBA program. Read the features of an MBA program given below and make the right choice for yourself!

  • MBA a Degree program:

At the end of an MBA program, students are conferred with MBA degree instead of a Post Graduate Diploma. You do not need any AIU equivalence certificate to accompany your MBA degree while to prove that you have done MBA an equivalence certificate is needed with PGDM.

  • Transferable Skills:

Much of the knowledge and hard and soft skills you gain from earning your MBA is applicable across many industries. You become more skilled and versatile regardless of your industry or job title thanks to widely applicable qualities like leadership, critical and analytical thinking, creativity, and communication. Unlike career-specific advanced degrees like a teaching credential or a medical degree, an MBA can transfer easily to many industries and offer you a wide array of careers throughout your life.

  • MBA backed by University:

MBA degrees are awarded by Universities. There is uniformity in education, learning among all the University affiliated colleges. Besides, students do not have to exercise so much caution while opting for MBA course offered by the University or University colleges as they carry all the university related credentials as again the private PGDM colleges who sometimes may not follow the AICTE norms meticulously.

  • Differentiation as a Job Candidate:

Even if an MBA isn’t a minimum requirement, the degree can be a powerful differentiator when you’re competing against dozens of candidates all applying for the same position—especially when they are all impressive in their own way. But as impressed as employers may be about managerial accomplishments in the field, the fact that you’ve earned an MBA degree is likely to take your application up a notch in the minds of potential employers.

  • Broader Worldview:

While earning your MBA, you address big business issues and real-world business challenges which hones your ability to look beyond your role and see how organizations operate as a whole. This also increases your exposure to diverse perspectives on global, social, and business issues as you collaborate with students whose backgrounds, experiences, and career goals differ from yours.

Also Read -  Is MBA Still a Golden Ticket to Success?

  • MBA Fee structure is low:

Since, mostly government approved universities offer MBA degrees, the MBA fee structure is regulated by them even for the private MBA colleges affiliated to them. These universities offer MBA at a subsidized fee as they receive financial aid and grants from the government but since private universities have to manage on their own they have a high fee structure for MBA program like NMIMS, Symbiosis, Xavier University Bhubaneswar among others.

  • Building Network:

While earning your MBA, you come into contact with faculty and fellow students and alumni of the program who begin to form—or add to your existing—network of colleagues. These include people both within your industry and outside of it and are often spread out across the world, which can translate to promising opportunities in the future.            


Enter a world of possibilities

Apply for a graduate or a post graduate program and shape your career now.