Difference between MBA and PGDM

Gauri Khatri

Gauri Khatri

Founder, Pegasus Global Consultants

There is no dearth of variety as far as masters degrees are concerned, and sometimes, this variety is the cause of sleepless nights for postgraduate aspirants. Why, you ask? Well, because there are just too many options! Especially for students who have made up their minds to pursue business, the confusion exists because they do not know what is the exact difference between an MBA degree and PGDM. The key distinctions between these two seemingly similar courses are mentioned as follows:


– The main difference between an MBA and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) is that while an MBA degree is a postgraduate degree, a PGDM is a diploma in the field.

– In India, an MBA degree has accreditation from AICTE, while that is not the case with PGDM.

– MBA degrees are under the direct governance of University bodies, since it is a proper master’s degree. On the other hand, PGDM degrees are regulated by the independent institutions that provide such courses to students.

– The biggest difference between PGDM and MBA lies in the work experience that is required before you get admitted to the course. Generally, for MBA courses, the applicant is expected to have a considerable amount of work experience for them to be admitted in the course. PGDM can be pursued without adequate work experience itself, given the nature of the course.

– PGDM curriculums are governed by the autonomous institutions that offer these courses, and the syllabi keeps changing according to the industry This makes these courses more industry-relevant than the MBA, whose curriculum changes periodically after a period of 3 to 5 years.


What these two degrees mean in the industrial context?


In the Indian context, the difference between an MBA and a PGDM is not very significant in the long run. Since most top business schools in the country offer PGDM programs, it is more prevalent than MBA in the Indian industry. The career growth of PGDM graduates follows almost the same trajectory as that of a person holding an MBA degree, with no contrasting differences. In India, PGDM and MBA both have essentially the same importance.


As far as the global context is concerned, the importance of the degree you hold is measured in two different areas: job opportunities, and higher education opportunities. If you are looking for a job, then an MBA degree and a PGDM degree could both lead to similar opportunities, provided you have obtained either of the two degrees from a reputed institution. If your college was among the elite ones, then your PGDM degree could fetch you similar jobs as would an MBA degree from a good college.


However, when it comes to pursuing higher education, those who have an MBA degree have an advantage over those who have a PGDM degree, since if you hold an MBA, you also hold industry experience, which naturally helps you fare better in research and similar higher education fields. Other than that, even in the global context, the difference between an MBA degree and a PGDM degree is not all that different.

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