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PGDM vs MBA: Which Course is Better to Pursue in 2022

Many management students find it difficult to decide between PGDM vs MBA. Well both of them are potential options for management students, but clearly, they have certain differences. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Master of Business Administration?

MBA known as Master of Business Administration can be defined as a graduate degree that gives us both theoretical as well as practical knowledge of doing business and managing investments as well. This course is designed to help graduate students to have a better understanding of day-to-day business activities and how the management of the company or a particular organization works and functions in the practical field.

This course of Master of Business administration focuses on various types of fields such as accountancy, finance, marketing as well as relationship management as well. Many of the colleges, schools, institutions also nowadays offer special programs as well such as entrepreneurship, sports management, healthcare business, or business-related to the entertainment field.

There are also special executive programs for people who are experienced professionals who cannot go for a full-time program and cannot commit for long term like many other normal students. 

Understanding the concepts of Master of Business Administration in brief-

A Master of business administration is a course which is designed as a level up from degree in under-graduate and also for those who have completed their graduation as well. Candidates can apply to any of the universities and colleges offering the facility of the MBA programs as per their comfort and preferences.

This program is usually designed as a full 2 years program for students and experienced professionals willing to pursue this course. To get admission into the MBA program one needs to successfully crack their GMAT exams which are known as graduate management admission tests and can choose to pursue this course as per the different eligibility criteria as mentioned by different colleges and universities, they are willing to apply for.

Nowadays, it is very common for any individual to gain experience in the field they want to work in and then apply for this course as per their need and comfort. As there are many programs which are not only regular courses but also many distant programs are also available for people who want to pursue this course along with working also. 

MBA programs are usually conducted mainly focusing on subjects like accountancy, management, finance, marketing, and business law as well. Proper training related to management is the core of the MBA programs with a major focus on leadership, management, planning. A business strategy, organizational behavior, and other factors as well which are considered to be important for running a business whether it is small or big. 

Progressively, MBA programs are also nowadays focusing on providing training on business that can be operated internationally as well. They also tend to focus on providing relating to the responsibilities and accountability of their corporate business within their communities. 

A degree in Master of Business administration also seems to create their presence in many fields such as planning strategically, hedge funds, and also in firms related to private equity as well. Other fields related to dealing in financial products may not allow an MBA degree as an entry-level to get a job in a particular company or organization a candidate wants to work in. 

Special MBA Programs- 

Any candidate choosing to pursue MBA programs can opt to take one of the degrees such as management in finance or marketing. But there are many MBA programs available that allow the candidates applying for it to pursue a degree related to many industry options as well. For example, any MBA student might choose to specialize in sports management, entrepreneurship, business related to entertainment, or health care management as well. 

Along with a specialty in management, many of the MBA degrees focuses on areas of information technology, education, hospitality, and even criminal justice as well. Some of the MBA programs also collide with many other health care programs as well such as nursing schools so that a candidate can also get a dual degree as well at once. 


Special considerations are available to pursue MBA programs-

There are many MBA programs which are specialized in nature and are available to those candidates whose lifestyles and career does not allow them to pursue this course regularly and attend classes full time. For instance, executive MBA programs are such which are designed for experienced professionals who are working and are willing to increase their skills and qualifications further in their curriculum vitae.

These are the courses which are designed in such a way so that these candidates can choose to study either on weekends or at night time. Sometimes the option of completing this course this available to complete in a shorter period so that they don’t have to give long-term commitment for this course and they can plan their schedule accordingly and also complete this course side by side. 

Executive MBA programs are available only to those candidates who have some kind of professional experience and they tend to concentrate on more advanced topics such as developing leadership qualities. 


Introduction to Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM)-

A postgraduate diploma in Management or PGDM is defined as a course within a duration of 1 to 2 years of the program offered by different business schools in India. PGDM is considered to be a similar program related to the MBA program but the fees of a PGDM course are considered to be higher than the MBA course available provided by different central and state universities as well. 

A candidate can also choose to pursue a PGDM course through distance education and even through part-time modes which can vary from institute to institute anyone is enrolling for. Some of the colleges or institutes also provide an opportunity of completing this course part-time which can be divided into 2 years course whereas some of the courses also provide an opportunity of completing it in 1 year or 3 years as well depending on the type of curriculum we are enrolling for. Since PGDM is considered as a postgraduate diploma course only but there are many career options available in the market for any candidate to choose and grow in their life. 

As compared to the curriculum of an MBA course, the curriculum of a PGDM course is also somewhat similar. Although, in the PGDM course they follow more practical knowledge to conduct management training. PGDM curriculum also diligently follows up with many of the practical case studies to prepare students as per the industry knowledge as well and they don’t face any problem working after getting recruited in a particular company or an organization they are willing to work for. 

In-demand specializations for PGDM course- 

Any person choosing to pursue PGDM course has an option of pursuing this diploma course in various fields such as-

  1. PGDM in management of human resources
  2. PGDM in finance and banking management
  3. PGDM in information technology
  4. PGDM in marketing and sales
  5. PGDM in digital marketing
  6. PGDM in hospitality management
  7. PGDM in supply chain management. 

After having a brief introduction about MBA and PGDM courses let us now know which option is better for us and why should we pursue it in details below- 

Understanding the difference between MBA and PGDM in detail has always been a dilemma and also one of the important questions which arise in the mind of the candidates who are willing to pursue post-graduation courses in management. The problem usually arises when the people applying for it are not aware of the similarities and differences between MBA and PGDM courses. 

Before the incorporation of the IIM Act, 2017 IIMs also offered diploma degrees which also earned considerable popularity for PGDM courses. However, the importance of the word diploma is very less than a degree, especially in India. Therefore, it is very important to understand in brief that what factors should be taken into consideration before taking admission into a particular course whether we choose to go for MBA or PGDM. 

PGDM vs MBA- Which is Better?

pgdm vs mba

One of the significant differences between MBA or Management of Business Administration and PGDM or post-graduation diploma in management is that MBA is a degree course that can only be offered by colleges that are affiliated with certain universities whereas PGDM is a diploma course that is offered by different types of institutes. 

For instance, the Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi is affiliated with Delhi University and hence can offer a degree in MBA. While SP Jain Institute of Management Studies and Research (SPJIMR) another college for MBA or Management development institute situated in Gurgaon has the leverage and freedom to offer PGDM courses as well. 

Before the incorporation of the IIM act 2017, IIMs were running under the Umbrella of societies Act. As societies were not eligible to offer programs in degree programs, therefore, they were offering only PGDM courses. But after the incorporation of the IIM act 2017, they were newly termed as institutes and they were made eligible for providing an MBA degree. 

Although all IIMs have not started offering degrees, they still choose to offer diploma courses because of their brand equity. IIM Bangalore was the first one to offer a degree course in the year 2018, after which it was followed by Calcutta, Ahmedabad, and Indore. 

Also Read: Courses After 10th: The Ultimate Guide to Career After 10th

Difference between MBA and PGDM- 

Having brief knowledge about the differences and similarities between MBA and PGDM is very important as it helps a candidate to understand that which one of the following matches his or her needs. Below are the six different parameters wherein differences between MBA and PGDM are explained. Let us know about them in details-

  1. Eligibility Criteria-MBA is a full-time degree course of a minimum of 2 to 3 years of duration while PGDM is a full-time diploma course of minimum duration between 1 to 2 years. In both the courses, different colleges offer different cut-offs for a percentage to be secured in graduation while on a general basis average of 50% is accepted almost by everyone. Any candidate who is willing to go for MBA or a PGDM course should be in his or her final year of their bachelor’s degree provided they provide a letter from their college head stating their present status of the year which they are at present.
  2. Qualification-MBA is a degree course while PGDM is a diploma course.
  3. Structure and approach of the curriculum-In MBA, usually, Structure given by the university is followed which is majorly based on a theoretical basis. And approach followed by them is usually based on a different set of semesters. In PGDM the structure followed by them is usually industry-based which is majorly focused on a practical basis developing the skills required to survive in a particular company or an organization they choose to work in. And approach followed by them is usually based on trimester.
  4. Basis of Authorization-Colleges or universities offering MBA courses are usually accredited by University Grant Commission (UGC)Colleges or institutes offering PGDM courses are usually accredited by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
  5. Approach-Both MBA and PGDM are considered similar while going for job placement. An important factor that is considered important by a recruiter while appointing a candidate is that from which college, they have done their MBA or PGDM courses. While PGDM curriculum is designed in such a way that it helps candidates to have more practical knowledge related to the industry-level experiences they can gain which is also most preferred by the recruiter.

But then any candidate who is preferring to choose a PGDM course can also have problems in going for further high level of studies. Although there might be certain differences between MBA and PGDM courses but the ultimate goal for both the courses is to make a candidate or a person applying for it should be industry-ready.Anyone who is applying for PGDM courses should need to maintain a lot of caution as nowadays, many colleges are offering PGDM courses therefore, checking their accreditation is very important as there can be many cases of fraud as well.

Colleges offering MBA and PGDM courses- Fees and Salary structure:

Let us study the list of the MBA and PGDM courses offering these courses-

  1. IIM Ahmedabad-Average course fees- INR 23,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 25,00,000
  2. IIM Bangalore-Average course fees- INR 23,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 24,00,000
  3. IIM Calcutta-Average course fees- INR 27,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 28,00,000
  4. IIM Indore-Average course fees- INR 16,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 20,00,000
  5. FMS Delhi-Average course fees- INR 1,92,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 23,00,000
  6. IIFT Delhi-Average course fees- INR 17,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 18,00,000
  7. NMIMS School of Management-Average course fees- INR 19,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 17,00,000
  8. IIT Kharagpur-Average course fees- INR 9,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 16,00,000
  9. SIBM Pune-Average course fees- INR 18,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 20,00,000
  10. IMT Ghaziabad-Average course fees- INR 18,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 13,00,000.
  11. IIM Ranchi-Average course fees- INR 15,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 14,00,000
  12. XIME Bangalore-Average course fees- INR 10,00,000
    The average salary to be expected- INR 7,00,000.


After knowing about all the average fees and average salary of both the courses, the average salary for an MBA degree comes out to be 21 lacs while for the PGDM course comes out to be 16 lacs. When we compare the fees of both the courses average fee for an MBA college stands for 16 lacs and the PGDM course average fee stands for approximately 15 lacs. 


Q. Is PGDM or MBA better?

Ans- Both the courses come with their own set of differences and considering the preferences of the students, either of the courses should be fine for the aspirants to pursue.

Q. Which is more difficult MBA or PGDM?

Ans- Both MBA and PGDM are university degrees, however, MBA is somehow tough when judged in certain parameters.

Q. How long is PGDM?

Ans- Post graduate diploma in management is a 2-year long program offered by autonomous b-schools in India

MBA Vs PGDM- Which option is better for you?

In the article mentioned above, we read about different aspects of MBA and PGDM courses. Its differences and various data points have been analyzed compared to both with MBA and PGDM courses as well. We also studied the admission procedure, exams to be given, different types of requirements for pursuing either an MBA or PGDM.

Although, after having so many differences between both the courses the main goal is to prepare students or candidates appearing for it to be industry ready and they are ready to face any type of challenges that come while they are working in a particular organization or company.

The main factor that a recruiter takes into consideration is that from which college a candidate has passed their course, it does not matter whether they have done PGDM or MBA. If a candidate has not passed from a particular college or university then the recruiter has usually noticed the skills that a candidate pursues. For example, a candidate applying for a company is fulfilling a particular requirement, whether they are capable of surviving in the company as well. 

MBA is a course that is also considered to be one of the best options for professional experienced people who are willing to add more skills to their resume and add more value to it so that they can perform well in the profile they are working in.

They also have an option of studying through distant education through which they can manage their work and their career in a balanced way. Some of the candidates who are willing to build their career in the management field can also choose the PGDM course so that they can have more practical and industry-related experience as well. In both the courses, a candidate needs to complete their graduation degree with a specified percentage which is usually an aggregate of 50%. 

Therefore, any candidate whether appearing for MBA or PGDM course should consider all the factors before pursuing any course. They should determine and analyze their skills which they have and decide as per their requirement.  


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Vaibhav Kakkar

Vaibhav Kakkar is an Indian Entrepreneur and digital marketing expert. He is the founder of IIMSKILLS, Coursedekho, and Advisor Uncle and writes blogs on digital marketing, the content industry, career development, and education. He has been instrumental in helping various brands across different sectors with their marketing initiatives. He is the author of the book Word Castle "Building a content marketing business" and is a mentor to budding digital marketers.

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