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Difference Between PGDM Vs MBA

The major question for students who are thinking of pursuing higher studies in management is, what is the difference between MBA and PGDM courses and whether to choose Post Graduate Diploma in Management(PGDM) or Master of Business Administration (MBA). And which colleges are offering PGDM vs MBA in India as well as Abroad.

Another major concern is what are the career opportunities for PGDM vs MBA. And does PGDM have the same worth as the MBA degree?

A student who wants to pursue management studies after his/her graduation mostly gets confused as to how to choose between MBA and PGDM courses. They tend to get lost in the advantages and disadvantages of these two degrees, looking for different job prospects. Making this decision becomes quite important as it will be a life-changing decision and will provide your resume with a positive push. We will here try to assist in disconnecting your confusion from you.

What is PGDM?


GDM is a 2-year post-graduate diploma in management. There is a misconception that the diploma is less than any degree or MBA, which is absolutely not true.

PGDM is considered as equivalent to MBA and it is offered by autonomous institutions which are subject to the recognition of the institute from the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

Generally, a PGDM course is considered more industry-oriented and practical as far as the job market is concerned. It is an AICTE-approved diploma course, which focuses more on day to day managerial prospects of a job. This course will help you sharpen your managerial, executive and leadership skills. This prepares a candidate much better in terms of employment opportunities and industry readiness.

Eligibility for PGDM

To be eligible for Post Graduate Diploma in Management(PGDM)one must have a Bachelor's or equivalent degree with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks or equivalent from any recognized university in India or abroad (UGC/AIU). And must have secured good marks at entrance exams too.

Some colleges offer direct admission and some check the student's abilities and skills through entrance exams.

Career Opportunities

PGDM course opens up various opportunities for you in wide areas like marketing, finance, sales, business analysis, and much more. A PGDM college degree helps a person acquire management and leadership skills and instil the ability to manage and lead large projects with efficiency.

After having a PGDM college degree, you will have diverse opportunities. It opens up different prospects from working in private, public and government sectors as managers to becoming a researcher, an entrepreneur, or even an instructor.

You can start your own company with proper research and planning, starting from small to big, based on your creative and managerial ideas and interest. You can choose to be your own boss and come up with ideas that are needed for successful business models for your clients and work as a freelancer if you wish to.

There is a huge demand which is even increasing day by day in the industry for professionals with management qualifications in India as well as globally for PGDM colleges prospectus. For instance, You can work in marketing companies, business consultants, manufacturing sectors, finance sector, IT companies, research organisations, big entrepreneurs, and others.

Check some common MBA specialisations for complete details on programs.

You are also eligible to go for many Ph.D. courses and MPhil in the management domain, of which some examples are written below.

  • Ph.D. in Marketing
  • Management Studies PhD
  • Ph.D. in Finance
  • MPhil in Management

How is PGDM Different from MBA?

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Diploma Vs Degree

There are differences between these two degrees, the first being that students who pursue PGDM colleges are given a diploma certificate at the end of the course while MBA-pursuing students are offered a degree in the end.


The next big difference between these two courses is their syllabus. The curriculum of an MBA is designed by the university. The subjects and the syllabus in two colleges under the same university will be alike. However, under PGDM, the curriculum is determined and designed by individual institutes which give flexibility to the course curriculum. The syllabus is changed often depending upon the industry requirements, which makes this course more industry-driven. Universities generally lag behind in this aspect and tend to change the syllabus in many years.


MBA degrees are considered more trustworthy as they are conferred by varsities, while PGDM courses are susceptible to deceit as they are offered by autonomous bodies which generally do not have proper accreditation status.

Focus area

It is believed that most MBA courses focus more on technical and theoretical aspects of management. The PGDM colleges course generally follow a practical approach and have an industrial orientation, and focus more on skills based on market requirements.


Generally, MBA courses have lower tuition fees as compared to PGDM courses. This difference in tuition fees might be due to the fact that MBA courses are offered mostly by government-approved universities. These universities often get financial aid from the government, which in effect makes it cheaper for the students. This attracts the student towards an MBA degree, as in student life, money factor plays a crucial role as students are generally dependent on their parents for payment of fees. Although there is a clear-cut rule for MBA to be cheaper, in some cases, this degree will cost you more than a PGDM course. So, you need to choose wisely and research the institutes and their fees structure beforehand which will assist you in making a decision.

MBA vs PGDM: Susceptible to fraudulent

As already stated that the trustworthiness of an MBA degree is much more than that of PGDM due to the difference in authorities conferring them. PGDM courses are conferred by autonomous bodies, thus more susceptible to frauds. Many small colleges and institutes make false claims and do not have proper accreditation status. They exploit parents by fancy ratings given by various agencies, which do not hold much importance in reality. There is a lower chance of fraudulent claims while you choose to go for an MBA degree. It is, hence, a safer option in terms of frauds as well as money matters.

What is an MBA?

Master of Business Administration(MBA) is a 2-year post-graduate program that boosts your career if you are interested in business management studies. MBA graduates has a high demand in India as well as abroad. 

While pursuing an MBA you will learn life skills and what is business management and after completing it you will know how to successfully run a business or how to achieve success in your respective career.

MBA degree is used in many sectors like Banking, Marketing, Financing, retail and foreign culture. You can be selective and you can choose in which field you want to pursue an MBA degree.


Any graduate with 50% aggregate with 3 or 4 years equivalent degree from a recognized university is the eligibility. Other than this if you want to get admission into MBA colleges/ universities you need to pass the entrance test.

To pursue an MBA some of the universities/Institutions are required 1 or 2 years of work experience, However for most of the universities with a bachelor’s degree and entrance test you can get an admission.

If you want to study abroad then you need to give an English proficiency test like TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, GMAT are the few tests that can get you into any university global wise. This is mandatory for a few universities even if you had studied in English medium your whole life.

Top Universities Offering MBA Globally

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Many students prefer to have an MBA degree from foreign universities, which increases their chances of being in a higher standard job market either in India or in the foreign land itself. Many institutes release rankings for MBA programs all over the world like Financial Times, Times Higher Education, and QS World University Ranking. The list of the top 10 universities across the world is provided here. We will provide you with a brief about the top 3.

College Description
Stanford Graduate School of Business It is the graduate business school of Stanford University. It is located in Stanford, California and widely regarded as one of the most selective business schools in the world. The acceptance rate here is only 6%.
Harvard Business School It is the graduate business school of Harvard University. It is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Apart from a full-time MBA program, it also offers management-related doctoral programs and many executive education programs.
Insead It is a private university with locations in Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America. It was founded in 1957, INSEAD is an acronym for “Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires.”
University of Pennsylvania: Wharton
London Business School

University of Chicago: Booth

MIT: Sloan

Columbia Business School

University of California at Berkeley: Haas

Top Universities Offering MBA in India

Top MBA Top MBA colleges in India include the IIM, XLRI, FMS Delhi, ISB, IIFT, IIT, SPJIMR, MDI, IMT etc.

Although there are plenty of MBA universities in India, there are a few top ones that have been listed by NIRF. Here, we will provide you with detailed information about the Top 10 universities ranked by NIRF.

Career Path Post-Completion of the Courses

Many career prospects in Digital Marketing, Business Analytics, Engineering Management, and Financial Accounting open up for MBA and PGDM courses graduates which offer high-paying packages. Moreover, some schools also provide specializations in advanced technical fields like Supply Chain Management which allows the students to be eligible for prominent roles in the field of Product Management.

Career Opportunities

The students who pursue an MBA usually get placements in their respective universities by recruiters.

There are numerous job opportunities for an MBA graduate in both the public sector and the private sector. MBA can be done in many fields and each field has its own benefits.

Some of the important fields are :

Human Resources

In here you will be acting as a recruitment manager and you will be managing staff and their respective needs.

Banking and Finance

Banking and Finance have a vast market and the growth has hiked from few years and it would be an advantage if you have done MBA.

Information technology and Marketing have so many job opportunities too.

For many MBA graduates, the excitement comes in the form of bonuses which can be around 20% of the overall compensation package. This includes sign-on bonuses and end of the year bonuses which are performance-based.

  • Singapore is the highest with $137,000
  • USA : $130,000
  • Australia : $123,000
  • France :$124,000
  • UK :$120,000
  • India :$57,000

Salary numbers are in USD.

But the demand for MBAs is still the highest in the US. MBA’s salary depends not just on the country you wish to work in but it also effects according to the industry you want to get into. After completing your MBA abroad you will get a PSW visa for which the duration is based on from which country you are graduating.

The salary mainly depends on in which company you are working and where is that company located. Usually, an MBA graduate with 0-1 year can expect 3-4 lakh per Annum in India.

Course Fee Comparison of MBA and PGDM Courses

On an average, the overall tuition fees of the MBA program can vary from $75,000 to $94,000. MBA programs usually span over a period of 2 years whereas in some STEM-optimized MBAs it can also go for a period of 4-5 years.

On the other hand, PGDM programs can span anywhere between 1 or 2 years and usually do not exceed that duration. The cumulative tuition fee for this program stands at an average of $68,000 based on the 2020-2021 curriculum pattern.

The curriculum of MBA and PGDM Courses

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In both MBA and PGDM courses, the curriculum focuses on Accounting & Business Analytics to Healthcare Management. The top business schools place a keen focus on the “All-rounded development” of the students and thus provide electives on Corporate Diplomacy, Managerial Decision Making, and Executive Leadership.

However, there are some key differences between the curriculum of both MBA and PGDM courses. Some of them are listed below-:

  1. In PGDM, the curriculum is designed and offered by independent institutions whereas in case of an MBA, the Universities are responsible for doing so.
  2. The curriculum in case of a PGDM program is more industry-based whereas that of MBA is more oriented towards the theoretical pedagogy.
  3. The syllabus of the PGDM program gets revised and thus changed on a regular basis whereas the syllabus for an MBA program gets revised only once in 4 to 5 years.
  4. While MBA spans for a fixed Full-Time 2-year duration, PGDM can vary anywhere between 1 to 2 years as per the insitution’s curriculum pattern.

Admission Process and Entrance Test for PGDM vs MBA

MBA admission process opens every year in July/ August and closes within 2 to 3 months.

The few of the English proficiency tests that are required for you to get into any university or Business schools abroad are IELTS, GMAT, TOEFL, PTE (Pearson Test of English), etc.

The minimum requirement to get into any university in Abroad is a band score of 6.0 and not less than 6.0. In a few Business schools and universities, the GMAT score is not a mandatory requirement to enter into the MBA program.

IELTS is one such test which is mandatory to get into any Australian university/ Business school and during the process of getting visa especially if you are from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and some other countries.

GMAT( Graduate Management Admission Test) is another such test that is primarily focused to get into Business schools. It requires a band score of 6.5 overall and not less than 6.0. Few universities waive GMAT scores if there is any personal interview. But GMAT gives you that little push that might need you to get an Admission.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is another test that requires the band score of at least 79 for few universities it is 100 to 90 to 80 to 70, and the least accepted is 60.

Some of the Entrance tests that are required to get admission into a few top universities/ Institutions are :

  • Common Admission Test (CAT)
  • Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)
  • Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT)
  • Management Aptitude Test (MAT)
  • Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)
  • Aims Test For Management Admissions (ATMA)
  • NNMIS Management Aptitude Test (NMAT)

Few universities accept only particular entrance tests conducted by their own universities.

Few steps that are involved to get an admission in any university are:

  • Registration and apply for an entrance exam.
  • You will be shortlisted and selected by the score you get in entrance exams.
  • To be eligible to write any of the above entrance tests you need to have a bachelor’s degree with 50% of aggregate from any recognized university.

Which one should you opt for?

An MBA degree is valued as a master’s degree, which plays a big role in your academic career. If you wish to pursue a PhD degree after your postgraduate degree, then going for an MBA is a must, as you will not be able to go for a PhD after a PGDM.

You need to have a clear career path while deciding which one to choose from. No one option is absolutely correct for everyone, but relative to the career path everyone wants to take.


According to me PGDM vs MBA are given importance equally and they are mostly the same. It is only the change of name, but the basic program and knowledge you will be acquiring are the same. It is a management program at pg level. PGDM is not any less than an MBA degree.

MBA can be done globally but PGDM can be done only in selective places, so it is totally up to your preference and interests.

The main difference between PGDM vs MBA here is, if your degree is granted by university it is an MBA degree. If it is granted by Autonomous institutions basically the institutions which are recognized by the government it is called a PGDM degree. PGDM is in no way inferior to any other program.

Therefore don’t get confused and don’t distinguish too much. I have provided all the aspects and factors that are available for PGDM vs MBA program above, which will help you to choose and consider what’s the best course for you.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

The value of any course is determined based on certain factors such as the pedagogy, quality of the course curriculum, and the institute’s ranking and repute.

MBA is a degree course, whereas PGDM is a Diploma course, so it cannot be claimed that they are completely equivalent. In terms of curriculum and core subjects, PGDM vs MBA are largely similar.

IIMs offer Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) or Post Graduate Programme (PGP), which are Diploma programmes.

There is no cast-iron fact that makes an MBA or PGDM be better than the other. The quality of a management course depends on factors like quality of curriculum, faculty, pedagogy, industry and international exposure, to name a few.

Candidates should hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university to pursue an MBA. Hence, postgraduate candidates are also eligible to apply for MBA. Therefore, if a candidate wants to pursue MBA after completing PGDM are eligible to do so.

After completing an MBA, students who want to pursue academics can opt for Fellow Programme in Management. Students can also pursue PhD in Management. PhD is a doctorate degree that can be opted for after completing a master’s degree, so PGDM students are not eligible for a PhD.

No, it is not at all necessary to have an MBA degree to get a government job. A PGDM in a required specialisation is equally eligible for a managerial role in a Government organisation. However, it should be clear that having an MBA or a PGDM degree is not enough for getting a job in any organisation, be it government or private. The candidate has to fulfil all other eligibility criteria required for the role.

By and large, MBA programmes are more affordable than PGDM programmes, especially those MBA programmes which are offered by the government or public universities.

Top colleges in India to pursue MBA include Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi; Indian Institute of Management, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research (KJSIMSR), Mumbai; Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), University of Mumbai, to name a few.

Some of the top PGDM institutes in India include IIMs, MDI Gurgaon, XLRI Jamshedpur, SPJIMR Mumbai, among others.

MBA is a management degree issued by a recognised University, while PGDM refers to Post Graduate Diploma in Management offered by a private college or university which is affiliated with AICTE. Apart from this difference, there is not much difference between MBA vs PGDM.

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