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Difference Between PGDM vs MBA


The major question for students who are planning to pursue 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 a Master of Business Administration (MBA)? And which colleges offer PGDM vs MBA 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 as these are the best masters degree for the future. 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 is a life-changing decision and will provide your resume with a positive push. In this article, we will try to assist in disconnecting your confusion and answer all your queries related to it.

What is PGDM?

pgdm vs mba

PGDM is a 2-year post-graduate diploma in management. It is a misconception that a diploma is less than any degree or MBA, this is absolutely not true.

PGDM is considered an 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 and requirements for PGDM

  • To be eligible for a 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).
  • A student needs to have secured good marks in his/her entrance exams to be eligible for an admission in PGDM.
  • Some colleges may offer direct admission but many check a 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 instils the ability to manage and lead large projects with efficiency. Let us understand further what is difference between PGDM and MBA career opportunities.

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

Top Colleges Offering PGDM Globally

Colleges Description
University of Pennsylvania Wharton The Wharton School of Business is part of the University of Pennsylvania, a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1881, American industrialist and entrepreneur Joseph Wharton established the first academic business school at the University of Pennsylvania, a bold idea that changed both business practice and higher education.
Stanford Graduate School of Business The Stanford Graduate School of Business has long held the distinction of being the world's most selective business school, with just about 6% of candidates being accepted. They want to create leaders that are creative, moral, and insightful who will advance management knowledge and make the world a better place.
MIT Sloan MIT Sloan is all about innovation. It's about ideas that are made to matter. Learners discover tomorrow's intriguing and important challenges here.
Leaders come together at MIT Sloan to solve the most complex problems and bring solutions into the world to improve today and advance tomorrow.
London Business School The London Business School, established in 1964, was welcomed by the University of London in 1965. Marketing, organisational behaviour, management science and operations, economics, finance, and accounting are the seven subject areas in which the School grants post-graduate degrees.
SAID Business School Sad Business School, also referred to as Oxford Sad or SBS, is the name of the business school at the University of Oxford. As one of the best business schools in the world, the School provides management training. Through the Sad Business School, graduate students in business, management, and finance can apply to graduate programmes at the University of Oxford.
Columbia Business School Columbia Business School has distinguished academic members who are innovators in their fields and do cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. Their alumni organisation keeps growing and changing the world. They are now paying tribute to their time spent at the centre of it all as Columbia Business School graduates.
Warwick Business School Warwick Business School, one of the best business schools, is currently ranked 35 internationally and 5 in the UK. WBS offers 7 undergraduate, 15 postgraduate, 5 MBA, and 3 Ph.D. programmes to its more than 7,500 students.

What is Difference between PGDM and 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 at the end.

  • Syllabus

The biggest question that students have in mind today is, what is the difference between PGDM and MBA. The 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 gives flexibility to the course curriculum. The syllabus is changed often depending on the industry requirements, which makes this course more industry-driven. Universities generally lag behind in this aspect and tend to change the syllabus over many years.

  • Trustworthiness

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.

  • Cost

What is difference between PGDM and MBA cost? 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 fee 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 a PGDM due to the difference in authorities conferring them. PGDM courses are conferred by autonomous bodies, thus more susceptible to fraud. Many small colleges and institutes make false claims and do not have proper accreditation status. They exploit aspirants with fancy ratings given by various agencies, which do not hold much importance in reality. There is a lower chance of fraudulent claims when you choose to go for an MBA degree. It is, hence, a safer option in terms of fraud 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 have a high demand in India as well as abroad. 

While pursuing an MBA you will learn life skills and what is a 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.

Eligibility and Requirements for MBA

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 universities/Institutions demand 1 or 2 years of work experience, However for most of the universities with a bachelor’s degree and entrance test you can get 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 globally. 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 are best mba colleges in world, 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 Stanford Graduate School of Business is located in Stanford, California and is 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: The Business School For The World 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: The Wharton School Wharton has incredible faculty, students, and alumni who generate big ideas, back them up with sharp analysis, and turn them into innovative solutions that work. Whatron educates, informs, and inspires leaders who are addressing the world's complex challenges, advancing business practises, and driving global economic growth.
CEIBS CEIBS  is a highly regarded Institution. CEIBS Global offers unparalleled opportunities for students to expand their global network, with modules available in 11 cities worldwide, a diverse student body drawn from more than 20 countries, and two integrated cohorts running between China, Europe, and Africa.
London Business School London Business School provides students with the opportunity to network with world-renowned leaders and organisations while experiencing everything that London has to offer.

University of Chicago Booth

At Chicago Booth, you can advance your curious mind in a collaborative community of peers while learning from the world's top business school faculty on campuses in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong.

MIT Sloan School of Management

 MIT Sloan School of Management aims to produce principled, innovative leaders who improve the world, as well as to generate ideas that advance management practice.

Columbia Business School

 Columbia Business School is a private research university in New York City. Columbia Business School, founded in 1916, is one of six Ivy League business schools and one of the world's oldest business schools.

University of California at Berkeley: Haas School Of Business

The University of California's Haas School of Business, also known as Berkeley Haas, is a business school. It offers an outstanding business administration programme to approximately 700 undergraduate students each year.

Career Paths after MBA

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.

Important Sectors Hiring MBA/PGDM Students

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 or PGDM. The demand for financial professionals is increasing in tandem with the expansion of the business world as a field, as is the demand for graduates with an MBA/PGDM in finance degrees. Furthermore, when compared to other courses, the master of finance salary is quite high. With an MBA/PGDM in finance, you can gain the necessary knowledge and skills to land the best jobs in the international business industry. This degree prepares you to analyse corporate reports, identify market trends, value stocks, research the economy, and assess the opportunities and risks associated with it.


As the demand for professional consultants grows, many MBA/PGDM holders are choosing to pursue a career in this industry. Working as management consultants allows students to contribute their knowledge and experience to firms and assist them in developing strategies that can improve their operations and outcomes. This could present them with an intriguing opportunity to apply their knowledge in a field that pays well, offers excellent benefits, and has the stable employment.


Global demand for marketing professionals is increasing, and students are pursuing an MBA/PGDM in marketing to secure top positions abroad. A marketing student must be creative, research marketing trends, listen, observe, use analytical and critical thinking skills, and collaborate. An MBA/PGDM in marketing provides you with the necessary skills and experience through a variety of projects, internships, and live assessments that teach you strategies and principles while also providing you with the necessary skills and experience.

Human Resources

Human resources are required by all organisations, regardless of size or nature. Every organisation has a group of employees that must be managed, and this factor increases the demand for MBA/PGDM courses with human resource specialisations in every organisation. They handle grievances, manage employee relations, onboard new employees, manage HRIS, track performance, promote teamwork and collaboration, schedule interviews, hire candidates, process payroll, and provide customer service.

Information technology

Businesses in the sector are increasingly looking for candidates with specialised MBA/PGDM degrees in information technology-related fields. As a result, MBA/PGDM graduates are in higher demand to fill positions such as data analysts, software engineers, and IT consultants. Prospective employers in this industry frequently seek candidates who are knowledgeable about cutting-edge technologies and understand business procedures. Business Analyst, IT Management Consultant, Digital Leader, IT Architect, Data Processing Manager, Systems Software Manager, and Product Manager are some of the exciting career opportunities available to MBA/PGDM students.

Salaries for countries offering MBA and PGDM are mentioned below:

  • 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 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 PGDM vs MBA 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, if you want to know what is difference between PGDM and MBA, as there are some key difference between PGDM and MBA courses. Some of them are listed below-:

  1. In PGDM, the curriculum is designed and offered by independent institutions whereas in the case of an MBA, the Universities are responsible for doing so.
  2. The curriculum in the case of a PGDM program is more industry-based whereas that of an MBA is more oriented towards 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 a fixed Full-Time 2-year duration, PGDM can vary anywhere between 1 to 2 years as per the institution’s curriculum pattern.

Admission Process and Entrance Test for PGDM vs MBA

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

A 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 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. It is not easy to get into MBA without GMAT in a top university abroad.

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.

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.

MBA vs PGDM Which One Should You Opt For?

mba vs pgdm

An MBA degree is valued as a master’s degree, which plays a drastic 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 when deciding between PGDM vs MBA.


A PGDM diploma is not considered to be a degree. But in practical aspects, a PGDM is identical to an MBA. Students favour studying an MBA in USA over a PGDM. Employers view MBA graduates as having the abilities needed to successfully lead a team, remain productive, and most crucially, make business decisions.
The most sought-after MBA specialities in the USA are in finance, marketing, data analytics, and information technology. But what is difference between MBA and PGDM salary and cost in USA? The average cost for PGDM in the USA is $30,000.The average cost for MBA in the USA is $55,000 The average salary for MBA in the USA is $115,000. 

MBA vs PGDM in the UK

Universities in the United Kingdom provide the 1- or 2-year Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) programme. If you are taking PGDM part-time, you can both earn and save money. Moreover, compared to an MBA, which is a full-time degree, you may add something to your résumé after just a year. BUt in UK, MBA is preferred more than PGDM . To enter the corporate sector, many students choose for the Master of Business Administration degree. This degree is well-known worldwide, and most institutions include management and operations courses in their curricula for prospective students. The average cost for PGDM in the UK is 17,000 GBP. But what is difference between MBA and PGDM salary and cost in UK? The average cost for MBA in UK is 50,000 GBP. The average salary for MBA in UK is 80,000 GBP. The average salary for PGDM in UK is 37,000 GBP.

MBA vs PGDM in Canada

Most candidates in Canada who want to work in management confront the dilemma between an MBA and a PGDM. A PGDM and an MBA are essentially two different degrees in Canada. The latter is a full-fledged degree programme, whereas the former is only a certificate programme. The MBA, being a more thorough curriculum, will cover the entire spectrum whereas the PGDM will simply try to cover a single area of management. In addition to the MBA, PGDM is a preferred option for those looking to study abroad. The average salary for MBA in Canada is $64,000. But what is difference between MBA and PGDM salary and cost in Canada? The average salary for PGDM in Canada is $40,000. The average cost for PGDM in Canada is $16,000. The average cost for MBA in Canada is $35,000.

MBA vs PGDM in Australia

pgdm vs mba australia

Both the PGDM and MBA are master's-level management programmes. Both of these business-related courses are aimed at preparing students to start their own entity, advance in the organisation, or work in management. However, a graduate diploma is less desirable than a master's degree. Academically speaking, a Postgraduate Diploma is above a Bachelor's degree but below a Master's degree. But what is difference between MBA and PGDM salary and cost in Australia? The average cost of studying MBA in Australia is $50,000. The average cost of studying PGDM in Australia is $35,000. The average salary of studying PGDM in Australia is $62,000. The average salary of studying MBA in Australia is around $90,000.

MBA vs PGDM in Germany

As a business education venue, Germany offers a diverse range of MBA options and long-term career opportunities. Because of its high-quality education, lower costs, and presence of a thriving economy, professionals seeking to play the role of aspiring managers are interested in pursuing an MBA in Germany. PGDM, on the other hand, assists management aspirants in developing relevant hard and soft skills to transform into industry-ready management professionals. But what is difference between MBA and PGDM salary and cost in Germany? The average salary for MBA graduates in Germany is 70,000 EUR.The average cost for MBA graduates in Germany is 55,000 EUR.  The average cost for PGDM graduates in Germany is 30,000 EUR. 


According to me, PGDM vs MBA are given importance equally and they are mostly the same. It is only the change of name, the basic program and knowledge you will be acquiring are the same. They are both management programs at the Post Graduation level. Even though PGDM is not considered a masters degree like an MBA, PGDM is not any less than an MBA degree. Pursuing a PGDM is time and money saving, 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 and MBA here is, if your degree is granted by a university it is an MBA degree. If it is granted by Autonomous institutions basically the institutions which are recognized by the government, then 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. All the aspects and factors that are available for PGDM vs MBA program are provided above, which will help you to choose and consider what’s the best course for you.

Which is more valuable between MBA and PGDM?

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.

Is PGDM equivalent to MBA?

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.

Do IIMs offer MBA or PGDM?

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

Which is better among MBA and PGDM?

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.

Is it possible to pursue an MBA after completing PGDM?

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.

What are the scopes of higher education after completing MBA and PGDM?

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.

Is it necessary to do an MBA to get a Government job?

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.

Which course is more affordable among MBA and PGDM?

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

Which are some of the top MBA colleges in India?

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.

Which are some of the top colleges offering PGDM?

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

What is the major difference between MBA and PGDM?

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.

Know Your Author
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Abhyank Srinet
Study Abroad Expert
Abhyank Srinet, the founder of, is a globally recognized expert in study abroad and admission consulting.His passion lies in helping students navigate the complex world of admissions and achieve their academic dreams. Having earned a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Europe, Abhyank's expertise in data-driven marketing strategies has driven growth for some of the most competitive industries. As the founder of, he has helped thousands of students get into top business schools with a strong emphasis on research, shortlisting, and applying to schools from a single platform. His dedication to education has also led him to create MentR-Me, a free-to-use social platform that simplifies the study abroad process for students, while providing universities with a powerful recruitment tool. As a leader in the field of admission consulting, he is constantly researching and implementing the latest strategies to ensure that his clients receive the best possible guidance. He leads the Business Development and Digital Marketing side of both companies, and has grown both ventures to 7 figure revenue.His unique insights, experience, and dedication to his clients make him a valuable resource for anyone seeking to advance their education or career.
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