Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Which is better MBA or PGDM?

The task of differentiating between an MBA and a PGDM degree often leads the aspirants of management studies into an undesirable conundrum. This article aims to differentiate between these two management degrees and help young aspirants develop an understanding of what both the courses have to offer and how beneficial they are.  

The eligibility criteria for most MBA and PGDM courses offered by different institutes/universities in the country are similar to a great extent. Both MBA and PGDM can be pursued by any individual possessing a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized university or institution. Exams like CAT, MAT, GMAT, XAT, CMAT, ATMA etc. are conducted to select suitable candidates for both the programs. 

Differences between MBA and PGDM:

While both MBA and PGDM offer higher education in the field of management studies, there are various factors that create a wide distinction between them.

The very basic difference between an MBA and a PGDM degree is that MBA can only be offered by a University whereas PGDMs are offered by autonomous institutes. In India, colleges offering MBA must have an affiliation to a university that is duly recognized by UGC. This is not so in the case of autonomous institutes offering PGDM. 

The affiliation to UGC necessitates the approval of the program’s curriculum by the UGC, which brings in the second difference – the curriculum. An MBA program follows a guidelines-based curriculum which remains very rigid and hence, provides very little room for flexibility and eccentricity. A PGDM program follows an industry relevant curriculum; it aims to make the students ready for the job market.   

The course curriculum plays a quintessential role in helping students deal with the business environment which they’ll be facing immediately after graduating. 

The business environment is dynamic and unpredictable. An evolving curriculum will help the students to understand, control and mould the turbulence arising in the business arena to their advantage. 

An MBA program, with its rigid curriculum, will lay most of the focus on academics and examinations, which is somewhat different to what a PGDM program aims to do. PGDM program follows an evolving curriculum (industry-oriented, to be precise), which aims to cultivate soft-skills in students. While MBA provides a holistic approach, PGDM offers a wider scope to master specific areas of management and understand its nuances. If the cost factor is taken into consideration, the fee for MBA programs is relatively lesser than that of PGDM programs. 

Which is better?

It depends on what one wishes to gain from the course. A PGDM course is beneficial to those who wish to specialize in a certain domain while an MBA program is beneficial for those looking for a general overview of the business administration. 

University affiliated colleges have established curriculum and have expert faculties on board to provide direction to the students while PGDM also offers eccentricity and wider scope for aspects like innovation, flexibility and specializations.

The employers only look out for talent possessed by the individual regardless of whether the degree pursued is MBA or PGDM. 

What actually matters more than the name of the degree is the reputation of the management schools awarding it. The institutes known for producing extraordinary talents are the ones visited by big multi-national business establishments. The top management schools in the country such as the IIMs, ISB, XLRI, MDI, MICA and IMI offer PGDM degrees which are highly valued in the industry. Even if the placement records are taken into considerations, institutes offering PGDM courses display a better picture, such as the ones mentioned above.

One must take all these points into consideration while deciding between an MBA program and a PGDM program.


  1. Keep Posting,The post is useful and it would really help for those who search for
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  2. I really liked the way you have captured the essence between PGDM and MBA perfectly. Often students like me get confused about why they should enrol for MBA or PGDM courses and you have explained the difference so that one can get benefit of the other.