MBA vs. PGDM: Understanding the Difference

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MBA vs. PGDM: Understanding the Difference


With the rise of corporate culture as well as encouragement to entrepreneurship in India, more and more students are opting for management studies. There is no dearth of institutes and universities offering postgraduate programs in management. In fact, Delhi & the NCR regions have close to 3,500 management institutes offering a wide range of courses all under the same academic bracket – MBA in Delhi. However, Indian students often find themselves faced with the choice of two such courses, namely MBA and PGDM.

Candidates are often unsure about the difference in titles as well as content. This leads to much confusion regarding which course one should opt for, and why. Here’s your guide to understanding the difference between the PGDM and MBA courses in India -

Decoding the Terminology

Although both courses essentially train you for managerial and leadership positions, there are quite a few technical differences. Perhaps the most striking among these are the formal names of each. What is MBA? - MBA, short for Master of Business Administration, is a post graduate degree. On the other hand, PGDM, which stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management, is in fact a diploma.

Check out our popular post on one year MBA programs.

Affiliation and Accreditation

As MBA is a degree, it can only be offered by universities and institutes affiliated to universities. Their curriculum is accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC). On the other hand, autonomous bodies like IIMs are not authorized to offer a degree. Therefore, their course, the Post Graduate course in Management is recognized as a diploma and is regulated by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

Academic Differences

As mentioned earlier, while both courses aim to train you in management and administration, their approach differs significantly. While an MBA course tends to be more theoretical, a PGDM focuses on the technical aspects, providing exposure to real-life business situations. Also, a PGDM is very different than a one year PGP offered by many private institutes all across India. Another advantage of a PGDM is, as it is offered by autonomous institutes, the curriculum can be upgraded more frequently to include the new changes and trends in business management.

However, if you wish to pursue higher education abroad, a PGDM is considered to be a diploma, while a university-affiliated MBA is counted as a degree, giving you a better standing.

How it Impacts You Professionally

In India, as well as overseas, both MBA and PGDM courses are regarded as having equal value when it comes to career prospects. Having a PG diploma instead of a degree is certainly not considered to be a drawback. In fact, it is the reputation of your university or institute and more importantly, your professional capabilities that truly matter.

Now that you have a better understanding about the differences between the two programs, evaluate the courses and choose as per your academic and professional preferences.

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