MBA V/S PGDM: How Are They Different, And What Should You Choose?

Time and again students have questions such as which programme to choose? How are both of these programmes different? Is one of these better than the other? Read below to know find answers to such and many more doubts related to this topic.

After completing a bachelor's degree and gaining work experience for a year or two, students often plan on studying further. This is because a post-graduation degree is one of the most lucrative ways to gain a unique blend of managerial skills and technical expertise, explore better career prospects, broaden their learning horizon and earn well. While there are numerous benefits of a post-graduation degree, individuals are often in a dilemma when it comes to choosing a course; MBA or PGDM. Time and again they have questions such as which programme to choose? How are both of these programmes different? Is one of these better than the other? To help students find answers to such and many more doubts related to this topic, we are here to help. From the meaning to the difference between PGDM and MBA, we have listed down everything that can help students make the right choice. Let's get started. 

Understanding the terminology

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration, whereas a PGDM stands for a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. The first programme can be offered by only those colleges which are affiliated to a university. An affiliation to a recognised university signifies that the MBA curriculum is accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

On the other hand, a PGDM programme is offered by autonomous colleges who are regulated by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). However, if an autonomous college is accredited by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), it's PGDM course is equivalent to an MBA. Now, that the terminology is clear, let us take a look at the curriculum for each programme.

Course curriculum

As mentioned earlier, an MBA programme is offered by only those colleges who have a university affiliation. Due to this, colleges which are offering this programme need to adhere to the guidelines formulated by the university strictly. The effectiveness of this curricula cannot be questioned. However, one must understand that the process to change or update the course curriculum is extremely elaborate. Owing to this fact, the curriculum is more theoretical in nature.

When it comes to updating the curriculum for a PGDM programme, private colleges do not have to face this challenge. As these b-schools are not regulated by any university, they have the complete liberty to enhance and update their syllabus as and when required. Thanks to this, students pursuing this course can learn something which is relevant to the current industry trends and practical in nature.


One of the biggest differentiators between MBA and PGDM course is the cost. The former is offered by universities which are governed by the state. This is why the programme fee is considerably low.

On the contrary, the PGDM programme fee is not as affordable as its counterpart. Again, the main reason behind this is because it is offered by institutes which are not regulated by the government.


By now, the main difference between both programmes is apparent. Now, let us see what's in store after completing these programmes. Individuals who have completed an MBA programme from a reputed institute can start working at a managerial position or pursue a double MBA or Ph. D. The same goes for PGDM graduates except for the latter, i.e. these individuals cannot opt for a Ph. D. programme unless their institute is accredited by AIU.

In the corporate world, there is little to no difference between both the programmes; what matters is the individual's expertise and skills in that particular domain.

The Final Verdict

These are a few pointers which help distinguish between the most popular management programmes. It is now time to decide how to choose one of these. When it comes to working for multi-national companies, students need to understand that both of these programmes are considered the same. The main difference lies in its affiliation, cost and curriculum. This is why they should focus on their budget and choose a college or university, which can help them get closer to their career goals. At the end of the day, what matters is how well-versed an individual is. And, this depends on the college's curriculum, teaching pedagogy, industry collaborations, faculty and placement records. By choosing a college which can offer all of this, students will be one step ahead in the ever-growing competition.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

Tags assigned to this article:
pgdm PGDM programme mba programme mba course

Around The World

Our Publications