Answering the decisive question- MBA or PGDM?

Are you headed towards a career in management and are looking for answers on what works best for you? Are you wondering what’s similar to an MBA and PGDM or what sets them apart? Are you looking at making this decisive choice in education? 

MBA and PGDM, both these programmes are offered by leading B-schools with an aim to mould aspiring professionals into efficient business leaders. Let’s examine some similarities and differences between the two. 

  1. MBA is a Masters in Business Administration whereas PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management.
  2. As the name clearly suggests, MBA is a Degree programme; on the other hand, PGDM is a Diploma programme.
  3. An MBA programme is accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and is offered by an institution affiliated with a university. PGDM can be awarded by institutions who may or may not have any affiliations to any university and may come under UGC.
  4. MBAs are usually semester-based while PGDMs are trimester-based.
  5. When in pursuit of higher studies or research, especially overseas, an MBA has a definite advantage over PGDM, as it comes with the label and recognition of a ‘Degree’. PGDMs can face some obstacles in this course.
  6. The curriculum of an MBA programme is a varied ratio of theory and practice. A blend of classroom learning woven with real-world learning. A PGDM curriculum also follows a very fluid learning directive, keeping itself abreast and in tune with industry developments.
  7. Both programmes involve experiential learning from industry veterans, seasoned scholars and experts in fields of practice.
  8. Both MBA and PGDM  have similar eligibility criteria.
  9. If you have appeared for the CAT, MAT, GMAT, XAT & CMAT, there are chances you could apply for most MBA programmes with the scores. Some schools even accept MAH CET, TSICET, PGCET & TANCET, XAT, SNAP and IIFT EXAM (IIFT). There may also be customised entrance tests for some institutions and a tailor-made selection process. PGDM schools also accept most of the above said scores and follow similar rules for selection.
  10. The fee for MBA programmes and PGDMs are usually competitive, though PGDM programmes can tip the balance at times.

While all these factors hold true, it all boils down to what you aim to achieve. Your choice of programme should match your academic and professional goals. Statistics suggest that graduates from both programmes find themselves in successful profiles of management and leadership, rewarding careers and path breaking entrepreneurial journeys.  

Hence, when you choose your degree, let it also be based on decisive factors inclusive of curriculum, new-age courses, faculty with global expertise, a highly intellectual and diverse peer group, sustainable campus, placement history, industry network, and accreditations aligned with your long term future goals.