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MBA vs PGDM: Which is a better option for me?

by Pritika Ghura

Most aspiring managers who want to pursue management studies to give a boost to their careers are very often a confused lot. They want to get the maximum return on their fees and hence do everything it takes to get a degree from one of the renowned B-Schools of the country. In an attempt to make it to IIMs, XLRI or Symbiosis, these students are willing to spend as much time and money as required. They join coaching classes, take practice exams and have mock interviews to make it to the best of the lot.

However, one thing that really confuses them is to go for a MBA from a recognised university or PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) from IIMs. Let us help you understand the basic difference between the two in India-:

1) Only universities can offer MBA: In India only those management institutes which are affiliated to a university can offer an MBA degree. For this reason institutes like Department of Management Sciences (PUMBA), University of Pune, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies or Faculty of Management Studies can offer MBA degree, as they are affiliated with Pune, Mumbai and Delhi University respectively. Also IIMs, though being the best of the lot, can't offer MBAs as they are not affiliated with any university. Institutes which are not affiliated to university are autonomous and can offer PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) degree. However, some of these programmes are approved by regulatory bodies such as AICTE.

2) Difference in focus of curriculum: While there are huge similarities in the curriculum of both MBA and PGDM, there are finer points of difference. While MBA focuses more on theoretical aspects of management and is more exam-oriented, PGDM has a focus on building soft skills and is industry-oriented. It prepares you for the job market.

3) Curriculum of PGDM is flexible: Since an autonomous institute does not have to follow university standards, it is free to change its curriculum according to industry standards and change in business environment. Also a PGDM gives you an industry exposure. Whereas it will take time to change the curriculum for MBAs as it is affiliated with a university and it will essentially follow the university guidelines and changing this curriculum is a very slow process.

4) MBAs are more affordable: In compared to PGDM, generally MBAs are more affordable as the fees is almost similar to university standard. You can get a rough idea if you compared the fees of IIM and FMS.

5) Difference in focus: An MBA will help in developing technical skills and business knowledge whereas a PGDM will prepare graduates for senior level positions in industry and paves the way for a strong corporate career. Hence, if you're looking for a career in the challenging area of management, you should go for PGDM.

However, one should remember that it is not important whether a student pursues PGDM or MBA. The institution where he is studying is of supreme importance and enhances their employability. If you pursue your management studies from a reputed college which is recognised and offers decent placements, then your chances of employment and going abroad get enhanced.

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20 Comments
    neha_mistry
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    neha_mistrySat, 11 Oct 2014 14:20:40 -0000

    thank you for the information, its very informative and one sided rather than other sites which are talking about MBA as well as PGDM.

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    ameer khan
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    ameer khanFri, 06 Jun 2014 13:39:39 -0000

    hii ..my graduation is complete & i am cofused what is bater pgdm or mba plz tell me i am so much confused

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    ambaransari007
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    ambaransari007Mon, 10 Mar 2014 01:51:53 -0000

    hello sir,
    I am doing gradutation in b.com final year. I am really confused which course should I do MBA OR PGDM.
    can you please suggest me which course would be better after graduation?

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    navbabu
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    navbabuThu, 27 Feb 2014 06:28:27 -0000

    i want to built my career in area of management…. i want strong career in corporate world……
    that's why PGDM is best for me……

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    william wordworths
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    william wordworthsMon, 26 Aug 2013 06:34:27 -0000

    I wanna do MBA in ditance. Could anyone pleae advice the univerities offering ditance MBA and can give better placemant from distance

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    prateek550
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    prateek550Fri, 16 Aug 2013 13:05:40 -0000

    sir
    I'm really confused about all iim programs. I'm doing my btech- mechanical, n after that i wan2 go for MBA. So which programs should i choose while filling cat form ?
    PGP, PGDM, PGP ABM, FPM, PGSEM, PGPPM, PGP PGDM, PGP PGCM, EPGM, PGPWE, PGPX, …ETC..

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    bala_k89
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    bala_k89Fri, 05 Jul 2013 09:57:13 -0000

    How about CPGDM Course in Symbiosis ? Will this have same value as PGDM or MBA

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    ariee
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    arieeSun, 09 Jun 2013 15:45:42 -0000

    hi… i am Bcom student.. and appeared for MAT. i got a composite score of 532.40.. i am selected by UNITEDWORLD SCHOOL of BUSINESS is it the best option for me from the point of view of Placement.. if not den please give me some options..

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    chandra kant
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    chandra kantWed, 08 May 2013 16:58:23 -0000

    dear sir. i have complete my bca and i want to know more about business management. and good placement. but i confused who is best for me mba or pgdm plzz… give me suggest

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    anilp78
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    anilp78Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:55:25 -0000

    Hi Pritika,
    Nice article, I liked the way you listed out the differences point-wise. I have an altogether different take on those points though, as it comes from completely different perspective. Here is how it goes -

    1) Only universities can offer MBA : Yes thats correct, but why? Is it that the IIMs cannot do justice to MBAs? Am always quizzed by these university norms. I think there should be a specific guidelines and minimum statutory requirements (keep them as high as possible if you say) for an Institution to be able to award MBA.

    2) Difference in focus of curriculum : You rightly said that MBA curriculum focuses on "theoritical aspects" and PGDM on "practical aspects". My question here again is the same, Why? I have no clue on this either.

    3) Curriculum of PGDM is flexible: Again, why shouldnt the MBA be flexible too? What stops it from being one? Any answers anyone?

    4) MBAs are more affordable : Naturally seems like theory lectures are more affordable than "learning lectures".

    5) Difference in focus: Again seems to be a deliberately created valley of distinction which has no firm basis. Do they mean to say that MBA students cannot take up challenges? And therefore they agree that MBAs are not being prepared for higher positions in management and for bigger challenges.

    More concrete reasons and differences are required that would help management students clearly understand what would pave their career path in the right direction.

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    himt
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    himtMon, 01 Apr 2013 11:17:02 -0000

    i have comlete B-Pharm in 2013. Sir i want to known about pharmaceutical management in PGDM. I confused that pgdm is master or diploma degree . Plz suggest me.

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    us8mo4
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    us8mo4Tue, 26 Mar 2013 12:48:22 -0000

    I have done completed 2 master Degrees in Arts and am interested to pursue MBA in Education.Does Symbiosis offer such courses?

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    Parameshwar Reddy Sangangiri
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    Parameshwar Reddy SangangiriMon, 31 Dec 2012 09:49:00 -0000

    Hi,

    I have completed my bachelors degree in 2011 and currently working in one of the IT company since then, I wanted to pursue my MBA from good college but I can only go for distant education & thinking of the college Symbiosis College for Distant Learning(SCDL). Can anyone suggest me regarding SCDL and also about other colleges?

    Also need little clarification, I have only seen PostGraduate Diploma(PGD) programme in SCDL but not MBA. To what extent will my selection of MBA/PGD impact…?

    It would a great help for me if anyone can clarify about this.

    Thanks & Regard,
    Paramesh

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    divya_reddy_426
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    divya_reddy_426Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:44:58 -0000

    Hai, i have completed my graduation and iam planning to choose WLC business school for pgdm course. Is it good college to choose?

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    sr_ba
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    sr_baFri, 22 Jun 2012 10:10:48 -0000

    Gud Explanation!!!!

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    manu_Sri
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    manu_SriWed, 30 May 2012 07:44:51 -0000

    Hi,
    I wanna do MBA in ditance. Could anyone pleae advice the univerities offering ditance MBA. and which is the best in that. I have done my bacholers degree with an excellent percentile

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    dhandakshay8
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    dhandakshay8Mon, 28 May 2012 08:02:11 -0000

    May i know master in marketing managment(mmm) is good or MBA.
    another thing should i go for pune university or SMU.

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    queena
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    queenaTue, 08 May 2012 07:17:37 -0000

    I am very confused bec my daughter has just given her TYBmm exams and has taken admission in ISB&M Pune for Post graduation degree in Broadcast media. I dont know what is right an MBA or post grad. also pls guide as to whether salarywise do you think will be get the same salary as a starter after doing post grad. or just a graduation

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    wild_sarfaraz
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    wild_sarfarazSun, 04 Dec 2011 19:13:18 -0000

    if some does his pgdm from average institute he will find problem in getting jobs in foriegn countries because they only knows MBA

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    anand mishra
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    anand mishraFri, 08 Jul 2011 17:17:34 -0000

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pritika Ghura
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About: I love talking, writing and making friends. I am very optimistic, energetic and a dreamer.

Last Updated At Jul 11, 2013


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