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Key differences between MBA and PGDM, Explained

With the growth of the IT industry and corporate culture, many students are choosing management studies. However, students sometimes get confused over PGDM vs MBA when seeking management education. This creates difficulty when selecting courses. While the course content for both programs is almost identical, there are crucial variations that might help you determine which is best for you. Those who are unaware of the distinction may wind up making impulsive decisions.

This article will guide you on the difference between PGDM and MBA courses in India.

What is an MBA course?

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a two-year degree that is widely renowned for developing the abilities needed for jobs in business and management.

Most MBA programs contain a “core” curriculum comprising disciplines like accounting, economics, marketing, and operations and optional courses that allow students to pursue personal or professional interests. Some institutions require MBA applicants to perform an internship with a firm or organisation, which might lead to better career chances following the program.

  • Being an MBA graduate makes you a better decision-maker, expands your professional network, and opens doors to new prospects.
  • Considered the best alternative to follow if you want to thrive in your profession, become an entrepreneur, and pave the route to entering the corporate sector.
  • Designed to foster the development of skills required for a career in business and management.

What is a PGDM course?

PGDM is an abbreviation for Post Graduate Diploma in Management, a two-year business management curriculum that caters to industry needs and assists management aspirants in developing important hard and soft skills. Degrees may be awarded by universities authorised by the University Grants Commission (UGC). A PGDM degree opens up various employment opportunities for an individual. There is also a lot of potential in research that assists businesses in closing gaps and creating better chances and facilities for employees and customers.

The top three PGDM Colleges in India are Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, Management Development Institute, Gurugram.

How are MBA and PGDM similar?

Here are some ways PGDM and MBA courses are similar

  • MBA eligibility and PGDM eligibility criteria are similar; candidates must have a UG degree in any stream from a recognised state or central institution.
  • The time frame is also almost the same for both the MBA and the PGDM, which is two years. However, some universities offer one-year PGDM programs.
  • MBA and PGDM curriculums are quite similar, with the latter taking a more practical approach. However, the PGDM degree curriculum can be adjusted or amended by institutes evolving business needs of industry and trends.
  • Enrollment to top management universities in India for both MBA and PGDM programs is dependent on entrance tests such as CAT, CMAT, XAT, GMAT, MAT, ATMA, NMAT.

Key differences between PGDM and MBA

Several factors make MBA and PGDM different courses. The shows the differences between MBA and PGDM: 

Institute TypeColleges affiliated with a university can offer an MBA degree.An autonomous institute
Body of AccreditationAccredited by the university.Approved and recognised by AICTE. 
Duration of CourseMBA course duration is 2 Years.PGDM course duration can be either 1 or 2 years depending on the program.
EligibilityMBA is 50% in Bachelor’s degree pursued from a recognised college or institute in any stream.PGDM eligibility is 50% in Bachelor’s degree pursued from a recognised college or institute in any stream.
Curriculumnorms are dependent on the university, and the curriculum is not frequently revised.courses are flexible provided by autonomous institutes, and the curriculum is more frequently updated than MBA courses.
Focus of the CourseMBA develops a theoretical approach and focuses on improving the technical knowledge of a student.The PGDM course focuses on improving students for practical circumstances.
Fee StructureMore affordable program.Cost can vary between 5 and 20 lakhs.
ValidityValid Post Graduate Degree.Valid and equivalent to Postgraduate Degree.
PlacementsDepends upon the institution.Institutions have better placements.
Innovative PracticesLimited scope for innovationTeaching and training are multidimensional. 

Which is more valuable – MBA or PGDM?

  • MBA vs PGDM: Cost of Course

Because UGC-affiliated universities and colleges provide MBA programs, the fees for these courses are set by the university. When compared to IIMs or private institutions, the fees for government universities are quite low. As a result, you will earn a degree and exposure comparable to those of private institutes at a significantly lesser price. This significantly boosts the importance of your two years of training.

  •  MBA vs PGDM: Eligibility for Higher Studies 

If your goal is completing an MBA degree and enrolling for higher studies abroad, having a degree on your CV may be far more advantageous than a certificate. Because the MBA degree is widely recognised, you will be eligible for practically any course you choose to take.

  • MBA vs PGDM: International Acceptance

 While PGDM and MBA are pretty much synonymous in India, both in terms of curriculum and credibility, this may not be the case with global bodies. Several positions may expressly need an MBA degree, and you may not want to miss out on those possibilities just because of the name of your program, even if you are suitably competent.

MBA vs PGDM- What should you choose?

  • MBA & PGDM credibility: Is PGDM equivalent to MBA?

The most important factor in deciding on specialisation is selecting a course from a reputed or high-ranking business school. Best B-schools open up a plethora of opportunities for you to land a good job. Once hired on campus, you’ll be in a good position in a year or two. Then you can steer your career in whatever direction you want. So, a good start is half the job done. Make sure to choose a good B-school with AICTE and Ministry of HRD-recognized programs. The institute must be well-established and have a track record of success.

  • MBA vs PGDM: Course fees

In terms of cost, an MBA degree is less expensive than a PGDM degree. The course is less expensive with government assistance and funding sources, whereas the PGDM course is assessed by independent, autonomous bodies, so the fees are higher.

  • MBA vs PGDM: Future goals

You must answer the question, ‘What are your career goals?’ Do you want to start your own business, or do you prefer to work for someone else first? Do you want to work in communications, planning, strategising, numbers analysis, people management, or something else? You must decide where you want to be in a few years. How would you define success for yourself? For better answers, a great deal of introspection is required. You must delve deeper to discover what you want to do with your life. Based on your revelation, you can determine whether you should pursue an MBA or a PGDM.

Future prospects after pursuing MBA or PGDM: PGDM vs MBA salary and job profiles

 MBA salary and jobs

Job ProfileJob DescriptionAverage Annual Salary
HR ManagerIn any organisation, the Human Resources (HR) department has the responsibility of hiring new employees and ensuring employee satisfaction.INR 7 – 8 L
Business AnalystA business analyst analyses data from the past and present to ensure that the business runs smoothly and profitably in the future. Data analysis assists in taking business decisions.INR 6 – 7 L
Marketing ManagerAn MBA degree can help you become a marketing manager. A Marketing Manager’s primary responsibility is to oversee the marketing activities and market the company’s products or services.INR 5 – 8 L
Finance AdvisorMBA in Finance helps you get a job as a Finance Advisor in a financial firm. A financial adviser charges a fee for advice on investment and capital management for an individual or a firm.INR 5 – 8 L
Investment BankerInvestment bankers arrange funds for their clients. It is one of the higher-paying career prospects available to MBA graduates.INR 8 – 10 L

PGDM salary and jobs

Job ProfileJob DescriptionAverage Salary
Project ManagerIn an IT organisation, a Project Manager works on a specific project. A person with a PGDM in Enterprise Management may work as a Project Manager.INR 12 – 15 L
Data ScientistData scientists assist organisations in solving complicated challenges by integrating computing, modelling, statistics, analytics, and maths abilities with solid business understanding. A PGDM with a focus in Business Analytics helps you become a Data Scientist.INR 7 – 9 L
AuditorAn auditor checks the organisation’s financial records, including finance and balance sheets. A PGDM in International Finance degree may help you become an auditor.INR 4 – 6 L
Tax SpecialistA Tax Specialist is in charge of submitting a company’s sales and other taxes.INR 5 – 7 L
ConsultantA consultant is an expert who provides advice in fields such as business, human resources, law, marketing, finance and health care.INR 9 – 12 L

MBA vs PGDM: Course structure

The university creates the MBA course curriculum. The core curriculum (and occasionally even optional topics) will be almost identical at two MBA institutions affiliated with the same university. Whereas, PGDM courses are set by the specific institution. The course curriculum gains some flexibility as a result of this. The curriculum is revised in response to industry demands and market trends every year.

MBA vs PGDM: Which is better?

As independent authorities give PGP or PGDM courses, students must exercise caution while applying for admission. Many smaller colleges and institutions make promises but lack the necessary accreditation. Universities award MBA degrees; hence there is a lower risk of bogus claims. Aspirants in management should hunt for legitimate recognition. Management institutions are recognised by NAAC, AACSB, AMBA, and Equis, in addition to UGC.

Why should I choose an MBA?

Some of the reasons that make an MBA better than PGDM are as follows:

  • Better career prospects

An MBA program opens up a more diversified and broad sector for graduates to explore. An MBA course covers numerous fundamental subjects, including data science, human resource statistics, technology and information systems, economics, and finance.

  • Excellent for networking

A university or business school is an excellent place for MBA graduates to meet new individuals. People one could encounter while studying for an MBA include recruiters, keynote speakers, old-school business people and young entrepreneurs

  • MBA degrees are recognised all around the globe.

An MBA program can be a fantastic option to relocate to a different city or even a different nation. Being in a new city for a year or two may help students learn the lay of the land, identify firms where they wish to work, and set up meetings with possible employers.

Read here to learn more how MBA positively impacts your career.

Online MBA: A smart approach

The requirements of modern workplaces have expanded dramatically as a result of tremendous technological change. As a result, there is a greater need for professionals in managerial and leadership roles, and organisations are searching for personnel with effective management knowledge and expertise.

Here we have some the key differences to know why online MBA is a smart approach-

Online ClassesOffline Classes
Learn from anywhereLocation-specific
No more getting stuck in traffic jamsCommute can be time-consuming and hectic
time savingHuge loss of time
Access to great visual tools for faster learningEasy access to learning tools is non-existent
Highly skilled mentors and teachersLimited number of teachers to choose from
flexible learning with convenienceFix learning schedules and inconvenience
Better focusHigh chances of distraction
Convenient clearing sessions to clear your doubtsNo doubt clearing session

Benefits of pursuing an online MBA

Some of the benefits of studying online MBA courses are as follows:

  • The student will be familiar with a lot of topics that are not covered in the curriculum.
  • There is no need for commuting which saves your time.
  • Because the online MBA course is self-paced, students study at their own pace without feeling obligated to compete with other students.
  • The fees of an online MBA are cheaper than those of a traditional MBA, which benefits students.
  • Assist students in extending their horizons in the corporate world and become more aware of what is going on around them.
  • Students from all around the world can apply. This broadens the academic atmosphere and allows you to communicate with people from different countries. The best career options are available through online MBA degree programs.

Required skills for MBA course

An aspirant must have these skills to apply for MBA programs and pursue an MBA degree:

  • Leadership skills

One of the most important attributes of MBA candidates is leadership. An MBA degree is designed for those who have or will hold positions of power in their company.

  • Problem Solving/Decision Making Skills

These skills are also essential to remain objective about the possibilities available. Communication with and assistance from different departments professionals help to develop critical thinking abilities.

  • Communication skills

To work in a reputable and top recruitment business, every applicant must have effective and efficient communication skills.

  • Presenting skills

One of the top attributes of MBA applicants is the ability to develop one’s analytical and presentation abilities.

  • Creativity & Innovation

If a candidate is creative and thinks outside the box, this will add value to the prospect’s CV.


Whatever path you choose for your career, both courses are investments that will contribute to the long run if you study the course well. Further, before deciding on which is better- MBA or PGDM, spend time researching all of your options and consulting with professionals about the institution where you want to pursue the course.


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • online degree
  • Online MBA
  • online MBA courses in India

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