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What is the difference between MBA and PGDM?


Last updated: 13 Mar 2020

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The expanded form of MBA is Master of Business Administration and that of PGDM is Post Graduate Diploma in Management. As per Indian Law a degree can be offered by an institution only if it is affiliated to a University. Autonomous bodies who run independently cannot offer MBA. They can offer either PGDM or PGP as is the case with IIMs, XLRI, and the like. PGP is Post Graduate Program in management. As per the fee is concerned, MBA is more affordable as it follows the university fee structure and the activities are confined to the university curriculum.

Comparison of MBA and PGDM

MBA PGDM
MBA courses follow the syllabus of respective University Autonomous colleges like IIMs or XLRI, who offer PGDM/PGP programs, follow their own syllabus
The MBA programs are recognized by University Grants Commission (UGC) Government accreditation agencies like AICTE give approval to Diploma programmes(like PGDM)
MBA programs prepare the candidate for government oriented and conventional managerial jobs PGDM programs equip the students to handle high profile management posts in high end business ambience
MBA has more affordable fee structure PGDM programs are costlier
The syllabus of MBA is updated in a longer span of time The syllabus of PGDM is updated frequently as per the discretion of the B school and the industry needs
MBA courses are more theoretical and academic. PGDM programs are industry oriented and practical
MBA has 2 years course duration PGDM has 2 years course duration, some autonomous colleges provide PGDM programs for one year also.
To pursue Doctoral degrees MBA course structure is best as it is a master degree with academic emphasis. PGDM programs generally have an industry & career emphasi

Syllabus & Industry Interface 

The syllabus of MBA and PGDM programs is generally the same, but the former is more theoretical & technical and the latter is practically oriented with strong industry connections. To be clearer the MBA is exam and academic oriented, whereas PGDM/PGP is industry oriented with a focus on soft skill development.

One advantage of autonomous colleges like IIMs or XLRI, who offer PGDM/PGP courses, is that they can follow their own syllabus and can update the syllabus as per the changing industry needs. This way they can keep the trend of the day without losing standards and credentials. Keeping the course industry relevant attracts better placements in industry and improves the marketability of the course. It is to be noted that a big majority of top business schools in India offer PGDM or PGP and not MBA. Normally the PGDM programs equip the students to handle high profile management posts in high end business ambience. For teaching and for traditional management roles in industry and business MBA is preferred.

Salary Package

The salary package of successful candidates is mainly dependant on the name and brand of the college rather than on the name of the degree. The trend of the salary in later years of the career is largely determined by the capability and efficiency of the employee rather than their alumni status or the name of the degree.

Higher studies

When it comes to higher studies it is better to have an MBA as it is a master degree, and PGDM is Post Graduate Diploma. Even though both come within the outline of management, the name matters in upper strata of education. PGDM/PGP Diploma of one year duration which is not equivalent to MBA is not eligible for Ph.D. programs, whereas Diplomas with two years duration and having approval from Association of Indian Universities (AIU) makes an institute's PGDM/PGP course equivalent to MBA.

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