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Which Course is Better, MBA or PGDM?


PGDM or MBA? This is a question that you may have thought about while looking for the best management course for you. You realize that some of the business schools you really want to enroll in are really offering PGDM programmes rather than the MBA you’re truly looking for. Why is it a diploma programme called the PGDM and not an MBA degree programme?

MBA refers to a master’s degree in business administration, and PGDM refers to a postgraduate diploma in management. Although both of the two-year programmes are designed to prepare students for lucrative management careers and are provided by renowned B-schools, there are some notable similarities and distinctions between the two.

Let’s see how the MBA and PGDM are Similar

When it comes to admission in the industry or for graduate study, the MBA and PGDM are equivalent.

Both programmes teach management skills, but what matters to recruiters is the quality of education provided by the business school, as well as its distinctive value propositions, track record of its alumni, and the value that its graduates bring to the table. In reality, recruiters do not even distinguish between these students and the PGDM students in b-schools that provide a one-year “certificate” programme in management, also known as PGPM, PGP, or other names depending on the b-school. The recruiter’s background, skill, and job experience requirements are the only factors considered for hiring, and whether or not a student meets those requirements.

The same is true when enrolling in higher education programmes like a PhD or fellowship. The PGDM diploma is equivalent to an MBA degree in terms of validity for pursuing a PhD. At the undergraduate level, a degree was consistently thought to be more valuable than a diploma. However, the value of postgraduate courses, such as management programmes, is determined by the quality and value of the b-school and the programme, not by the nomenclature.

Key Differences between MBA and PGDM

Degree vs. Diploma

The primary distinction between the two programmes is the MBA’s status as a degree-granting programme as opposed to the PGDM’s status as a diploma-granting programme. A public, private, or college with a university affiliation may provide an MBA programme. Degrees can only be granted by certain institutions, which are overseen by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), which is independent of the UGC, b-schools that have received AICTE recognition and standalone/autonomous b-schools both offer PGDM programmes. It’s important to note that the corporate world does not distinguish between the two, though. Both schools’ graduates are equally qualified for the same kinds of managerial positions.


 MBA programmes often have a set curriculum and lean more toward the theoretical. To keep up with changes in the business environment and economic climate, curriculum revisions have a certain rigor. These changes happen over a period of three to five years. However, private universities with more frequent curriculum updates include Symbiosis and NMIMS.

The PGDM curriculum, on the other hand, is subject to revision or updating at the b-discretion school’s in order to stay up with evolving industry norms and requirements. As a result, the schools are able to keep their competitive advantage, which fosters widespread pedagogical and curriculum innovation. In contrast to pure theoretical learning, such programmes also allow for more practical application-based learning.

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Your Goal

Your life’s ultimate goal is what counts, finally. What do you hope to accomplish with your management degree? Do you envision yourself pursuing a certain type of employment in the future? This should be the main determining element in your programme choice. You should also ask yourself what type of programme (on-campus or not), setting, and immediate employment goals are most important to you. You might also want to think about your budget while purchasing it.

Any top school’s PGDM programme will undoubtedly lead to a career that pays quite well. Because of the program’s pedagogy and close industry connection, PGDM graduates may have an advantage that helps them stay more practical and relevant in the industry for longer. But an MBA from a reputable institution with a long history in the field can also assist you in achieving some short-term professional objectives at a far lower price.


All candidates interested in pursuing a postgraduate study in management have struggled with the challenge of choosing between an MBA and a PGDM.

Therefore, before making any decisions, if you plan to devote two years of your life to one of these very indulgent programmes, you must fully comprehend their value propositions, services, and industry perspectives.