MBA or PGDM- Which course is better?


Most people, after gaining one or two years of experience in the management field, think of pursuing an MBA or PGDM course to further their credibility and job prospects. While many people think that there is a difference between the two, some even consider the two to the same degree, there is only one difference in the name. It is very important for a person to understand how the two differ from each other and what their relevance is.

Completion of both these courses helps in their career development, in getting a better position and getting a bigger salary.


MBA or PGDM- Which course is better?

The main differences between MBA and PGDM are:

MBA / MMS are offered directly by the Indian Government by 'Universities' or 'Colleges which are affiliated to Universities or Central bodies', while PGDM / PGP is offered by individual colleges and IIM. As compared to MMS/MBAFees are high in case of PGDM/PGP.


PGDM is more flexible in terms of syllabus as the syllabus is not bound by any particular university.

Ideally the PGDM program is residential, while the MBA is not. Examples of PGDM / PGP institutes in India are IIM, XLRI, SP Jain, NMIMS (Banglore / Hyderabad) etc.

Examples of MBA colleges in India are IIFT, JBIMS, FMS, NMIMS (Mumbai) SIBM (Pune), IIT etc.


Why some offer MBA and the rest offer PGDM?

As per law in India, only a university can award degrees like MBA, BBA, B.Tech or B.E. Any educational institution which is not affiliated with the university cannot confer the degree. Therefore institutions like IIM, XLRI, NITIE, MDI etc. which are autonomous bodies and run independently cannot offer MBA degree and hence offer PGDM / PGP.



PGDM is Post Graduate Diploma in Management, while PGP is Post Graduate Program Diploma. And when you see the word diploma all the confusion starts. Yes, you read it right - it's a diploma and not at all technical. The main reason for giving PGDM name to postgraduate courses is that when an institution is an autonomous body (not affiliated to a university) and offers management courses, such institutions cannot offer MBA degrees. Even IIM does not offer XLRI's MBA degree; they only offer PGP diplomas.


Despite offering PGDM / PGP, autonomous colleges have their advantages

Autonomous institutions can teach to design their own curriculum and upgrade it regularly instead of following the curriculum of the old university. Many times the reason the university curriculum is outdated is that it changes once in 3 or 5 years; which is certainly a hindrance in the management sector, where industry and technology are changing rapidly.


While one might say that PGDM courses are more industry relevant than MBA courses; some of the university's MBA programs have earned a large brand value in India. Such MBA programs, which have earned the prestigious brand image, are led by the MBA program offered by FMS Delhi of Delhi University. It is today included in the top 4 colleges in India. This is followed by an MBA degree by Symbiosis University and Narsee Monjee University.


How does an MBA or PGDM affect your career?

Indian reference

In a purely Indian context, when an industry deals with PGDM and MBA graduates, there is no answer. If you see, 9 of the top 10 B schools in India offer PGDM / PGP and not MBA. This is proof that there is no difference between the two in India.

Career development is the same in both, and true career development is dependent on personal performance and not in the name PGDM or MBA. Initial packages depend on the name and brand of the college, not the MBA or PGDM it offers and that is why you offer PGDM / PGP to most of the top B schools in India and only some of the colleges offering MBA degrees Couples compete with them.


Global context

Let's divide the analysis in a global context into two parts: the jobs perspective and the higher education (eg PhD or double MBA) perspective.

From a job standpoint, there is no difference even in the global arena, especially if you are coming from a reputed B school in India. What matters more is the institution, the alumni base and how the related industry deals with your institution. The name of the degree, MBA or PGDM does not matter.


However, when we speak from the point of view of higher education; yes, there is a difference and having an MBA degree helps you a bit more than doing a diploma (PGDM / PGP). However, the difference is only one or two marks when it comes to the evaluation of your application for higher education as the MBA marks you against a Masters degree while the PGDM / PGP marks you against a Masters-Diploma.


Therefore, if you are not looking for higher studies, you do not have an MBA or PGDM. What you matter, which college you are coming from, its industry perception and similar aspects.

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