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Aspiring managers and students in the field of management want a higher education that can provide them with tools to be on top of their career game. One fool-proof way of making it there is by pursuing a management program after graduation. But between PGDM vs MBA, which management program should you ideally pursue? Let’s find out!
India has over 5000+ B schools offering both MBA & PGDM programs. However, one dilemma faced by all students at this crossroads is ‘what is the difference between PGDM and MBA, and which course is better?’ Many factors need to be kept in mind while choosing which one is better. However, before that, you need to consider your career goals and personal interests.
So, let us explore the difference between an MBA and PGDM together and help you decide which one’s better suited for you!
PGDM vs MBA: Understanding The Difference
We live in an age where corporate firms are rising as great powers and entrepreneurial projects are held in high regard. All this greatly contributes to management being one of the most sought-after fields by graduates and freshers. When we choose the field of management to pursue, we are faced with two program choices, a PGDM vs MBA. Next, we rack our brains to answer these particular questions:
What is the difference between an MBA and PGDM? Why do we have two options to choose from? Is PGDM equivalent to an MBA?
MBA degree can only be provided by universities or colleges affiliated with a university. For example, FMS is affiliated with Delhi University and thus, it offers an MBA. Whereas IIMs, despite being the top most colleges in the country to provide courses on management, offer a diploma as they are not affiliated to any university. Hence, they offer PGDM or PGP. Statistics show that out of every 10 management colleges, 9 offer PGDM, and only 1 offers MBA.
Is PGDM considered a Master’s?
This answer to this is slightly complicated, so let me break it down for you. This will help you understand the main difference between PGDM and MBA. PGDM offered by these colleges is autonomous or in other words, not university-affiliated.
However, this does not mean that PGDM is less valuable than an MBA. The corporate world and industry view the MBA and PGDM courses as equivalent. It is just that PGDM is a Diploma as individual institutes can only offer PGP and MBA is a degree.
At this point in time, many questions may arise in your mind, some of which may include-
For a successful corporate career, which course is better, PGDM vs MBA?
PGDM vs MBA in India, which is better?
Fear not! We are going to clear that dilemma for you in the next section.
11 Key Differences Between PGDM Vs. MBA
Comparison can be made on various grounds between an MBA and PGDM. However, understanding the foundational level to their professional implications is a must to develop a clear mindset. Before understanding the difference between PGDM vs MBA, we should find out what an MBA is.
An MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. This means that an MBA is a master’s degree that can only be offered by a UGC-approved university. UGC is the University Grants Commission, and all universities are listed under this.
On the other hand, a PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management. This is offered by deemed institutes and colleges under the AICTE or AIU-approved list. AICTE is an acronym for All India Council for Technical Education.
MBA & PGDM Entrance Exams in India
|Entrance Exams||Conducting Body||Mode of exam||Sections||Frequency|
|CAT (Common Admission Test)||IIMs (on a rotational basis)||Online||Quantitative Ability (QA), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)||Annually|
|IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade)||NTA (National Testing Agency)||Online||Logical Reasoning, English Grammar, Vocabulary and Comprehension, General Knowledge & Current Affairs, Data Interpretation and Quantitative Analysis||Annually|
|MAT (Management Aptitude Test)||AIMA (All India Management Association)||Online and Offline||Language Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Data Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, and Indian and Global Environment.||Four times a year – February, May, September, and December.|
|GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test)||GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council)||Online||Verbal, Quant, Analytical Writing Assessment, and Integrated Reasoning||Throughout the year|
|SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test)||Symbiosis International (Deemed) University||Online||English, Quant (Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency), and Analytical and Logical Reasoning||Annually|
|NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test)||GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council)||Online||Language Skills, Quantitative Skills, and Logical Reasoning.||Annually (with the flexibility of a 75-day testing window )|
|CMAT (Common Management Admission Test)||AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education)||Online||Verbal, Quant, and Logical reasoning, the exam has a General Awareness section.||Annually|
|XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test)||Xavier School of Management (XLRI) Jamshedpur||Online||Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision making, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge.||Annually|
|IRMASAT (Institute of Rural Management Anand Social Awareness Test)||IRMA (Requires CAT/XAT scores too)||Online||Quantitative Ability, Analytical reasoning, Issue of Social concern and English Comprehension||Annually|
Differences between MBA & PGDM
|Full-Form||Master’s in Business administration||Post Graduate Diploma in Management|
|Approved By/ Affiliated to||UGC||AICTE or AIU|
|Curriculum||Rigid, Vast & Rarely updated||Specific & industry-aligned|
|Value of Course||Master’s degree||Diploma|
|Higher studies||Can go for PhD||Can go for other PGP’s|
|Program||Offered by an institution that is affiliated to a University.||Offered by an institution that is not affiliated to any University.|
|Study Focus||Based on developing technical skills and business knowledge.||Based on Industry-specific needs & Practical skills.|
|Curriculum||Rigid, due to an involvement of the University.||Flexible & subject to change as per the colleges offering the PGDM.|
|Duration||Two to three years||One to two years|
|Controller of Examination||University||Institute itself|
|Job Market||Both Stand Equivalent for the corporate world|
Top Colleges Offering MBA & PGDM
- IIM's (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata et al)
- FMS Delhi
- NMIMS Mumbai
- Christ University
- TISS Mumbai
PGDM vs MBA: Consider These Factors to Make the Right Choice!
There are many factors that one needs to consider when trying to find out the difference between MBA and PGDM. Some of these factors are cost, time, effort, location, job prospects & placements, ROI, etc.
But, is PGDM or MBA better? The answer to this is based on the difference between PGDM and MBA which will lead you to choose the one better suited for you. For instance, if you are pressed for money but not time, you could opt for an MBA, as in some cases, a PGDM may have a higher fee and a shorter duration. Like these, numerous factors play a vital role in making this choice. However, the most important factor to consider is the career path we want.
Who Should Go For An MBA?
The people in support of an MBA may say that it is the better choice when you have to select between an MBA vs PGDM. However, this conclusion may be based on myths more than facts. Are we saying that an MBA is equivalent to a PGDM? Not exactly.
One fact that is missed by most of us is the value of the course. The value of an MBA degree is that it is a master’s degree, which might play a big role if you see yourself with a career in academics. If you are sure that you wish to pursue a Ph.D., following your postgraduate degree, then going for an MBA is important, as you will not be able to apply for a Ph.D. after a PGDM.
The curriculum of an MBA touches upon all the fundamentals of business administration and governing theories, leaving very little room to consider what the industry demands. An MBA curriculum will teach you all the core business theories that have helped businesses around the world survive and succeed. One may also find the MBA curriculum rigid and unrevised as all changes have to be first approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC) As a result, changes in the syllabus may be implemented only once in 3-5 years.
It is of utmost importance to recognize the interests and goals that will fuel your ultimate decision. In short, one might go for an MBA because:
- It is a master’s degree
- Can pursue a Ph.D. after MBA
- Provided by UGC accredited universities
- Duration is 1 or 2 years (based on the college or university’s curriculum)
- The curriculum is widespread and basic, touching all fundamentals of business
Who Should Choose To Do A PGDM?
PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma Program is a professional course. It teaches you the practical aspects of work by indulging in state-of-the-art learning techniques like experiential learning, case studies, vestibule training, etc.
So is an MBA and PGDM the same in terms of the curriculum? The course contents of MBA vs PGDM may be similar, but the purpose of each is different. Many renowned institutes offer a PGDM or PGP as they are autonomous, deemed colleges. By autonomous we mean colleges that are not affiliated to any university or institute and are recognized by AICTE as technical education providers. Colleges providing a PGDM or PGP can also be accredited by the AIU (Association of Indian Universities).
A PGDM curriculum is up to date and in sync with the current demands of the industry. In short, the reasons for choosing a PGDM are:
A PGDM’s curriculum is up to date and in sync with the current demands of the industry. In short, why you should choose to do a PGDM are:
- It is a Diploma degree
- Duration might be 6 months to 2 years
- Provided by autonomous and nodal institutes
- Considered by the industry to be equivalent to MBA
- Allows one to gain more insight by means of specialization in a field
Which is Better an MBA or a PGDM?
A clear career path is one we can define by understanding our own capabilities and professional endeavors. The key takeaway from this is the need to visualize one’s career path.
If we are sure about being in a particular field or are looking for a career change, we can go for a PGDM. However, if we want to learn about how businesses work or delve into the field of research or academics, an MBA may be the better choice.
So focus more on what you want, keeping in mind what is being demanded by the industry and job market. We say this because, for the world and India, an MBA and PGDM lead to the same career prospects.
PGDM graduates have the advantage of learning through practical workspace situations and experiences. An MBA graduate follows a classroom curriculum while gaining valuable knowledge through networking amongst their students, faculty, and alumni.
We should weigh in all the aforementioned factors alongside our personal goals to bring out the best in ourselves through our professional lives.
PGDM vs MBA FAQs
What is the difference between PGDM & PGP?
What is the difference in the syllabus & course structure between MBA & PGDM?
Whereas, in PGDM, the course syllabus is found to be more flexible which is frequently updated according to the industry needs & job requirements.
What program should I choose if I want to make a career in academics?
Which course is better to make a career in the corporate world?
What entrance exams would one need to qualify to study PGDM?
In the corporate world, is there any preference given to either an MBA or a PGDM graduate?
Which degree will give a higher-paying career, PGDM or MBA?
MBA or PGDM, which has more value?
MBA vs PGDM salary.
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