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Feb 19 Difference between MBA and PGDM course

Difference between MBA and PGDM course

There are many individuals who are often in a confusion when they are offered a Master’s level course. The confusion worsens up when the B-schools offer various courses in order to enhance their respective academics and management. To help you have a better understanding what the courses impact in future and help you decide which one is better for your candidature, let us first understand the basic details of this course.

Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is a degree course that can be completed within two or three years of duration. This degree course can only be offered by a University. If an Institution is offering an MBA course, then the Institution has to be affiliated to the University.

Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) is another name for a Master’s level program which runs for one or two year’s period. PGDM is a diploma course which is not a degree course, technically but is equivalent to a MBA degree program. This course is offered only by the Autonomous Institutions who are not affiliated to any other University, thus making the course as PGDM. These Autonomous Institutions conduct their own management course and have their own curriculum which is regularly updated according to the corporate standards.

The main difference between MBA and PGDM courses is the affiliations of the Institutions. As MBA degree is provided by the college that is affiliated to Universities under the University Grant Commission (UGC) only, PGDM course is offered by the colleges that are autonomous and are not affiliated to any University. The aspirants who are interested in doing PGDM course has to be very cautious while choosing the college. It is advisable if they choose the college or institute which is affiliated to AICTE. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is an advisory body who plays an important role in the development of technical education in the country.

Whether you are opting for MBA or PGDM, the value of the course remains the same. Though there are minor differences between the two, read the following to know which one is better suited for you.

Degree versus Diploma:

At the end of the course, PGDM candidates graduate with a Diploma certificate and the MBA candidates graduate with a degree certificate. The myth here is, the PGDM course does not hold the same value as that of an MBA degree. But the truth is, all the top management institutions like IIMs, XLRI, SP Jain and few others offer PGDM courses and not an MBA degree program.


The MBA program curriculum is designed by the University. All the colleges that offer MBA program under a particular University will have the similar syllabus. The University does not update its syllabus for years, it misses out on the regular upgradation that is required in a renowned B-school. . In case of PGDM courses, the syllabus differs from the individual institutes. The college has a flexibility to design the course curriculum and upgrade it according to the corporate requirements. Unfortunately, this does not happen with the MBA syllabus.


The MBA syllabus focuses more on theoretical aspects of management while the PGDM course focuses more on building soft skills and giving the students exposure of the corporate world. Though both the courses have the same core subjects, the approach towards teaching is different. MBA courses do not adopt the practical approach like the PGDM colleges who focuses on the industrial and market requirements.

Professional Impact

If a candidate is having a PGDM certificate instead of a MBA degree certificate, they should not consider this as a drawback. Both MBA and PGDM course has equal value in India and overseas, whether it comes to career or recognition or any similar aspects. The only important thing that has to be considered is the reputation of the University or the Institute and also know what the alumni of the college has to say.

Now as the differences of both the courses are clear, it is you who has to make a choice according to your preferences. However, as experts say, if you are interested in the corporate world or want to be an entrepreneur, then PGDM course preferable for you.

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