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PGDM vs MBA: Decoding Management Education

23 August 2023

The journey of higher management education opens up a world of opportunities, and at the forefront are two intriguing paths: a PGDM degree or an MBA degree. One of the biggest dilemmas for individuals is deciding which one to pursue.

For a long time, PGDM vs. MBA has been a hot topic among individuals seeking a professional management degree. Although there are excellent career prospects in both fields, there are subtle differences that make each course unique and distinguishable from the other. Today, we shall decode this difference through an elaborative guide discussed below:

PGDM vs MBA: An Overview




Full Form

Post Graduate Diploma in Management

Masters of Business Administration

Recognised by

All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE)

University Grants Commission (UGC) of India


50% or above marks from any Undergraduate Degree Programme from a recognised university

50% or above marks from any Undergraduate Degree Programme from a recognised university

Entrance Exams

CAT, MAT, NMAT, SNAP, and others.

CAT, MAT, XAT, GMAT, and others.

Nature of Curriculum

PGDM courses are designed by the respective institutions that are approved by AICTE.

An MBA course is designed by universities and taught by UGC-affiliated colleges.


Regular and Distance Available

Regular and Distance Available

Types of Specialisation

  • PGDM in Marketing Management
  • PGDM in Human Resource Management
  • PGDM in Business Analytics
  • PGDM in Financial Management
  • MBA in Finance Management
  • MBA in Marketing Management
  • MBA in Human Resources Management
  • MBA in Aviation Management

PGDM vs. MBA: Course Duration

  • PGDM is a two-year professional diploma programme comprising four-semester examinations.
  • MBA is a two-year professional degree programme consisting of four-semester examinations.

PGDM vs. MBA: Curriculum

The curriculum of a PGDM programme can vary from one institute to another. However, the core curriculum typically covers a range of subjects aimed at providing students with a comprehensive understanding of various aspects of business and management. The teaching methodology used in the diploma programme includes classroom-based lectures, individual and group seminars, group discussions, case studies, assignments, industrial visits, and practical training in the relevant field. The evaluation method used in a semester session of the diploma includes three internal assessments and a main Examination.
Here's an overview of the common subjects and areas covered in a PGDM curriculum:

Foundation Courses:

  • Business Communication
  • Business Ethics and Corporate Governance
  • Managerial Economics
  • Organisational Behaviour

Core Management Subjects:

  • Marketing Management
  • Financial and Accounting Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Operations Management
  • Business Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The curriculum of an MBA programme typically covers a wide range of business-related subjects. These subjects are taught to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate effective management and leadership roles across various industries. During the MBA programme, a student must learn theory and practical training through internships, onsite project visits, real-life case studies, workshops, seminars, and so on. The evaluation method used in a semester session consists of mid- and end-term assessments. The specific curriculum can vary between different universities and programmes, but here is a general overview of the subjects that are commonly included in an MBA curriculum:

Core Business Subjects:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Micro and Macro-Economics
  • Business Statistics
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Law
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Marketing Management
  • Operations Management
  • Strategic Management

PGDM vs. MBA: Career Opportunities

Both the PGDM and MBA programmes offer excellent career opportunities for students upon graduation. With specialised domain knowledge and practical skills, PGDM and MBA graduates are well-equipped to take on leadership roles in corporate settings or embark on entrepreneurial ventures. Let us see some of the high-demand career prospects in each field:

Career Opportunities after PGDM

  • Sales Manager: Sales managers lead sales teams, develop sales strategies, and foster client relationships to drive revenue growth.
  • Operations Manager: Operations Manager optimises processes, supply chains, and production efficiency to ensure smooth business operations.
  • Business Analyst: Business Analysts assess data and trends to provide valuable insights for informed business decisions.
  • Product Manager: Product Managers manage the lifecycle of products, from development to launch, to maximise profitability.
  • Retail Manager: Retail Managers oversee retail operations, sales, and customer service in a store or chain.

Career Opportunities after an MBA

  • Digital Marketing Manager: Digital Marketing Managers lead online marketing efforts, including social media, SEO, and content strategies.
  • Finance Manager: Finance Managers oversee financial activities, making sure budgets are on track, investments are wise, and financial goals are met.
  • Marketing Manager: Marketing Managers oversee a brand's development, positioning, and promotion to increase its visibility and customer loyalty.
  • Human Resources (HR) Manager: HR Managers are responsible for workforce management, recruitment, training, and employee relations to ensure a productive and motivated workforce.
  • Project Manager: Project Managers plan, execute, and monitor projects to ensure successful completion within time and budget constraints.

Which one to choose—PGDM or MBA?

  • Considering the present business landscape, opting for PGDM courses appears more advantageous for students.
  • PGDM courses focus on practical learning and possess stronger industry relevance in today's job market whereas MBA programmes are more theoretical-oriented.
  • With a customised syllabus updated annually, PGDM offers broader exposure to diverse business concepts compared to an MBA as MBA programmes might take longer to update their curriculum due to university regulations.
  • Moreover, PGDM's unconventional teaching methods prepare students to tackle real-world challenges beyond traditional academia.
  • PGDM programmes often offer a wide range of specialised courses, allowing students to tailor their education to specific areas like marketing, finance, operations, etc. MBA programmes may have a more general curriculum compared to PGDM courses.

Way Forward

To conclude, this article provides a comprehensive comparison between PGDM and MBA, highlighting the distinct features of both options. Given the evolving business trends in 2022-23, PGDM emerges as a more promising choice for aspiring business leaders. We hope through this article, students were able to gain insights into both programmes' prerequisites and future benefits, aiding them in making a well-informed decision about their career path.

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