Difference Between MBA and PGDM Course | Get the details of MBA Vs PGDM Course

Difference Between MBA and PGDM Course:

Management is the efficiency to scale the ladder of success. It is a methodology where art, science, and crafts meet. With the rise of allied education as well as reassurance to entrepreneurship in India, there are many students who hunt for management courses. Management is one of the most sought after fields as per the demand of organizations. Today, there is no dearth of universities and institutes in India which offer postgraduate programs in management.

However, students often find themselves faced with the choice of two such courses, namely MBA and PGDM. There are a number of aspirants who are often doubtful about the difference in titles as well as the content. This leads to much confusion concerning which course one should opt for, and why?

About MBA Course:

MBA short for Masters of Business Administration is 2-year post-graduate degree in Management offered by colleges affiliated to universities. So, only universities can provide MBA programs. They are considered to be among the most prestigious ones in the world. Applicants for MBA program study the theory and application of business and management principles. MBA programs prepare students with knowledge that can be applied to a variety of real-world business situations.

MBA degree adds an extra competing edge to any professional resume - whether you come directly from an undergraduate degree or are a moving professional.MBA programs are beneficial for specialists who seek employment in the public, non-profit and private sectors, or even business ownership.

About PGDM Course:

PGDM for Post Graduate Diploma in Management is a diploma programme offered by the institutes that are recognized by the All India Council for Technical Education. PGDM is an autonomous body that is not affiliated to any university. The course studies the intricacies of management and sharpens the mind of an individual to tackle out daily obstacles. Various entrance exams that are conducted for admission in the course are MAT, CAT, XAT, ATMA, etc. post

Specializations of MBA and PGDM Course 

Top Specialization in MBA/PGDM



Disaster Management



Import & Export





Human resource

International Business



International Business


Business analytics

Agriculture & Food Business


Digital marketing

Business Economics



Oil & Gas



Textile Management




MBA Eligibility Criteria:-
  • Candidates need to secure 60% marks in Class 12th from any recognized board in India (CBSE/ICSE).
  • Aspirants must be Graduated from any recognized university or institution with a minimum of 50%.
  • Minimum score criteria in Graduation which is 50% on average and for reserved category students the minimum score in 45% in aggregate
  • Final year Graduation candidates can also apply for MBA, provided they provide the proof of completion of Graduation degree within the duration specified by the Institute.
PGDM Eligibility Criteria:-

To go for Post graduation diploma in management (PGDM) course, applicants must possess a Bachelor's degree, with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks in graduation as well as entrance examination.

The bachelor’s degree gained by the candidate must involve a minimum of three years of education after completing higher secondary schooling.

Approving Authorities:-

MBA- AICTE, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India, UGC Approval is needed at the university level for MBA

PGDM- AICTE, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India

Academic difference:-

Both the courses aim to train in management and administration, their approach ranges significantly. While an MBA course gravitates to be more theoretical, PGDM focuses on the technical aspects, providing exposure to real-life business situations. Another advantage of a PGDM is, as it is offered by autonomous institutes, the curriculum can be upgraded more frequently to include the new changes and trends in business management.

However, if you wish to pursue higher education abroad, a PGDM is considered to be a diploma, while a university-affiliated MBA is counted as a degree, giving you a better standing.


MBA course curriculum is designed by the university. The syllabus will be pretty much same in two MBA colleges under the same university. However, PGDM courses are defined by individual institutions. Every year syllabus undergoes a change according to the requirements of the industry. For people who are interested in the corporate world or want to be an entrepreneur, PGDM would be more suitable for those candidates.

Job Context: India and Abroad:-

In terms of job context, there is absolutely no difference between MBA and PGDM, if one comes from a reputed business school. Placements depend on the name of the college, the ranking of the college, and reputation of the institution in the market/industry.

There are top management colleges which offer  PGDM course but not MBA. The performance and judgments are not based on a person’s credentials but are based on performance.

MBA Admission Process:-

The admission process of MBA in India in all the top institutions is a four-step process. These 4 steps of the admission process are applicable to all the MBA colleges.

Step-1: Register & Apply for MBA Entrance Exam:-

Admission process in top MBA institutes commences in the first week of August/September and will conclude in the last week of November. Desiring applicants must register and apply for the relevant MBA entrance exam like CAT/XAT/NMAT/SNAP/ IIFT/within the specified registration date.

Step-2: Appear in MBA Entrance Exam:-

The candidate who wishes to pursue management courses from to top MBA colleges must appear in  CAT, XAT, NMAT or other relevant entrance exams.

Step-3: Shortlisting Process:-

After the declaration of results in January, most of the top B-schools will shortlist the suitable candidates for final admission round on the basis of exam scores, work experience among other parameters.

Step-4: Final Admission Process- GD-PI-WAT Round:-

All the shortlisted candidates will have to appear in the Group Discussion (GD), Written Ability Test (WAT) followed by Personal Interview (PI). On the basis of their performance in the last selection round, the final merit list will be created and admission offers will be made by the particular B-school.

PGDM Admission Process:-

There are several parameters involved in order to get admission in top PGDM colleges:

1: The candidate needs a Valid Score Card from - CAT/ MAT/ XAT/ CMAT/ ATMA exams.

2: The candidate must possess good writing and reading communication skills, which is an integral part of the admission procedure.

3: Some Institutes conduct an Internal Admission Test (Aptitude Test along with English Assessment)

4: Final selection is done after GD(group discussion ) and PI (personal interview).

Are MBA and PGDM Equal?

It is not compulsory that PGDM is equal to MBA because then the college offering the PGDM course must have permission from AIU (The Association of Indian Universities).

Top Reasons to Choose MBA:-

Although both MBA and PGDM are similar in outcomes in terms of employment perspective, there are still some differences as shared below:

1.MBA a Degree programme:- After the completion of an MBA programme, students are awarded an MBA degree instead of a Post Graduate Diploma.

2.MBA is accepted globally for employment:- MBA degree is well recognized for global employment opportunities and is acceptable by all the recruiters. Top business schools in the world offer MBA degree and not PGDM diploma.

3.MBA degree - the requirement for higher studies abroad:- Applicants can pursue higher studies like a doctoral programme abroad, as an MBA degree makes an impact and is acceptable. Foreign universities ask for an MBA degree instead of diploma to offer admission in the Ph.D./Doctoral program.

4.MBA backed by University: MBA degrees are granted by the Universities. There is unity in education, learning among all the University affiliated colleges. Besides, students do not have to exercise so much caution while opting for an MBA course offered by the University or University colleges as they carry all the university related credentials.  

The candidates find difficulty in receiving their paid PGDM fees back. Since the MBA colleges are affiliated to a University and Universities are controlled by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the colleges have to abide by the university norms.

Top Reasons to choose PGDM:-
  1. Industry oriented course structure:- Course structure of PGDM is such that it is more industry-oriented as compared to an MBA. Since self-governing institutes offer this course, therefore the curriculum is kept in accordance with the latest developments. Also, PGDM has a more practical approach, whereas, MBA just gives you more kind of bookish knowledge.
  2. Preference for Higher Studies:- Many reputed B-schools in India, as well as Abroad, give more opportunities to PGDM students over MBA students. This is due to the practical insight which PGDM provides as MBA focuses more on theoretical lacks.
  3. Better Placements:- Being autonomous in nature, Institutes offering PGDM courses provide reputed placements opportunities. On the other hand, MBA doesn’t guarantee you a job and you have to struggle on your own for placement.
  4. Learning Opportunities:- PGDM offers more learning opportunities, Seminars and workshops are conducted in order to give practical information. Top industry managers are called guests to give speeches so that the students get motivated. Industries also prefer autonomous institutions for campus recruitments.
Famous MBA Institutes in India:-
  • Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi
  • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune
  • Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Mumbai
  • Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai
  • Institute of Management, Nirma University (IMNU)
Famous PGDM institutes in India:-
  • Indian Institute of Management (IIMs)
  • Xavier School of Management (XLRI), Jamshedpur
  • SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai
  • NMIMS (Bangalore/Hyderabad)
MBA Job Profiles:-
  • Public policy manager
  • Data analytics
  • Product manager
  • Entrepreneur
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Telecom Manager
  • NGO Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Sports Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Transport & Logistics Manager
PGDM Job Profiles:-
  • Business Analytics Consultant
  • Retail Manager
  • Rural Management
  • IT & Systems Manager
  • Business Economics
  • International Business Manage
  • Agriculture & Food Business

However, when we talk from the prospects of higher education, there is a difference between both the courses because the MBA degree helps you a bit more as compared to PGDM diploma. MBA gets you marked against Master’s degree while PGDM gets you marked against masters-diploma. It does not matter which course you opt, important is which college you choose to pursue the course.

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Date: 10 Jan 2019

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