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PGDM vs MBA: Which One Should a Management Aspirant Pursue?

Usually, MBA and PGDM are uttered under the same breath. Not many aspiring students understand the differences between the two and neither does the corporate sector give them any reason to do that. The fact is that the popularity of both has surpassed any other master’s degree and currently, job opportunities line up equally for both the MBA and PGDM holders. Nonetheless, matters tend to shift off course from the normal path down the line when these post-graduates seek to venture out to find new opportunities or target higher goals.

Hence, it is primary, as an aspirant, that you clearly understand the differences between the two courses before scanning the list of MBA/PGDM colleges in Noida and taking your pick. Take note of what MBA and PGDM mean to your present and future prospects and then decide which one you need to pursue for yourself. Let us get started with the explanations then:

PGDM vs MBA – What are they?

Break down the familiar short forms or abbreviations into their true terms and you will get the first obvious difference between the two courses. PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management while MBA translates into Masters of Business Administration. Hence, PGDM is actually a diploma course while MBA is a degree course. Naturally, not all colleges can offer you an MBA but many can give you a PGDM. Only universities or colleges affiliated to universities have MBA courses in their curriculum. The institutes who offer PGDM are generally autonomous, not affiliated to any university but approved by the Indian body called AICTE.

Being a degree and diploma, their course structure also tends to vary. Since PGDMs are offered by autonomous institutes, two courses from two colleges may not have the same curriculum. However, the MBA syllabus is monitored by a particular university. All the colleges affiliated to this university will have to follow a particular curriculum. And how does this matter to you? An autonomous college tends to teach on the lines of companies that visit their campus for recruitment. Their freedom allows them to structure their course specific to their ultimate needs. Although this may seem logical from a job point of view, matters may not seem merry when a broader picture is taken into account.

MBA is more management-oriented. Universities have to focus on the academic side as well. So, when you are pursuing an MBA, you get a perfect blend of theory and practical skills that you can take anywhere and not just to a few companies. And amidst all these, there is the vital catch from the corporate side of things. If you complete your degree from one of the top MBA colleges in Noida, the companies out there will not see any difference between your skillset and that of a PGDM.

Which one to pursue?

Apart from the difference in curriculum, there are few other differences between the two that are worth noting.

1) Fees for MBA is comparatively lower

As an MBA is offered by non-autonomous colleges, their fees structure is also regulated by their governing universities. Hence, the course expenses do not reach the sky-high limits of most PGDM programs out there. As the companies do not differentiate between an MBA holder and a PGDM holder, it might make sense to you to pursue a degree that costs you less.

2) MBA is universally accepted

PGDM losses out if you are inclined to shift base and settle abroad. Being a diploma, it will not make you a manager with a valid degree. But MBA has no such issues. If you pursue it in India, you can use it anywhere in the world to land a job at a managerial level. As a matter of fact, the top international B-schools offer MBA and do not have any scope for PGDM.

3) Chances for higher studies remain open with MBA

Here again, MBA being a degree, offers you the chance to augment your academic qualification. PGDM does not do that. You cannot go for a Ph.D. later with a PGDM but you can most certainly pursue a doctorate with an MBA. This again is a difference you need to keep in mind and make your choice based on your future ambitions.

In conclusion, it can be said that both MBA and PGDM have their respective advantages and a management aspirant needs to assess their own interests and priorities in making a choice between the two.