Have you just obtained your undergraduate degree and are now looking forward to doing an MBA? Or, have you worked for a few years, gained a fair amount of work experience, and now wish to advance your career to higher levels in management? When you explore your options for an MBA, you will realize that there is another name to MBA courses offered by some of the business schools you are aspiring for. Simply put, you come across the PGDM course, which is a Diploma program in Management, whereas what you primarily seek is an MBA degree. The name might make you wonder if it is really equivalent to an MBA or not. So what is PGDM? And just how is it different (or similar) to an MBA degree? Let us find out.
What is a PGDM course?
The abbreviation PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management – which is a two-year business management program that caters to industry requirements and helps management aspirants develop relevant hard skills and soft skills to transform themselves into industry-ready management professionals. The primary reason why it is a Diploma program and not a Degree is the fact that Degrees are awarded by Universities governed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) while standalone business schools are mainly governed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and award diplomas instead of degrees. Is it as valuable as an MBA? Absolutely! We can safely say that PGDM programs add value beyond the regular MBA curriculum, and that is precisely what highly demanding recruiters look for.
What do MBA/PGDM aspirants look for?
A high-profile management job in a global organization is what most MBA/PGDM aspirants generally aspire for. A lot many of them want jobs that would present ample opportunities to showcase their talent and skills, challenge their intellect and knowledge, and satisfy their ambitious streak. The PGDM program prepares them for this with courses on different business functions such as Marketing, Operations, Finance, Business Analytics, HR & Organizational Behavior. The program moreover focuses on shaping progressive and mature leaders and therefore, also trains them in soft skills, team building, and communication.
Choosing the right PGDM program
It is crucial that you, as an aspirant, pick the right program and the right B-school that suits your career needs. You must aim to get into a top B-school in order to derive the maximum ROI from the two years you spend there. Going for a full-time PGDM course is a huge investment and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So, it is all the more important that you make a well-informed decision. Enumerated below are 7 crucial criteria that can help you choose the best PGDM or MBA course for yourself:
(1) Rankings & Accreditations:
Accreditations like AMBA, AACSB, EQUIS, and NBA, awarded by national & international bodies, are considered as a benchmark of overall quality in the management education sphere. These accreditations consider various aspects such as quality of faculty, curriculum, infrastructure, teaching methodology, and so on for benchmarking.
Rankings can also help in ascertaining the quality of a program. B-schools rankings are done by both Government as well as private bodies. The NIRF ranking done by the Ministry of Education (MoE) is a reliable source for this information. Rankings are done by publications such as Outlook India, Business Today & BusinessWorld can also be considered.
(2) Curriculum and Faculty:
A top-notch PGDM program is known for its industry-oriented curriculum. For instance, businesses nowadays are heavily data-driven and demand knowledge in emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Business Analytics, and Design Thinking. In order to stay ahead in the competitive and agile business environment, any management professional must have a fair amount of knowledge in these areas.
Faculty who are actively involved in research and have a deep understanding of the industry through experience offers a promising value proposition to students in the form of relevance and innovative teaching techniques. You can openly explore the online faculty directory of various b-schools to access this information.
(3) Alumni & Peer Group:
One essential part of the PGDM journey is the peer group. A good peer group must have students from diverse backgrounds so they can bring different perspectives in the classroom. Look at class profiles of the current PGDM students of b-schools that you are considering and understand the myriad avenues available for you to learn.
Also, look up the alumni on the websites of these institutions or simply search for them on LinkedIn, see what they are doing, connect with them and understand how the program has benefited them. It is always a good idea to get in touch with a few alumni and students to get a first-hand review of their experience.
(4) Summer Internship and Live Project opportunities:
Summer Internships and live projects are inseparable parts of a high-quality PGDM course. Corporates hire students as interns and students get to work on real-life business problems under the mentorship of experienced industry professionals. This hands-on experience provides an understanding of business processes and acts as a platform to apply and implement management concepts and models.
Students can also approach diverse companies, volunteer to work on a live consulting project, and develop solutions to their business problems. The value proposition is two-fold – (i) The students get a practical hands-on experience at performing the necessary research, processing information, and presenting a viable solution to the company, and (ii) The company gets an innovative out-of-the-box solution to their business needs, with fresh perspectives infused.
(5) International Immersion/Student Exchange:
International exposure can add great value to your PGDM qualification. A b-school that offers International Immersion or Student Exchange programs increases the value proposition of its PGDM program manifold by providing an avenue for its students to experience the culture of a foreign land, interact with people from different countries, understand their behavior and thereby add a global perspective to their management skills.
(6) Unique Proposition:
Identify what factors make the b-school standout. For instance, a particular institute may be a go-to institute for those who wish to pursue a PGDM in strategic marketing and communications, while others may specialize in Foreign Trade, or offer a complete specialization in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Analytics, and Blockchain to major in. This is where aspirants with specific goals in mind shortlist b-schools into their consideration set. You must look out for such value propositions that will benefit your career objectives in the long run.
(7) Placement Reports:
The placement record is the most sought-after parameter while choosing a PGDM course offered by a particular b-school. Most commonly, aspirants first look for the average, highest and lowest salaries offered. For many, the search stops there. While this is important in calculating the return on investment, it is not the only factor that needs to be taken into account. One must look at the companies that visit, the industries they represent, and the roles they bring for the students. Also, go back to your alumni research and see where they have reached after a few years of graduating. This will paint a long-term picture of how the program will actually benefit you.
Asian Business School (ABS) PGDM
Ranked 7th amongst ‘Top B-Schools of Excellence’ by CSR-GHRDC and awarded “Business School of the Year” by Academic Insights, Asian Business School (ABS) offers a two-year, full-time PGDM course in Delhi NCR. The programme is approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Ministry of HRD, and Govt. of India.
One of the many objectives of ABS’s Post Graduate Diploma in Management programme is to provide students with a strong theoretical and conceptual base through an international curriculum and effective pedagogy. The PGDM course is compiled from the latest industry practices and probing business case studies.
ABS students receive Dual Specialization from the electives Finance, Marketing, Human Resource Management, and Information Technology.
In order to provide students an exposure to the international business scenario, this top PGDM institution in Noida has a unique Student Exchange Programme with Oxford Business College (United Kingdom) – an independent education institution accredited by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education.
Asian Business School understands the requirement of the market and imparts the necessary tools that will have value additions in present as well as in the future. Thus, all ABS students also get a unique opportunity to earn the following 7 Diplomas & Certifications along with the regular PGDM:
- Executive Diploma in International Business from Oxford Business College, Oxford – London (U.K.)
- Executive Certification in Digital Marketing from NIIT
- Executive Certification in Big Data Analytics & Business Intelligence from NIIT
- Diploma in Media & Entertainment from Asian Academy of Film & TV
- Certification in Entrepreneurship from EDIC
- Certification in Business Gaming from AIMA BizLab
- Certification in Corporate Communication
For its PGDM program, Asian Business School accepts GMAT/CAT/XAT/CMAT scores and shortlists on the merits of the overall profile of a candidate.
Learn more about the PGDM course at Asian Business School and all the best for your PGDM Journey!