PGDM vs. MBA – What is the Wise Choice?


With the growth of corporate culture and entrepreneurship in India, the number of students opting for management studies has elevated and so has the institutes offering postgraduate courses in management. However, students are still unclear whether they should choose an MBA or PGDM/PGPM. The bigger ambiguity is, students, nowadays know very less about these courses, which leads to much confusion regarding which course one should choose and why. Although both the courses have leadership, managerial and business-oriented curriculum, they have quite a few technical differences as well.

To avoid this confusion, let us start decoding the terminologies and discuss the differences.

What is an MBA?

MBA stands for ‘Master of Business Administration’. It is a postgraduate degree and can be offered only by universities or institutes affiliated to universities. The curriculum of MBA is accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

What is PGDM/PGPM?

PGDM stands for ‘Post Graduate Diploma in Management’ and PGPM stands for ‘Post Graduate Program in Management’. However, both of these courses are similar to each other. Talking about just PGDM, it is a diploma course equivalent to an MBA, which is regulated by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

While both the courses have similar consequences regarding career perspective, some subtle points make these a little different to each other. Below, we have assimilated a few differences between PGDM and MBA courses:


The curriculum of both courses is different from each other. On one hand, where an MBA is a theoretical course, the curriculum for PGDM is more industry-oriented with emphasis on employability skills. While the syllabus for MBA is mostly the same in most of the colleges, listed under one university, colleges offering PGDM courses have different syllabi because PGDM curriculum is frequently upgraded to suit the changing business environment.


An MBA course has limited scope for innovation because the practices of the course are defined by its syllabus, which is prepared by the central body, i.e. University. However, training and academic delivery are multi-dimensional in a PGDM program as it consists of pedagogy, which includes Case Study, Simulations, Presentations, Short-term Training, Live-projects, etc.

Entrance Process

Although all management institutes have their own definitive entrance processes, however, to pursue higher education in these courses require qualifying in different types of entrance exams. To pursue PGDM course, you must qualify CAT/MAT/ XAT or ATMA, and some state-level examinations like JEMAT for colleges of West Bengal, MAH CET for colleges of Maharashtra, etc. While to pursue an MBA, you need to clear state-level entrance examinations like JEMAT, MAHCET, etc.

Examination Regulatory Bodies

The examinations of these courses are regulated by their governing authorities, such as MBA is regulated by UGC and the examinations of PGDM are regulated by AICTE.

Although these courses have a lot of differences, but on several levels they are at par with each other. There are around 3000 B-Schools in India, therefore aspects such as the B-School’s curriculum structure, pedagogy, faculty, corporate relationship programs, alumni network, track record of students’ performance in academics over the years and the impression and reputation the B-School becomes deciding factors for a successful high-paying corporate job whether it is an MBA or PGDM you are pursuing.

Among the 3000 B-Schools in India, Globsyn Business School (GBS) over the past 2 decades has continuously positioned itself as India’s only ‘Corporate B-School’ offering AICTE Approved two-years full time PGDM. With 360+ corporate relationships, 3000+ alumni and a record of 100% placements every year, GBS has established a globally networked, corporate-savvy, research-driven management education system that creates ‘Industry Relevant Managers’.

So for a bright and successful career ahead, no matter whether it is an MBA or a PGDM that you wish to pursue, be wise in your choice of the B-School.

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