Many students who wish to secure managerial positions in the corporate workspace plan to pursue a management degree or diplomat upon completion of their graduation. However, a dilemma that troubles most students is whether they should opt for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) or a Post- Graduate Diploma in Management(PGDM).

Before arriving at your final decision, you must be fully aware of the differences that exist between both of these choices. Neither of the two is better than the other, as both have their advantages and shortcomings.MBA Is an internationally recognized two-year course, while a PGDM is generally a one year programme. It would help if you acquainted yourself with all the differences that exist between the two. So let us closely scrutinize PGDM and MBA differences.


The most crucial difference between the two is that while MBA is a postgraduate degree, PGDM is a diploma. One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that a Degree in Management holds more value than a Diploma. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The eligibility for MBA in India is quite different from PGDM.

The main difference that exists between the two is, while a degree in management can only be awarded by a college which is affiliated to any university; a Diploma can also be offered by autonomous institutions recognised by AICTE(All India Council For Technical Education) which is approved by HRD Ministry, Government of India. Students must aim to secure a seat in a reputable management institution rather than stressing too much about choosing an MBA or a PGDM.


Another important distinction between the two is that both have a slightly different syllabus and curriculum. In an MBA, the course structure is designed by universities, which tends to make the overall structure of the curriculum somewhat rigid. This means that two different colleges accredited to the same university have to follow the same curriculum. This curriculum is typically revised every 3-4 years, while on the other hand, management institutes that offer PGDM are at much more liberty to experiment and change their course structure.

Both of the courses are essentially similar to the overall course structure; only a few minor differences exist. Both packages contain the same material, which is just packed differently. While an MBA tends to focus more on management’s technical and theoretical aspects, a PGDM follows a more pragmatic approach where the focus is to teach students to apply their technical knowledge in practical situations. In MBA, the focus is also on students’ overall holistic development, aiming to imbibe within the students large skills set that they can put to fair use during their employment. A PGDM employs creative teaching methods where presentations, case studies, and short-term training form part of the course structure.


Another critical difference between an MBA and a PGDM pertains to expenses incurred by students while pursuing them. Generally, the expenses of pursuing an MBA are much less when compared to those of a PGDM. An MBA degree is awarded by colleges accredited by some universities, which generally gets good financial support from the government. However, institutions awarding a Diploma generally do not receive such generous funding from the government, so their fees are higher than an MBA.


The routes that are available for students for securing a seat in both these courses is quite different. Students get a seat in a management institute through various national level eligibility tests like CAT/XAT/MAT etc. At the same time, admissions to MBA is generally secured through state level entrance tests recognized by Universities. However, few universities also recognize scores of national level entrance tests like CAT, MAT, etc.


Eligibility criteria for both MBA and PGDM are the same in India. Students who hold a graduation degree with a minimum of 50% (45% in case of students belonging to SC/ST or PwD category ) from any recognized university in INDIA and abroad or an equivalent course recognized by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.


As is clear from our elaboration above, it has become amply clear that the difference between an MBA or PGDM is not much. More or less, both of them teach similar subjects and offer similar opportunities for your career. Some students might find it challenging to devote two years to a postgraduate MBA degree, so pursuing a one year PGDM might be the prudent choice for them. However, some students’ financial situation might not allow them to spend the extra bucks for a PGDM course, so an MBA is a wise choice for them. So, it solely rests upon you to make the right choice after assessing both the pros and cons of both PGDM and MBA.