MBA vs PGDM: The Difference between a PGDM degree and an MBA degree

What is the difference between a PGDM degree and an MBA degree? Would like to answer? Well, this question has been asked so many times in so many different management forums and online MBA communities that we feel obliged to write about it for the benefit of our visitors.

And yes, we have an associated question, i.e., which one is better, an MBA degree or a PGDM degree? In other words, should I go for an MBA or for a PGDM?

Let’s check!

PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management. And, this is the word “Diploma” which fathers the confusion in the minds of the aspirants. Students get an impression that it is a Diploma course and not a Degree; which is actually partially right. The reason why postgraduate courses in management are named as Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) is because when an Institution is an autonomous body (not affiliated to any University) and provides management courses then such Institutions cannot offer MBA degree and offer diploma instead. Even prestigious institutions like IIMs, XLRI’s etc. don’t offer MBA degrees. They only offer PGP Diploma or PGDM since they are autonomous and independent bodies.

An autonomous Institute designs its own curriculum to be taught instead of following outdated University syllabus. Hence one can say that Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) courses are more Industry relevant as compared to MBA courses provided by universities.

MBA expands to Master of Business Administration. An MBA is a two year management degree and only universities can grant MBA degrees. It could be either foreign universities or Indian universities.

Which one should I go for? PGDM or MBA
A million dollar question…right??
Not exactly a tough question to answer. The answer is, go after the reputation of the institutes you are considering. So, if you are getting an opportunity to get admission in a particular MBA institute on the one hand and a PGDM institute on the other and you find that the institute providing PGDM to be better, go for it. And if you find MBA institute to be better, go for MBA institute instead. If you find both to be equivalent, go for MBA institute without giving a second thought.