MBA VS PGDM: Key differences between the two

Keeping yourself regularly updated about the course of study you are presently pursuing or intend to pursue in the future can offer you a host of benefits. MBA and PGDM are one of the most popular courses that students are opting for today to add an extra edge to their career. However, there still lingers some doubts on the differences between the two and many students struggle to point out the dissimilarities when it comes to these two courses.
Both these courses are known to equip students with the skills set required to excel in the corporate world. Both courses are of maximum two years duration, during which a student is enriched with the functioning aspects of a company and are allowed to pick their field of expertise.

Mentioned below are some key aspects of these two courses, which can help students differentiate between the two:


PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management. This course can be considered as a diploma and also as a degree, which can sometimes confuse people. Post graduate courses are often called PGDM because the institutes offering these courses are autonomous or in other words, not affiliated with any university. These institutes cannot offer the MBA degree offered by a university affiliated institute and hence they tag the course as PGDM. It deserves mention here that the two statutory organisations in India that have regulatory power over all universities in the country are UGC (University Grants Commission) and AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education). While UGC is the governing body for all universities in the country, AICTE plays an advisory role for technical education only. Autonomous colleges offering PGDM course need to have AICTE accreditation – a mandatory check point before opting for a PGDM course.

The main benefit of opting for a PGDM course of an autonomous college is availability of more industry relevant and updated syllabus as compared to the MBA course, which lags slightly behind in this respect. As of late, online PGDM courses are gaining popularity due to their relatively easy curriculum and flexible study schedule, offering students the extra comfort to carry on their day to day work alongside pursuing the course.


MBA stands for Master of Business Administration and has many different aspects attached to it. This is basically a post graduate degree and can only be offered by a college which is affiliated with a university. It a full-time two year program where the first year offers an insight into the different functions of a business, while the second year allows students to pick a specialisation. The purpose of MBA is not only to make a competent professional, but also to create a confident personality. Today, there are several online MBA distance education courses offered by a number of universities, which provide students an opportunity to earn an MBA degree from the comfort of their homes.

So which is better, PGDM or MBA?

The answer to this question basically depends upon the type of college or university you pick for the course. Keeping the reputation of the institute aside, MBA is still considered as a better option than PGDM as it holds all the benefits of a degree, while a diploma is still considered less valuable. Also, the online distance education courses have a string of benefits to offer.

With so many options today, a thorough research focusing on relevance of the course content, opportunities for industry exposure and networking, quality of faculty and placement track record, among others, should precede the decision making process when it comes to choosing the best course, be it MBA or PGDM.

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