What is the Difference Between MBA & PGDM? Must Read for Every MBA Aspirant!

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One of the most difficult phases a student goes through after completing graduation is deciding on which programme to go for in further higher education.

However, when you want to join the bandwagon of future managers, then an MBA is the best option to move forward.

Wait, there’s PGDM too!

Now, what is the difference between MBA and PGDM, or is there any difference at all?

Yes, of course, both are the postgraduate level management courses.

PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management; whereas MBA is Masters in Business Administration. Both the course have different specialisations.

Difference between MBA and PGDM

For all those who wish to build a career in a senior managerial position knowing the difference between these two courses in the beginning.

Before you rush to take the entrance tests and fill the application forms for your dream institute, it is important that you get the basics sorted out.

So, let us see MBA and PGDM up close.

The foremost difference between both these courses is that – PGDM is a diploma course, while MBA is a degree course.

Incidentally, many people have an idea that the market value of a diploma program (PGDM) does not match the level of a degree (MBA). Anyhow, that is just a notion.

In reality, the main difference is that MBA is a degree programme conducted by Universities and colleges with affiliation to those Universities.

The diploma programme, i.e., PGDM is the course that is conducted by those autonomous institutes that are recognized by the AICTE approved by the Ministry of HRD and Government of India.

As of now, even the IIMs offer a Diploma course and not degree. The MBA programme is approved, all these three authorities, anyhow, it is also important to get approval from UGC.

So, it is important to understand your career objectives and go for a reputed college instead of stressing on degree or diploma.

Since PGDM is the course that is offered by the autonomous bodies, you must take extra care to validate whether a particular college has got the essential accreditations. Only after confirmation should you apply for the admission there. There are some small colleges or say institutes that do not have proper accreditation status. On the other hand, MBA degrees programmes are conducted by the universities, with lower chances of fraudulence.

Another factor for differentiating MBA and PGDM is the syllabus. In the majority of the MBA courses; the curriculum is formulated by the university and therefore is pretty rigid in that sense. So, the core syllabus is expected to be the same in two different MBA colleges recognised by the same university.

On the flip side, PGDM courses are designed by an institute individually, which leads to more flexibility in the curriculum. Even various changes are made in the syllabus every year by changes in the industry. Therefore, colleges offering a PGDM programme are expected to be more suitable and aligned with the trends in the corporate world.

The core subjects of both courses, i.e. MBA and PGDM are common. However, the experts claim that the MBA programmes are more focused on the technical and theoretical aspects related to management rather than the adoption of practical knowledge.

On the other hand, PGDM courses are more focused on the industry and its practical knowledge. This course is designed to develop the skills needed in the current market. PGDM course is, therefore, more helpful for the students to develop practical marketing skills with the consideration of industrial perspectives.

Now, this is certainly one of the major factors for differentiating both the courses, i.e. PGDM and MBA.

As a general observation, it reveals that the tution fee for MBA are overall lesser when compared to that of the PGDM courses.

One of the reasons behind it is that most of the MBA offering colleges are approved by the government. Hence, they get good financial support from the government and consequently getting the degree is more economical for the students.

But in the case of PGDM, the candidate has to bear all the cost for the entire program as there is no financial support offered to the college by the Government. However, this not a rule, since you will find many MBA programmes with high tuition fees as well.

Training and teaching are multi-dimensional under PGDM; even activities like cases, presentations, short-term trainings, and simulations are the part of pedagogy.

Whereas the scope of innovation in MBA is also very good as the syllabus is finalized by the university and does not only rotate around bookish knowledge. For eg: at University, we primarily focus on our students and their overall personality rather than just theoretical knowledge.

The institution is primarily known to imbibe real life skills among the students so that they thrive to reach a pedestal.

An individual can get entrance in PGDM through CAT/MAT/ATMA/XAT and also state level examinations like MHCET, TSICET. Some universities consider only state level entrance exams for MBA, but a few also accept CAT and MAT.

Colleges accepts CAT, XAT, NMAT, MAT and GMAT scores for admissions.

According to the business magazines and student-centric websites, 90% out of the top 100 institutes offer PGDM courses in India. But that does not mean that MBA colleges are anywhere far behind them.

  1. Diploma Degree
  2. Accreditation Check
  3. Syllabus and Curriculum
  4. The focus of the Course
  5. Expenses
  6. Innovative Teaching Methods
  7. Entrance Examinations
  8. Ranking

MBA vs. PGDM – Impact on Your Career

Now, let us take a deeper look by dividing the career impact of these courses into two subparts, i.e. higher education perspective and jobs perspective.

Starting with higher education perspective; yes, there is a major difference. Acquiring an MBA degree helps the indivisuals to get a little more value when compared to a diploma.

MBA gets the individual marked against the master’s degree; while the PGDM gets the individual marked against a diploma. But that is no way relatable to the industrial success record of students or the difference in knowledge that is imparted in the institutes!

And with the perspective of getting a job, there is not any major difference at all. Securing a placement with a top company in the industry is bound to be a cakewalk if the individual comes from a reputed business school in India.

Here it is important to note that the factor which makes all the difference is the infrastructure of the institute that comprises the faculty, as well as the teaching methodology. Besides, the track record and reputation of the institute is also what differentiates it from the rest. Hence, needless to say, a degree or diploma from a well-reputed institute would always be valued more for obvious reasons!

Hence, if you are looking to build a successful career path in the field of management, it barely matters that which course you choose. All that matters is the institute that you go for, therefore think practically at the time of finalizing institute for your management course.


The difference between the MBA programme and PGDM programme is very well understood by now. So, you can easily arrive at a decision keeping in mind your career objectives and also the offerings of these courses.

Do make sure that you prepare yourself really well for the entrance examinations so that you can bag a seat in a reputed management institute.

Even if you have to bear hefty course fees, remember that it is a one-time investment that is going to fetch you returns for a lifetime. So wishing you a brilliant career ahead!

Executive MBA, unlike normal MBA courses, offers a lot more than the vocational training of managerial skills.

The course of an EXecutive MBA is crafted keeping in mind the evolving needs of the business sector. 

Also includes tricks and tips to satiate it by bringing the perfect blend of practical and theoretical approach.

If you are a young professional and not a fresh graduate, but possess the stamina to learn more, then executive MBA is designed for individuals just like you!

You just have to figure out from which college and in which segment you want to pursue it on. And also if you own the zeal to face and conquer unforeseen challenges, then you are just the right candidate to bag the MBA Degree ?


What is an Executive MBA?

The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) is a degree program that specifically targets corporate executives and managers who are already in the workforce. ... Typically, EMBA students are fairly senior in their fields and possess considerable work experience before entering the program.

The Benefits of Pursuing an Executive MBA.

An executive MBA is as lucrative and advantageous as regular MBA for a working professional.

It so happens in most multinational companies that after a few years of experience, growth and salary prospects would get stagnant.

The best thing is with your newly acquired skills and knowledge about the business world you could be assigned leadership or managerial roles in your current organization.

But even if your company doesn’t have vacancies in the managerial department, then fret not, because you possess a chance to get promoted with a hiked salary.   

You would get most of your enriching experience by working in an organization for 4 or more years. But do you hesitate when someone asks you to take a lead? If yes, then you are still unaware of your leadership qualities.

Thus in order to get a complete insight, you need to expose yourself to the simple but highly crucial tricks which would be covered in your Executive MBA course.

The more industrial experience you would be exposed to, the more ready you will become to wear the coat of a manager.

What is the scope of pursuing an Executive MBA in India?

As you have already assumed, that this genre of MBA, when completed with an AAAA+ grade, can earn you ample opportunities, provided you own the tenacity to absorb them.

Another report says in order to get this 100% hiked salary professionals usually have to wait for 4-5 more promotions in their current job, without an MBA degree.

In 2016 one of the top B-school noticed some of the professionals being offered senior roles with the salary climbing up to INR 1 crore.

Recruiters regularly hunt for candidates possessing the right blend of academic knowledge and industry experience.

Apart from the salary, one should also remember the glory they are gifted with the senior managerial roles in the renowned industries of all time. 

Even if not senior roles than one with a maximum of 6-8 of industrial experience after completing the post-grads from one of the renowned B-school can at least expect up to 60-70% salary hike than their previous job.

You can also put it in this way, some organizations besides sponsoring for their employees’ executive MBA courses also put them in senior roles thereby hiking up their salaries.

Thus, if you are not too keen to switch your company, you can directly talk it out with your managerial head.

If you are getting all the industry exposure and rich knowledge as well as huge team support from your organization, you should keep yourself latched to the job and consider about sitting in the Vice president’s throne after successfully completing the MBA course.

If you are worthy to your company, they wouldn’t mind promoting you thereby incrementing your pay slip figure.

The scope of executive MBA is huge, but if and only if you extract the best of it by studying hard and extracting all the knowledge and implement them in the industry.

What to check before opting out for an institute to pursue the executive MBA course?

Firstly ask yourself this question ‘is executive MBA worth it’?

That is to say, can you provide penultimate efforts into it to make the resultant much more gigantic and exemplary?

If you are confident and brave enough to study after leaving college for 5-7 years then no one can stop you from reaching your goal.

If you are ready to gift yourself the competitive edge which you think you may have been lacking them remember these points before making your decision final:


Here is the one of the mind-boggling fact to sum this all up. According to an Indian newspaper most US and UK recruitments taking place in India usually hire the top scorers of the Executive MBA programs from the top management institutes.

So, now, what more reason can someone possibly want to pursue Executive MBA today?

  • Steadily Climb up the Seniority Ladder
  • Brings out your Leadership Skills
  • Become a Prized Possession
  • Flexible classes and timing
  • Moderate scoring
  • Interactive sessions with professionals
  • Job security
  • Not enough social life
  • Fees
    • Only a few private B-schools, which are amongst the top 5 or top 10 conduct recruitment drive for their students. If you are keen to switch to a better job, then you better enquire whether your dream institute is really living up to its reputation.
    • If you want to earn while you study, then you must choose the tenure of the program carefully. The most suited for the Indian professionals in the 1-year executive MBA course. However, you can decide about studying from an online program if it satisfies your needs.
    • Executive MBAs can be expensive, so if it’s you who are applying for the course and not your company then you better take a good look at the recruitment records of the past few years.