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MBA vs PGDM: Why MBA Degree Is Better Than AICTE PGDM?

MBA vs PGDM: Experts from PGDM Colleges call MBA programs Outdated, while MBA colleges call PGDM program a mere Diploma. An MDI Gurgaon Alumni explains why MBA is Better than a PGDM.

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MBA vs PGDM is an ongoing debate, but what is the difference between MBA and PGDM and which is a better program between the two remains a big question for aspiring management students.

Students aspiring to get into Top Business School are searching for the best pathway to achieve their goals. As the entrance season advances, the dilemma for the management aspirants continues – MBA vs PGDM and which Business School to opt for?

EurAsian Times analyses the difference between the two programs and analyses why an MBA Degree could have more advantages than a PGDM Program.

The confusion to select a PGDM or MBA course reaches the peak when the students start visiting the colleges for counselling and GD/PI sessions. All business schools boast about their Excellent Placements Record, Faculty from the IIM’s and IIT’s, International Exposure, etc leaving the management aspirant in a total state of confusion.

What adds to the confusion level are the Education Consultants who further confuse the students for their petty monetary gains. At some point in time, students get so frustrated that they stop taking all the calls for admissions. EurAsian Times crisply attempts to explain the difference between MBA and PGDM.

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MBA vs PGDM: What’s the Difference?

Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) is a degree course provided by the University or colleges recognized by the Universities which are approved by University Grants Commission (UGC), and sometimes also by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) is also a Masters’s degree program, offered by the autonomous institute or colleges, that have received their approvals from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Some of the top business schools like IIM’s and ISB’s offer PGDM / PGPM program (and strangely they are not approved by the AICTE) as they do not have collaboration with any University. But these B-Schools have an outstanding placement record and great international reputation and do not bother about AICTE approvals. Neither do the organizations show any concern or preference.

Colleges offering the MBA program follow the academic syllabus provided by Universities (which usually cannot be easily modified or changed) while PGDM syllabus is flexible and institutes like IMT, MDI, XLRI, IIFT, SP Jain, NMIMS have the flexibility to modify their course within the AICTE approved parameters giving them a tremendous advantage.

Which Program is Better – MBA or PGDM?

MBA vs PGDM is an unending debate and honestly, a lot depends on which University or College a student is getting (based on entrance exam score like CAT / XAT / MAT etc) rather than the program itself i.e. MBA or PGDM. The PGDM program claims to follow a more practical approach to studies, compared to the MBA (which is not always true).

MBA from top institutions like FMS, IIT, DTU are equally acceptable and sought after in the market. The major difference between MBA and PGDM is that MBA course fee is usually less than the PGDM program, as PGDM comes with a variety of industrial trips, international exposure programs, besides being a revenue generation model for the institutions. (A PGDM Program at the IIM’s could cost up to 28 Lacs, whereas MBA from FMS-Delhi University would only cost about 2 Lacs).

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Corporates recognize talent from both the programs and are more interested in better brands and students, and don’t really care about MBA or PGDM. Students have an apprehension that after PGDM, they would not be able to pursue higher studies like PhD but if a PGDM is AIU approved, students will be eligible for PhD programs as well.

However, be assured that having a PGDM Degree instead of MBA degree will not make any difference to your corporate career in India, as at the end, it is the student who matters!.

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The students need to be very clear about their choice of the PGDM or MBA program and institute they are opting for. Students must evaluate the brand of business school, as a business school with higher brand value will provide a good learning environment and a large network of alumni.

MBA vs PGDM: Which is Finally Better?

Both the programs i.e. MBA and PGDM are good and very similar. What matters most is the business school you are getting, based on your score. Which Business School would you choose – MBA from FMS-Delhi University or PGDM from IIM-Lucknow?

Better ROI: If I had to make a choice, I would certainly choose FMS-DU as the fee is drastically less than IIM-Lucknow and return on investment is much much faster. However, there is a dearth of top-notch Universities providing MBA Programs, and students have no option but to opt for expensive PGDM programs.

Government Jobs in India: Besides the corporate sector, many government organizations still, unfortunately, do not recognize the PGDM Diploma and Government Jobs is one area where MBA Degree holders will have an edge over others.

International Jobs: If you ever opt for immigration or overseas opportunities, chances are your PGDM will either not be recognized or valued as high as an MBA Degree. Even the IIM’s have been striving to provide MBA programs rather than Diplomas and once that happens, the PGDM programs will lose the sheen and colleges would lose massive business.

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Key Differences Between MBA and PGDM

Parameter
MBA from Govt. University
MBA from Private University
Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)
Private PGDM Colleges
Programme offered
Masters of Business Administration
Masters of Business Administration
Post Graduate Programme in Management(PGP)
Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM)
Award
Degree
Degree
Diploma
Diploma
Number of programme offering institutes
2000+
500
20
500
Top Institutes/colleges
FMS – Delhi University; IIFT Delhi-Deemed University; JBIMS – Mumbai University; PUMBA-Pune University
Affiliated colleges of Govt Universities like Anna University, Bangalore University etc.
Top Private Universities are NMIMS-Mumbai; Symbiosis –Pune; XIM-XUB Bhubaneswar.
More than 100 Private Universities offer MBA
IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode and other 14 new and newest IIMs
XLRI, SPJIMR, MDI, IMI, IMT, TAPMI, KJ Somaiya, BIMTECH, …
Degree/Diploma recognized/approved by
University Grants Commission (UGC)
University Grants Commission (UGC)
Recognized by Ministry of HRD
All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
Curriculum
Rigid, because approvals required from University
The curriculum at most Government Universities and Colleges is theoretical, and not frequently updated.
The curriculum at good Private Universities like NMIMS and Symbiosis is at Par with IIMs, top PGDM B-schools.
Flexible and Frequently Updated.
Focus on Industry needs and job requirements as Placement is key student expectation.
Flexible and Frequently Updated.
Focus on Industry needs and job requirements as Placement is key student expectation.
Programme suitable for
MBA offered by Government Universities is more suitable for candidates interested in earning a Degree for higher studies, academic career.
MBA offered by top Private Universities is good for both corporate career and academics.
Students focus on enhancing their employability skills for a better corporate career, job or starting their own enterprise.
Students focus on enhancing their employability skills for a better corporate career, job or starting their own enterprise.
Fee
Fee at Government University/Colleges is low. FMS Delhi fee is just Rs 25,000 for the full MBA course.
Bangalore University prescribes 2-year fee of fewer than 200,000 lakhs.
Private University MBA fee is at par with IIMs, PGDM B-schools based on their market acceptance.
NMIMS Mumbai fee is Rs. 17.44 lakhs; SIBM Pune fee is Rs. 18.25 lakhs
IIMs have a comparatively higher fee structure.
IIM Ahmedabad fee is Rs.21 lakhs, IIM Bangalore fee is Rs.19.5 lakhs, IIM Calcutta fee is Rs.19 lakhs.
Top PGDM B-schools charge between Rs 10 lakhs to Rs20 lakhs for 2 year MBA.
SPJIMR fee is Rs. 16 lakhs, MDI Gurgaon fee is Rs.18.89 lakhs, IMI New Delhi fee is Rs. 15.41 lakhs
Fee for many good PGDM B-schools is between Rs. 5-10 lakhs also.
Programme duration
Two years
Two years
Two years
Two years
Exam conducted by
University
University
By the Individual IIM
By individual College/
Institute
Admission Process & Entrance Test
Some Govt. Central Universities and their colleges accept National level entrance tests like CAT/XAT and/or also conduct their own entrance tests.
Most Government colleges governed by State Governments, admit thru state level examination like MAHCET, PGCET, TANCET, although these colleges.
Top Private Universities conduct their own exams like NMAT, SNAP, X-GMT
Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by IIMs, is the mandatory entrance exam for Indian residents
B-schools can choose from one or many of 6 approved exams: CAT, XAT, CMAT, MAT, GMAT, ATMA

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