MBA vs PGDM: Whats 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 degree program, offered by the autonomous institute or colleges, that have got their approvals from by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
Some of the top business schools like IIMs and ISB’s offer PGDM program (and strangely they are not approved by AICTE) as they do not have collaboration with any of the University. 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.
MBA or PGDM: Which Program is Better?
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 more practical approach to the studies, compared to MBA (which may not always be true).
An MBA from a recognized and top university like FMS-Delhi University also provides cutting-edge teaching methodology and latest academic curriculum. At the same time, PGDM from institutes like ISB, IIM’s, XLRI or other top institutes also provides strong brand value and are readily accepted by the industry.
MBA from top institutions like FMS, IIT, DTU are equally acceptable and sought after in the market as well. 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 30 Lacs, whereas MBA from FMS-Delhi University would only cost about 2 Lacs).
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.
Additionally, even if your PGDM program not approved by AIU, you can still do PhD or Doctorate from any of the Business School like IIM’s, MDI or other leading institutions. However, be assured that having a PGDM Degree instead of MBA degree will not make any difference to your corporate career, as at the end, it is the student who matters!.
The students need to be very clear about their choice of the PGDM program and institute they are opting for. The 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? 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 faster.
However, there is a dearth of top-notch Universities providing MBA Programs, and hence we are forced to opt PGDM programs which are equally good, but much more expensive.