PGDM vs MBA: Which Would Make a Better Choice for Your Career?

PGDM vs MBA: Which Would Make a Better Choice for Your Career?

Eva R Sachdeva 12/06/2018 2

Do you hold a degree in business or wish to change career paths? Are you a recent graduate confused about what to take up for your further studies? If you are an MBA aspirant, you would have definitely considered the best colleges in the market. Having said that, you must also have started studying and researching your subject in order to make the cut.

If you think getting an MBA or Master’s of Business Administration is all you need to set your career straight, the world of education welcomes you its other alternative known as a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management. PGDM or Post-Graduate Diploma in Management is a diploma course offered by the institutes that are recognized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and which are autonomous and not affiliated with any university. It is a 2-year course which will train candidates into bright business professionals. They are trained in business economics, market structure, investment, retailing, entrepreneurship etc.

A lot of people gaining one or two years of experience in management studies further wish to pursue an MBA or a PGDM to enhance their skill set. While many think MBA holds a greater importance than a PGDM, some even hold the belief that both the courses are equivalent to one another. They are, in fact, very different from each other in terms of course content, value, fees and placement structure. However, accreditation by Association of Indian Universities (AIU) makes a university/college’s PGDM course equivalent to an MBA.Nikhilesh Mathur, an expert from says, “MBA and PGDM are both business orientated courses. The main aim of the courses is to equip a person who wants to move up in the hierarchy and enter into the management field.” While MBA is a degree course, a PGDM is a diploma course. Many students tend to believe that a diploma course holds lesser value than a degree course, but that is not the case. Top business universities in India offer PGP or PGDM courses which hold a great importance in the market, upon completion of the course.

According to the recent bill passed, IIMs have now been allowed to offer a proper MBA degree to the partakers, in place of a diploma. These institutes, being autonomous bodies have their own rules and management and thus offer what they feel would be best for their students. While most would like to go the old-school way, there are many who wish to take up a PGDM course. As marketing management is becoming a diverse subject, as the years progress, a PGDM course would be a viable option for students who wish to go further down this line. The course offers immense flexibility to students in terms of content delivery methods, hands-on project work, and career opportunities.

Why choose a PGDM course?

A dilemma in choosing the right course for yourself? Stated below is a list of reasons why you should choose a PGDM course over an MBA –

  • Certification: PGDM courses are created in affiliation with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and are certified by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). These certifications provide value to the course and are recognized by the top Indian universities. Earlier, a PGDM was not recognized for higher studies like M.Phil or Ph.Ds that seek a degree as a prerequisite. But now PGDM certificates of some top institutes are also being considered equivalent to an MBA for higher studies.
  • Curriculum: A student pursuing a PGDM course will be gaining knowledge regarding building soft skills and the course program is more industry-oriented. An autonomous institute does not have to follow university standards, so it is free to change its curriculum according to industry standards and change in the business environment. This gives a certain amount of flexibility to the university body. The course will prepare you for a senior level position in a company. Syllabus undergoes a change according to industrial requirements every year. Universities tend to lag behind and change their syllabus after a few years. “For people who are interested in the corporate world or want to be an entrepreneur, PGDM would be a more suitable choice,” further says Mathur.
  • Focus: While MBA courses focus more on technical and theoretical aspects of management rather than adopting a practical approach, PGP or PGDM courses have an industrial orientation and focus on skills based on market requirements. The students have the opportunity to move beyond the classroom and understand theoretical concepts through practical applications. Institutes implement this via case study teaching methodologies, interactive seminars, workshops, study tours, and international internships. Industry-institute-interface is another immense advantage of choosing a PGDM. Students are given opportunities to converse with noted industrialists and entrepreneurs, who provide practical examples and teachings, which the students can use in their current and future jobs.
  • Innumerable Career Options: Graduating with a PGDM can open up a variety of job opportunities. Marketing graduates have the freedom to seek out jobs in various sectors depending on their interest – FMCG, engineering, automotive, manufacturing, media, and IT, among others.

While choosing a PGDM might be the right option for you, stated below is a list of reasons why pursuing a PGDM might have an alternate side to it –

  • Fee Structure: Students pursuing a PGDM have to bear the cost of the course themselves. This is contrary to MBA aspirants since MBA courses are government funded and are thus, cost-effective. A PGDM from one of the older IIMs say IIM – A, B or C would cost approximately INR 17-19 lakhs for 2 years.
  • Susceptible to Fraudulence: Since PGP or PGDM courses are offered by autonomous bodies, students need to be careful while taking admission. Many smaller colleges and institutes make claims or do not have proper accreditation status. Some PGDM institutes exploit parents with attractive ratings, given by different agencies. MBA degrees are conferred by varsities, and hence there’s a lower chance of fraudulent claims.

Scope for a PGDM student

“As far as industry is concerned they recognize talent from the institutes of repute than bothering whether it’s an MBA or PGDM,” says B. Srinivasa Rao, Associate Professor at OU College of Commerce and Business Management. There is not much difference content wise but an MBA degree will not have recognition problems for those going abroad while PGDM students have to be doubly sure of taking the equivalence certificates. While choosing the institution, teachers’ advice that, aspirants should look for the brand of the business school. The brand signifies its established practices that provide a better learning environment for personal growth and it’s networking help students reach its alumni and industry easily. A powerful brand is a tag that can be carried throughout the career. Management has been a favorite among students as it can guarantee a successful career and a well-paying job. Coping with management studies can be tough but very fruitful. In addition to pursuing a PGDM, certain universities also offer the option of pursuing a Correspondence PGDM which allows the student to work and study at the same time. The course is divided into semesters and all the study material, which consists of online content, is provided to the candidate. The certification provided at the end of the course is 100% genuine and is provided by a recognized University. Assistance is provided by the University to the student at every point and helps the student achieve a higher hierarchy in his or her career path.

Future of a PGDM Graduate

  • Indian Scenario: There is little or no difference on how the Indian universities treat an MBA or PGDM course. Both are given similar values (sometimes higher in the case of a PGDM course), and the career prospects are in abundance through a PGDM certification. The growth in career ultimately depends on the efforts and skills of an individual. Average salaries are a direct function of a college’s name and brand.
  • Global Scenario: Looking at it from the job perspective, there is very little or no difference again as the position and salary of an individual depend on his skill set and experience. Moreover, the college name and accreditation plays a role further in acquiring the same. However, from the education perspective, a PGDM course marks you against a Masters-Diploma and not a Master’s degree alone. A thorough research needs to be done before applying for a Ph.D. as not all universities would accept a PGDM degree, but most recognized universities, in India and abroad, definitely would.

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  • Hrishikesh Patil

    Appreciate your honesty thanks.

  • Jack Pearce

    Now I get the difference between both, cheers.

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Eva R Sachdeva

Millennial Guru

Eva is a Campus Editor at LinkedIn. She is an experienced content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is skilled in digital marketing, content marketing, SEO management, research, social media marketing and management. Strong arts and design professional, Eva holds a Bachelor of Arts focused in English from St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata.

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