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MBA v/s PGDM: How are They Different and What Should You Choose?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The ebullient rise of corporate culture, coupled with the rise in the spirit of entrepreneurship in India is reflected in the hordes of students choosing management studies. While there is no dearth of institutes offering various degrees in the business education and the management sphere, students are often faced with the choice of which course to pursue namely MBA and PGDM, writes Dr. Amol Gawande, Assistant Director, Dr. D. Y. Patil B-School. 

There is so much confusion regarding both courses - MBA and PGDM, right from what the titles mean to the employment opportunities one can benefit from with each degree.

To put the long-running debate to rest, as to which one of the two is better - and how these courses differ we bring to you a guide on both these degrees so you can make an informed choice and pick the most suitable one for you.  

An MBA stands for Master Of Business Administration and is a post graduate degree. Only colleges affiliated to a university can offer an MBA. This signifies that the curriculum of an MBA is accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

A PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma In Management and is a diploma. Autonomous bodies are authorized to offer PGDMs and are regulated by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Autonomous institutes do not have affiliations to any university. A PGDM degree will be equivalent to an MBA only if the institute offering the PGDM is accredited by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

Both courses are designed to train you to excel in managerial and leadership positions. However, there exist some vital technical distinctions between a PGDM and an MBA.

The approach towards both courses is the first point of distinction. An MBA course is focussed more on theoretical business aspects, while a PGDM emphasizes on the technical aspects of management, providing exposure to real-life business situations. Owing to the fixed regulations and guidelines set by universities, the curriculum of an MBA will be far less likely revised or updated.

As PGDMs are offered by autonomous institutes, they have the freedom and flexibility to upgrade and change their curriculum to match the latest industry trends. This feature gives PGDM students a clear advantage over their MBA counterparts as it boosts their value of employability and also equips you with the skills that qualify you for senior level entry in an organization. The benefits of a PGDM degree do not end here. Some of the most renowned business institutes in India and across the globe prefer students with a PGDM degree due to the practical insights this course PGDM offers. This aspect is found lacking in MBA programs.  

It is commonly known that higher education is a costly affair. Education loans and scholarships are often taken up by students to reduce the financial pressure of higher education. If this is a concern for you, a PGDM is a better bet. Financial organisations prefer AICTE approved business schools, so it is significantly easier to secure financial aid for your PGDM degree compared to an MBA.  

Let us delve into five significant differences between a PGDM and an MBA:

1. Industry relevant course structure
The course structure of PGDM is such that it is more industry-oriented as compared to MBA. Since autonomous institutes offer this course, therefore the curriculum is kept in accordance with the latest developments.

Also, PGDM has a more practical approach, whereas an MBA is high on theoretical knowledge.

2.    Specialization in Any Field
PGDM lets you specialize in your areas of interest. For example, if you choose to specialize in Human Resource Management, you have the option to pursue minor subjects from Marketing/ Finance/IT/Project management. This gives you an edge over other candidates.

3. Real-time Business World Experience
In PGDM, students are given immense exposure to the real-time business world through rigorous classroom studies, meetings with top business leaders, management internships and various other similar ways. These techniques help the students to get comfortable with the business environment and makes them job ready.

4.    Job Oriented Programme
PGDM is more job oriented than MBA, which helps one in getting a suitable job right after completing the course. The scope of job opportunities is greater with a PGDM due to the added practical skills you obtain during the course.

5.    Better Placement Offers
Institutes with PGDM courses provide attractive placement offers since they are autonomous in nature. Whereas an MBA doesn’t guarantee you a job and you end up solely responsible for your own placement.

Now that you are aware of the differences between an MBA and a PGDM diploma, we hope you make an informed choice that puts you on the fast-track to the career of your dreams.

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