MBA vs PGDM: Difference Between MBA and PGDM

Over the last couple of years, the importance of a good MBA degree has been on the rise. Those are opening newer opportunities for themselves while ensuring they can access some of the highest paying jobs in the market. But many get confused with MBA vs PGDM debate. When it comes to Indian Institutes and the way they execute MBA programs, MBA vs PGDM becomes an important consideration. MBA vs PGDM debate can be looked at in two major ways. 

The modalities of the MBA program depend largely on whether they offer MBA degrees or PGDM. Both Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) has a similar end, but the way colleges implement it is often different. 

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Difference between MBA and PGDM

1. Nature of Course

The most notable difference between MBA and PGDM lies in their nature. MBA degrees are offered directly by colleges and universities (both Government and Private) that are recognized by the UGC and have a proper Master’s program. At the end of the course, the universities offer their students a recognized degree after their course.

In PGDM, it remains a diploma program that is offered mostly by B-schools or independent and autonomous colleges. At times these colleges might also have affiliations to certain Universities. These are courses that offer a diploma degree at the end of their completion. These institutes and B schools offer professional degrees, and as a result, they are recognized by India’s nodal body for technical education – All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

2. Course Content

Another difference between MBA and PGDM arises in the course content aspect of the two. While obtaining an MBA degree is only possible through colleges affiliated to Universities, their course structure is often mandated by such Universities. Although a helpful task in the case of other courses, it often becomes problematic when it comes to an MBA course as external business changes like technology and management methodologies should reflect in the structure of the course.

When it comes to PGDM, the fact that it’s mostly autonomous colleges giving out the diplomas, it offers the institutes more flexibility to create the course structure as per the latest market trends. 

3. Importance of the College

MBA vs PGDM also differs in the importance given to specific colleges. While an MBA degree is usually given out by specific universities recognized under the UGC, PGDM remains a professional diploma course offered by colleges accredited to AICTE. Factors such as the rank of college, placement records, faculty become more important in the case of PGDM. MBA vs PGDM debate requires students to pay close attention to the track record of colleges claiming to offer a PGDM for its authenticity. 

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Why is an MBA Preferred over PGDM?

An MBA remains a master’s degree ratified by the UGC and follows its guidelines. With PGDM, students run into the possibility of doing the course from a low ranked college with a bad course structure that avails them no benefit. Not being closely regulated can be detrimental for students that do not complete their PGDM from top B schools. Thus, candidates are suggested to go through the colleges’ ranking and track record rather than choose a college based on an MBS vs PGDM debate.

An MBA degree also proves beneficial over a PGDM in cases of higher studies like going for a Ph.D. or double MBA. In such cases, preference is always given to a candidate with an MBA degree. This is mostly because one is a degree course while the other a diploma.


While the difference between MBA and PGDM remains minute, it is essential to complete an MBA course from a recognised university. At upGrad , you can choose from the best of Indian & foreign colleges to obtain your MBA degree and achieve your goals. upGrad provides industry-relevant programs designed and delivered in collaboration with world-class faculty and industry.

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