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MBA VS PGDM, Which one is Better?

Post Graduate in Diploma Management [PGDM] and a Master of Business Administration [MBA] are one of the two most popular courses in India. While the former is a specialised diploma offered at many IIMs for a year, the latter is a more professional two-year program. Both the courses are fit for a different set of individuals who may have different career objectives. The misconception that a Diploma is in any way less valuable than an MBA is quite widespread. In this article, we shall dive into details of MBA vs PGDM.

Difference between PGDM and MBA

The difference between PGDM and MBA is related much more to how a university treats the course. Here are some of the common ones that you must consider.

  • Duration: In general, the major difference between PGDM and MBA is the duration. While a PGDM typically runs for a year, an MBA degree can be offered as a 1-year or 2-year course depending on the university and course structure.
  • Course Subjects: Another important difference between PGDM and MBA is the course subjects. The syllabus of a PGDM is much more condensed and streamlined keeping in mind the specialisation. On the other hand, during an MBA, you will be first introduced to core management fundamentals and then groomed in your respective fields. In India, the PGDM syllabus must be approved by AICTE.
  • Course Intensity: When it comes to the intensity of the course, the PGDM due to its short duration is comparatively more intensive than an MBA. As such courses involve a lot of case studies, presentations, workshops, projects along with industrial placements, the shorter it becomes, the more intense it gets.

 MBA CET Syllabus

PGDM vs MBA in India: The IIM Act 2017

Effective 31st January 2018, the IIM Act 2017 seeks to give greater autonomy to IIMs to confer MBA degrees in place of erstwhile PGDM and/or PGP. This may be seen as a push towards restructuring the management education system. An MBA degree gives much more comparability in the current global job market.

Top Universities in India & Abroad: MBA and PGDM

The following table lists down some of the elite institutions in India and abroad where you can pursue the best-rated MBA and PGDM.

IIM Bombay, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Indore, etc.Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University
XLRI JamshedpurUniversity of Mumbai
University of AlbertaCornell University
Durham CollegeHarvard University
Northwestern UniversityLondon Business School


For those candidates stuck in the dilemma of MBA Vs PGDM Which Is Better, the following FAQs hope to make things a bit clearer.

MBA Or PGDM Which Has More Value?

If you are considering a PGDM in India, keep an aim for the IIMs. If you are an experienced professional, a PGDM might just be better suited. If you are a fresher, an MBA course is well-suited.

MBA Vs PGDM Which Is Better in terms of Cost?

While the costs of both the courses are quite high, an MBA degree from a reputed institution may just be a bit costlier than a PGDM. However, if you get into a top-rated university, don’t hesitate to take an education loan as you will be able to more than make it up.

What is the PGDM Vs MBA Salary

The average salary range of a qualified individual with a PGDM degree and that of a professional with an MBA degree may be equal after certain years of experience in the industry. However, as an entry-level professional, an MBA degree from a top-rated institution gives you the cutting edge.

Which Is Better MBA Or PGDM For Government Jobs?

When it comes to government jobs, there is no difference between PGDM and MBA. Both the courses are enough to fulfil the eligibility criteria of appearing for a government exam. However, you will have to fulfil other relevant conditions in addition to clearing all the exam levels, that is, Prelims, Mains, etc.

MBA in Germany

MBA and PGDM: Eligibility

Before applying for an MBA and PGDM abroad, there are certain eligibility conditions that applicants need to fulfil. These conditions may change subject to the university, location, course structure and course objectives.

  • Equivalent qualifying degree in any discipline, for instance, a ‘bachelor’s in commerce’. More often than not, to pursue a PGDM as well, you would require a bachelor’s degree.
  • Minimum marks in qualifying examination.
  • A prevalent condition of eligibility for MBA is to possess close to 1-3 years of relevant industry exposure. This may not be a strict condition. For PGDM, this may not be required. Refer to university guidelines for actual figures.
  • GRE/GMAT test scores, if applying abroad. For an MBA program, GMAT is strongly recommended though GRE also enjoys wide acceptance.
  • Applicants from India applying for abroad are typically asked to submit IELTS/TOEFL/PTE exam scores as evidence of their English speaking proficiency. Obtaining over 7 band score is usually enough to get you through.

MBA and PGDM: How to Apply

Now that you have gone through the eligibility requirements, the next step is to apply for admission at your preferred college. International university admissions are conducted in cycles. The primary cycle typically commences in September/October and ends in February/March of the next year. Scholarships applications open early.

  • Satisfy the above-mentioned minimum eligibility requirements.
  • Submit GMAT/GRE and/or IELTS/TOEFL/PTE Test Scores [as required for a particular program]
  • Submit the duly completed Application Proposal [Passport, Statement of Purpose, Two/Three letters of Recommendation, Transcripts Experience Letter (if required), Financial Support Statement/Funding Essay (if applying for funding), etc.]
  • Pay the required Application Fee. [Varies from university to university]
  • Personal Interview/Group Discussion/Writing Task [if required]
  • The application is usually confirmed, waitlisted or rejected within 2-3 months of applying.
  • Deposit the required Tuition Fees within the stipulated deadline.
  • Submit the Student Visa Application.


In the end, it all comes down to your short and long-term goals and where you see yourself in two-five years.

Begin the journey to your dream career today!

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