PGDM or MBA ?? – The Big Confusion

The question of why pursue management is usually followed by a confusion ensuing between the two courses PGDM and MBA in dual specialization. It is the solution to this very confusion that later decides on the colleges that a management aspirant wants to get admission in.

Important as this question is, the answer is very simple and straightforward. But let’s first see how are these two management study-offering courses different from each other:

A Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM), is a management course offered by autonomous institutes in India – those colleges that do not come under any university). While they sure are recognized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), they run independently. While this course provides a Diploma at the end of the course,it is no less than getting a degree in management following an accreditation by Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

An MBA (Master in Business Administration), on the other hand, is a management course that gives a Degree at the end of two years, and is offered by only those institutes that are affiliated to some university.


One of the most important differences between these two courses stems from the difference in the institutions that in fact offer these courses. As colleges offering a degree in management should necessarily be affiliated under some university, there are little chances of change that they can offer in terms of basic things like syllabus, fee structure, admission procedure, and so on. And anyone, belonging to any industry, would agree to the fact that change is the only thing that is constant and the thing that is common to all industries. This has a lot to do with the curriculum being taught in management colleges, because every time an industry trend changes or something new comes up, future managers are expected to be fully acquainted with the facts and be on their toes.

This is difficult to achieve as you get an MBA instead of PGDM. For an MBA-offering college, it is absolutely essential to strictly follow the University guidelines, and it applies to the syllabus as well. And for any changes to be inculcated, the University senate would have to agree on it, which can take upto 10 years. So it doesn’t come as a surprise, seeing batch after batch of management students reading the same things, without any change in the books and the reading material.

On the other hand you’ll find any PGDM offering college, being self-governing in its nature, changing its syllabus and reading modules as frequently as it needs to, giving more importance to practical or field knowledge instead of theoretical one. Plus, stressing on communication and soft skills as well at these places alongside regular syllabus, the students are benefitted in more ways than one.

One of the major examples of the same would be, the way a PGDM-offering institute would readily offer MBA in dual specialization, while an MBA college does not. Today’s industry standards have changed drastically over the years, demanding a lot from the people – least of all, knowing more than their field of study. So, instead of making a student do it on their own, a PGDM college gives them a good start by expanding the horizon of their specialization itself. It gives a student the kind of boost they need in order to make a foray into any industry of their choice.

It makes a lot difference knowing what it is that your alma mater can offer you in terms of helping you better your performance, and aiding you in getting ready to make a mark as you enter the real world of money and market.

And that’s where being autonomous acts as a game changer – that’s where a PGDM trumps an MBA.