The dilemma of MBA vs. PGDM has been a burning question for all the aspirants willing to pursue a postgraduate course in management. The difficulty often arises due to candidates being not entirely aware of the similarities or differences between MBA and PGDM.
IIMs, before the IIM Act 2017, conferred PGDM degrees, which earned considerable popularity for PGDM courses. However, the word Diploma also has a stigma attached to it in India. Hence, it is essential to know what parameters to look into before getting admission into any particular course – MBA or PGDM.
The topics that will be discussed in this article are as follows:
- MBA vs. PGDM – What do they mean?
- MBA vs. PGDM – Key differences
- Top colleges offering MBA and PGDM
- MBA vs. PGDM – What choice to make?
MBA vs PGDM: What do they mean?
One of the major differences while comparing MBA and PGDM is that MBA or Master of Business Administration is a degree course that can only be offered by the colleges affiliated to universities, whereas PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma in Management is a diploma course offered by autonomous institutes.
For example, The Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi, is affiliated to Delhi University and hence offers an MBA degree. While MBA colleges like SP Jain Institute of Management Studies and Research (SPJIMR) or Management Development Institute, Gurgaon are autonomous in nature and hence offer PGDM courses.
IIMs, too offered (offer) PGDM courses before IIM Act 2017, when they were under the umbrella of Societies Act. As Societies aren’t eligible to offer degrees, IIMs offered diploma courses. But after the passing of the IIM Act 2017, they were termed newly as institutes of national importance and made eligible for awarding degree courses.
However, not all IIMs have started offering MBA degrees; some chose to stick to awarding diplomas as they’ve now brand equity attached to it. IIM Bangalore was the first IIM to award a degree in 2018, followed by Indore, Ahmedabad, and Calcutta.
What is the difference between MBA and PGDM?
Evaluating similarities and differences between MBA and PGDM is the key to find which course suits your needs. In the table below, we have compared MBA vs. PGDM on 6 different parameters that should give you clarity about their compatibility with your needs.
|MBA vs. PGDM Differences||MBA||PGDM|
|Entrance Exams||CAT, MAT, GMAT, IIFT, SNAP, IRMASAT, XAT, CMAT, NMAT, etc.|
|Qualification||Degree course||Diploma course|
|Course Structure and Approach||University approved curriculum, hence, mostly theoretical based and uniform across institutes affiliated to a university.
Mostly semester-based system.
|Industry oriented program focused more on building soft skills.
Mostly trimester-based system.
|Accreditation||Accredited by University Grants Commission (UGC)||Accredited by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)|
|Perception||Both MBA and PGDM are viewed as equivalent during recruitment. The influencing factor is mostly the institute offering it. Also, while PGDM courses might be industry-oriented and preferred by the corporates, they might have to face roadblocks while applying to pursue higher education or jobs overseas.|
Even though there might be few differences in the way these courses – MBA and PGDM are designed, the objective is ultimately to make the student ready for Industry.
But caution needs to be maintained while getting admission to PGDM courses. Since the awarding institutes are autonomous, to check their course’s accreditation becomes of utmost importance, without which there can be severe cases of fraud.
Types of Entrance Exam
Many entrance exams are held every year in India to get admission in management colleges – for both MBA and PGDM courses. There are exams that fulfill eligibility for several institutes – like CAT, MAT, GMAT, etc. And there are some exams that are essential for admission to particular institutes – like IIFT, SNAP, NMAT, etc.
We have mentioned details about a few of the popular entrance exams for admission to MBA and PGDM courses in the table below:
|MBA vs. PGDM – Types of Entrance Exams|
|Entrance Exams||Conducting Body||Mode of exam||Sections||Frequency|
|CAT (Common Admission Test)
Learn the difference between CAT and GMAT.
|IIMs (on a rotational basis)||Online||Quantitative Ability (QA), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)||Annually|
|IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade)||NTA (National Testing Agency)||Online||Logical Reasoning, English Grammar, Vocabulary and Comprehension, General Knowledge & Current Affairs, Data Interpretation and Quantitative Analysis||Annually|
|MAT (Management Aptitude Test)||AIMA (All India Management Association)||Online and Offline||Language Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Data Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, and Indian and Global Environment.||Four times a year – February, May, September, and December.|
|GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test)||GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council)||Online||Verbal, Quant, Analytical Writing Assessment, and Integrated Reasoning||Throughout the year|
|SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test)||Symbiosis International (Deemed) University||Online||English, Quant (Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency), and Analytical and Logical Reasoning
|NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test)||GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council)||Online||Language Skills, Quantitative Skills, and Logical Reasoning.
|Annually (with the flexibility of 75-day testing window )|
|CMAT (Common Management Admission Test)||AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education)||Online||Verbal, Quant, and Logical reasoning, the exam has a General Awareness section.
|XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test)||Xavier School of Management (XLRI) Jamshedpur||Online||Verbal and Logical Ability, Decision making, Quantitative Ability, and Data Interpretation, and General Knowledge.
|IRMASAT (Institute of Rural Management Anand Social Awareness Test)||IRMA (Requires CAT/XAT scores too)||Online||Quantitative Ability, Analytical reasoning, Issue of Social concern and English Comprehension||Annually|
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Top Colleges Offering MBA and PGDM
Let’s now look at some of the top colleges providing MBA and PGDM courses in India:
|Colleges||Location||Accepted Exam||Average/Mean/Median Salary||Tuition fees|
|IIM Ahmedabad||Ahmedabad||CAT/GMAT||INR 25,83,126||INR 23,00,000|
|IIM Bangalore||Bangalore||CAT/GMAT||INR 24,54,000||INR 23,00,000|
|IIM Calcutta||Kolkata||CAT/GMAT||INR 27,90,000||INR 27,00,000|
|IIM Indore||Indore||CAT/GMAT||INR 20,79,000||INR 16,00,000|
|FMS Delhi||New Delhi||CAT/GMAT||INR 23,20,000||INR 1,92,000|
|IIFT Delhi||New Delhi||IIFT/ GMAT||INR 18,00,000||INR 17,25,000|
|NMIMS School of Business||Mumbai||NMAT/GRE/GMAT||INR 17,79,000||INR 19,76,000|
|IIT Kharagpur||Kharagpur||CAT/GMAT||INR 16,11,000||INR 9,00,000|
|DoMS IIT Delhi||New Delhi||CAT||INR 18,47,000||INR 9,60,000|
|SIBM Pune||Pune||SNAP||INR 20,14,000||INR 18,80,000|
|XLRI Xavier School of Management||Jamshedpur||XAT/GMAT/CAT||INR 24,30,000||INR 20,00,000|
|SPJIMR Mumbai||Mumbai||GMAT/CAT/XAT||INR 22,00,000||INR 17,50,000|
|NMIMS School of Business Management||Bangalore||NMAT/GMAT/GRE||INR 10,50,000||INR 19,76,000|
|IMT Ghaziabad||Ghaziabad||CAT/GMAT/XAT||INR 13,60,000||INR 18,30,000|
|IMI Delhi – International Management Institute||New Delhi||CAT/GMAT||INR 13,07,000||INR 13,16,000|
|TAPMI Manipal – T A Pai Management Institute||Manipal||CAT/XAT/GMAT||INR 11,06,000||INR 14,60,000|
|Great Lakes Institute of Management||Chennai||CAT/GMAT/XAT/CMAT||INR 13,10,000||INR 10,10,000|
|IIM Ranchi||Ranchi||CAT||INR 15,02,000||INR 15,00,000|
|INR 7,04,000||INR 10,00,000|
After comparing data for just these colleges, the average salary for an MBA degree comes out to be around INR 21.3 lacs, and that for PGDM is INR 12.96 lacs. When the average fees are compared, for an MBA college, it is about INR 16.5 lacs, and that for a PGDM course is INR 15.38 lacs.
The difference in average salary while comparing MBA vs. PGDM courses can also be attributed to the passing of the IIM Act 2017, which entitled IIMs to award degrees. This also inflated the fees section for MBA degree colleges as IIMs have them high too.
MBA vs. PGDM: Which should you choose?
In this article, we informed you about the similarities and differences between MBA and PGDM courses. Various data points were presented and compared for these two courses. We also pointed out the requirements for admission to MBA and PGDM courses and what cautions need to be taken while selecting either.
However, despite several differences between both the courses – MBA and PGDM, the major influencing factor is the institute providing them.
Recruiters mostly quantify the degree or diploma secured by a student looking at skills possessed by the student and the brand equity of the institution.
Although, PGDM courses certainly are known to lay more impetus on honing the skill set while MBA degree colleges focus more on management theory.
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FAQs – MBA vs. PGDM
MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. It is a postgraduate degree with a course duration of 2 years. It helps one delve into the realm of management and prepare for leadership roles.
PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management. It is a diploma course in management offered by autonomous institutes.
Before the passing of the IIM Act 2017, IIMs awarded PGDM to their graduates. After the passing of this Act, IIMs are entitled to award degrees. However, not all IIMs have yet made the transition.
Yes, you can pursue full time MBA abroad after completing PGDM. But for a PhD, one needs to have an MBA degree. However, career prospects for both MBA and PGDM are almost equal in India as well as in abroad.
Both the courses have a duration of 2 years. While most of the MBA courses have semester pattern, the PGDM courses usually are seen to have a trimester pattern.