Dr. Rahul Mishra

In India most of aspiring managers who want to pursue their career in management studies to give a boost to their careers are very often a confused lot.

They want to get the maximum return on their fees and hence do everything it takes to get a degree from one of the renowned B-Schools of the country. In an attempt to make it to IIMs, XLRI or Symbiosis, these students are willing to spend as much time and money as required. They join coaching classes, take practice exams and have mock interviews to make it to the best of the lot.


However, one thing that really confuses them is to go for a MBA from a recognized university or PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) from IIMs. Let us help you understand the basic difference between the two in India-:

  1. Only universities can offer Degree Programmes: In India only those management institutes which are affiliated to a university can offer a degree. For this reason institutes like Department of Management Studies (LUMBA), University of Lucknow, GBTU & MTU affiliated colleges can respectively offer MBA degree. Also IIMs, though being the best of the lot, can't offer MBAs as they are not affiliated with any university. Institutes which are not affiliated to university are autonomous and can offer PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) degree. However, some of these programmes are approved by regulatory bodies such as AICTE.
  2. Difference in focus of course curriculum: While there are huge similarities in the curriculum of both MBA and PGDM, there are finer points of difference. While MBA focuses more on theoretical aspects of management and is more exam-oriented, PGDM has a focus on building soft skills and is industry-oriented. It prepares you for the job market.
  3. Curriculum of PGDM course is flexible: Since an autonomous institute does not have to follow university standards, it is free to change its curriculum according to industry standards and change in business environment. Also a PGDM gives you an industry exposure. Whereas it will take time to change the curriculum for MBAs as it is affiliated with a university and it will essentially follow the university guidelines and changing this curriculum is a very slow process.
  4. MBAs are more affordable: In compared to PGDM, generally MBAs are more affordable as the fees are almost similar to university standard. You can get a rough idea if you compared the fees of IIM and FMS.
  5. Difference in focus: An MBA will help in developing technical skills and business knowledge whereas a PGDM will prepare graduates for senior level positions in industry and paves the way for a strong corporate career. Hence, if you're looking for a career in the challenging area of management, you should go for PGDM.
    However, one should remember that it is not important whether a student pursues PGDM or MBA. The institution where he is studying is of supreme importance and enhances their employability. If you pursue your management studies from a reputed college which is recognized and offers decent placements, then your chances of employment and going abroad get enhanced.

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