What do MBA and PGDM stand for? MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a degree, while PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) is a diploma program. As per the norms of the UGC, Colleges/Institutes affiliated to a university can offer MBA degrees. The autonomous/private Business Schools which are not affiliated to any university can offer the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) programs.

Hence, even apex institutions like IIM, XLRI, and SPJIMR offer PGDM and not the MBA degree since these institutions are autonomous bodies and are not affiliated to any university. As such, there is no difference in what is being taught in PGDM and MBA.


However, the autonomous business schools frequently change the syllabus to meet the industry standards. A syllabus change in an MBA program is rare since the college offering the program has no authority to change syllabus. Before you make a decision you should also note that MBA programs are a lot cheaper than PGDM programmes.

Which is better: MBA or PGDM?

In an MBA degree, you will be provided with theoretical knowledge of management concepts and practices. Theoretical knowledge may be useful if you want to get into research. Also, the MBA syllabus is not amended very regularly as the college offering MBA has no authority to change the syllabus. This can be a major deterrent in the management arena because the real business environment is very dynamic and full of sudden unexpected changes. Hence, the MBA degree is more academic and theoretical in nature.

The PGDM programme, if done from an above average business school, will drill you with efficient training and will give you insights into real life business situations. It is more practical in nature. Since autonomous business schools have freedom to change syllabus, the PGDM programme will be structured in a manner most suitable to the real business environment.

However, the fact is that the industry treats MBA and PGDM graduates in an equal manner. Even in the global job industry, same treatment is given to MBA and PGDM graduates. In fact, the industry is concerned more with the skill set of the students rather than the degree. Hence doing either MBA or PGDM will have the same impact on your career. Your starting salary will depend more on the reputation and brand name of your college/business school and not on the degree name. Hence you must carefully choose your college/business school if you want to pursue an MBA or PGDM.

Research and Higher Education after MBA/PGDM:

You must note that not all Universities/Institutions accept PGDM as a Master’s equivalent for admission into their Ph.D programs. You will be eligible for Ph.D, if you complete MBA or you complete PGDM from AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) approved institutions.

Hence, if you wish to pursue Ph.D after MBA, you must make sure that you have either an MBA degree or a PGDM from AICTE approved institutions. If you wish to pursue your Ph.D abroad, it is always better to complete an MBA degree from any reputed college or university.

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