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To decode, PGDM vs MBA, let us first understand both terminologies. A PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management which is a “diploma” while an MBA is a Master of Business Administration, a “degree course”. So, does it mean that the market value of a diploma does not easily match that of a degree program? This is just a notion! The real difference has been discussed below, go ahead.

Full FormMasters of Business AdministrationPost Graduate Diploma in Management
Duration1-2 years2 years
EligibilityBachelor’s Degree in any fieldBachelor’s Degree in any field
Syllabus UpdationRarelyRegularly
AccreditationAccredited by University Grants Commission (UGC)Accredited by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

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MBA vs PGDM: The Similarities

When it comes to acceptance in the industry or for further education, the MBA and PGDM are identical.

Both programmes educate management skills, and recruiters are concerned with the quality of education provided by the business school, its unique value propositions, the track record of its alumni, and the value that graduates bring to the table. In truth, recruiters do not distinguish between PGPM and PGDM students in b-schools that provide a one-year ‘certificate’ programme in management, commonly known as PGPM, PGP, or other names depending on the b-school. Hiring is done solely on the basis of the recruiter’s work experience, background, and skill requirements, as well as how well the students fulfil their criteria.

The same can be said for furthering one’s education, such as through a PhD programme or a Fellowship programme. The PGDM Diploma is just as good as an MBA degree for pursuing a PhD. At the undergraduate level, a degree was always thought to be more valuable than a diploma. However, in the case of postgraduate courses, such as management programmes, the quality and value supplied by the b-school and the programme, rather than the name, define value.

MBA vs PGDM: Major Differences

Institute TypeColleges affiliated with a university can offer an MBA degree.An autonomous institute (for example, Great Learning, IIMs, XLRI, NMIMS, MDI, etc.) offers a PGDM course.
Body of AccreditationMBA courses are accredited by the university.PGDM courses are approved and recognized by AICTE. 
Duration of Course2 Years.PGDM courses can be either 1 or 2 years depending on the type of program.
CurriculumMBA course norms are dependent on the university and the curriculum is not frequently revised.PGDM courses are flexible as they are provided by autonomous institutes and the course is more frequently updated than MBA courses.
The focus of the CourseAn MBA course develops theoretical concepts and focuses on developing the technical knowledge of a student.PGDM course focuses on preparing the students for practical situations.
Fee StructureMBA is a more affordable program.PGDM programmes cost can vary between 5 and 20 lakhs.
ValidityValid Post Graduate Degree.Valid and equivalent to Post Graduate Degree.
PlacementsDepends upon the institution.Most of the PGDM institutions have better placements.
Innovative PracticesLimited scope for innovation as syllabus prepared by the university.Teaching and training are multi-dimensional. 

Accreditation and Duration

Taking India into consideration, a PGDM is offered by autonomous institutes that have been accredited by the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education), and MBA degree programs are conducted by the universities. You must have heard that the IIMs offer a PGDM and not an MBA, and are still the best in India to get an MBA. This indicates how, in India, an MBA and PGDM may convey the same course. Up until 2017, IIMs used to offer a PGDM, and just recently after the IIM bill they have started offering MBA courses. PGDM is a more popular choice for people aiming at a corporate career or who are looking to either enter or advance in the job market.

Duration2 years18 months – 2 years
AccreditationUGC (University Grants Commission)AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education)

Susceptible to Fraudulence

Since PGDM is offered by autonomous institutes, chances are that their claim of proper acclimation status is wrong and they are falsely advertising their course as PGP or PGDM. But in the case of an MBA, since it’s offered by Universities, the possibility of fraud is much less. So, if you are planning to study PGDM, choose a reputed institute and do proper research on their accreditation. 

Eligibility Requirements

If we talk about the requirements, an MBA calls for a considerable amount of work experience that can be anywhere from 2-10 years. PGDM does not require work experience explicitly but having 1-3 years of experience is an advantage. You can aim for a MIM if you are looking for a management-related graduate degree with no experience abroad. MIM or Masters in Management is similar to a PGDM in India in the sense of curriculum and opportunities. If we do a PGDM vs MBA from a corporate view, the thing that stands out is that a company expects their junior-level employees or freshers to have a PGDM and an MBA is more suited to their middle or senior-level employees. An MBA abroad is for the very top-level employees and is considered to be taken up after some amount of knowledge and experience. 

Entrance Exams

Another crucial criterion of difference between PGDM and MBA, is the entrance exams you need to qualify to apply for an MBA or PGDM will generally vary whether you are pursuing them from India or Abroad. To study MBA abroad, you will be needed to provide GMAT scores and many universities accept GRE scores as well while in India, GMAT is quite widely accepted along with other management exams like CAT, MAT, ATMA, XAT, NMAT, SNAP, etc. Further, if you plan to pursue a PG Diploma in the field of management abroad, you might not be necessarily asked to provide GMAT scores but it will mainly differ pertaining to your chosen course and university.

ExamConducted ByExam Pattern
GMATGraduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)Analytical Writing Assessment
Integrated Reasoning
Quantitative Section
Verbal Reasoning
CATIIMsQuantitative Ability
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
MATAIMALanguage Comprehension
Mathematical Skills
Data Analysis and Sufficiency
India and the Global Environment
Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
ATMAAssociation of Indian Management Schools (AIMS)Analytical Reasoning Skills I
Verbal Skills I
Quantitative Skills I
Analytical Reasoning II
Verbal Skills II
Quantitative Skills II
XATXavier School of Management (XLRI Jamshedpur)Verbal and Logical Ability
Decision Making
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
General Knowledge
NMATGraduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)Quantitative Skills
Logical Reasoning 
Language Comprehension
SNAPSymbiosis International UniversityGeneral English 
Quantitative Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
Analytical and Logical Reasoning

PGDM vs MBA: Salary Structure

One of the most important differences between a PGDM and an MBA is the average salary that different companies offer. Usually, the salary depends a lot on your college and the experience that you have. For example, a PGDM from ISB will have a better salary than an MBA from a general university. However, the average salary of an MBA is INR 21 LPA while that of a PGDM is 12.9 LPA.

Core Objectives & Focus

PGDM courses are considered more industry-oriented and offer better practical exposure while an MBA is still regarded as a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge of a particular specialization with a higher emphasis on the former. Further, pursuing PGDM abroad or PG diploma courses abroad, you are offered flexibility in terms of choosing those subject areas that you are more inclined towards.

Course Structure

Here’s the real differentiating factor to understanding PGDM vs MBA. PGDM courses provide quality management-related knowledge in a specific curriculum typically running for 6 months to 2 years, unlike the traditional MBA route. Moreover, there is flexibility in the curriculum because the syllabus is made by an institute individually according to the changing trends. MBA programs are typically focused on the technical and theoretical aspects of Management and in PGDM on the contrary, the emphasis is laid on developing practical marketing skills as per the industry.

PGDM vs MBA: Syllabus

While on the onset, both PGDM and MBA teach similar management-related courses, the major difference in each syllabus is that a PGDM syllabus is controlled by the institute while an MBA syllabus is taken care of by the University. This means that an MBA program of different institutes under a University will be the same but in the case of PGDM, there can be differences.

Since the university is responsible for the MBA syllabus, changes are seldom made and the syllabus remains the same for years. But the PGDM syllabus is updated every year with new advances in the field.

Top Colleges Offering the Courses

Here are the top colleges that offer PGDM and MBA courses in India:

PGDM Offering InstitutesMBA Offering Institutes
IIM AhmedabadXLRI School of Management
FMS DelhiIMT Ghaziabad
IIFT DelhiIIM Ranchi
NMIMS School of BusinessXIME
SIBM PuneGreat Lakes Institute of Management

PGDM vs MBA: Salary and Job Profiles

The figure below compares the typical compensation for various MBA occupations such as HR Manager, Business Analyst, Marketing Manager, Finance Advisor, and Investment Banker.

Job RoleSalary
HR ManagerINR 7 – 8 LPA
Business AnalystINR 6 – 7 LPA
Marketing ManagerINR 5 – 8 LPA
Finance AdvisorINR 5 – 8 LPA
Investment BankerINR 8 – 10 LPA
Job RoleSalary
Project ManagerINR 12 – 15 LPA
Data ScientistINR 7 – 9 LPA
AuditorINR 4 – 6 LPA
Tax SpecialistINR 5 – 7 LPA
ConsultantINR 9 – 12 LPA

Scope of PGDM vs MBA

The opportunities differ by a lot if we do a PGDM vs MBA analysis. PGDM is awarded majorly in India and opens up opportunities that are either entry-level or at a junior level in the hierarchy. A PGDM graduate can have a work experience of 2-3 years and hence may be able to enter the middle level in the organization. An MBA is a degree that will lead to the top management level of the organization. In India, an executive MBA performs the same function. If not the top of the company, then the division or branch manager is also on the cards. A PGDM focuses on theoretical knowledge of different verticals of management like Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Consulting, Strategic Planning, etc while an MBA is more focused on the implementation of the knowledge acquired while working.

Read more at Scope of MBA!

MBA vs PGDM: Cost of Studying

Considering the course fees of MBA vs PGDM, if you are pursuing any of these courses in India, it would depend on whether you are opting for a government or private university. Further, private institutions and business schools like IIMs, Symbiosis, etc. charge higher fees for MBA which can go beyond 20 lakhs while for PGDM, the course fees can be somewhere between 15-20 Lakhs and even higher. Pursuing any of these programs abroad, you will be required to invest even higher in either MBA or PGDM while there are 1-year courses like MBA in the UK which are relatively affordable and can provide you with global exposure to your chosen industry. You can also explore MBA scholarships and GMAT scholarships which can minimize the higher course fees and help you acquire this degree without expanding your budget!


You now understand some of the key distinctions between PGDM and MBA. However, both are vital, and the business sector treats MBA and PGDM graduates equally. In the long term, your skill set and exposure to new technologies will be most important. However, in order to make a strong start, you should seek out the most reputable colleges while deciding where to further your education. Leverage Edu provides a variety of PGDM blogs for you to have all the information that is up to date with all of the newest industry criteria and standards.


Q1. Is PGDM better than MBA?

Ans. For people interested in management education, a two-year diploma course PGDM, Post Graduate Diploma in Management, sounds preferable. In general, the PGDM course is significantly more industry-relevant and practical in terms of the employment market.

Q2. Who earns more MBA or PGDM?

Ans. Typically, your income is heavily influenced by your schooling and experience. A PGDM from ISB, for example, will earn more than an MBA from a common university. However, the average pay for an MBA is INR 21 LPA, while the average salary for a PGDM is INR 12.9 LPA.

Q3. Is PGDM equal to MBA?

Ans. The PGDM diploma is equivalent to an MBA from any Indian university. Exams are given by an affiliated university. AICTE has authorised PGDM colleges to administer the exams. Extensive state-level entrance exams.

It is always recommended that you include all factors when coming to a decision between PGDM and MBA. MBA is a great opportunity, so calculate carefully while making an informed decision for a successful career ahead. Seeking guidance in such a situation can help you in making the right career choice. Book an E-meeting session with Leverage Edu to what lines with your aspirations!

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  1. The article takes into consideration the various PGDM programmes offereved by various ITM univerties accrediated to AICTE and the benefits that can be avilared by students after enrolling in PGDM or MBA courses. If we talk about the requirements, an MBA calls for a considerable amount of work experience that can be anywhere from 2-10 years. PGDM does not require work experience explicitly but having 1-3 years of experience is an advantage.

  1. The article takes into consideration the various PGDM programmes offereved by various ITM univerties accrediated to AICTE and the benefits that can be avilared by students after enrolling in PGDM or MBA courses. If we talk about the requirements, an MBA calls for a considerable amount of work experience that can be anywhere from 2-10 years. PGDM does not require work experience explicitly but having 1-3 years of experience is an advantage.