To decode, PGDM vs MBA, let us first understand both the terminologies. A PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management which is a “diploma” while MBA is 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.

Comparison MBA PGDM
Full Form Masters of Business Administration Post Graduate Diploma in Management
Duration 1-2 years 2 years
Eligibility Bachelor’s Degree in any field Bachelor’s Degree in any field
Syllabus Updation Rarely Regularly
Accreditation Accredited by University Grants Commission (UGC) Accredited by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

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Accreditation of PGDM vs MBA

Taking India into consideration, a PGDM is offered by those 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.

In India, PGDM is a loosely used term which is often substituted for an MBA for some selected top colleges. ISB Hyderabad still offers a PGDM but demands work experience. So you can say that the lines are blurred in India to conduct a PGDM vs MBA analysis.

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 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. 


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 vs MBA, 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 a 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.

Exam Conducted By Exam Pattern
GMAT Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Analytical Writing Assessment
Integrated Reasoning
Quantitative Section
Verbal Reasoning
CAT IIMs Quantitative Ability
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
MAT AIMA Language Comprehension
Mathematical Skills
Data Analysis and Sufficiency
India and the Global Environment
Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
ATMA Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) Analytical Reasoning Skills I
Verbal Skills I
Quantitative Skills I
Analytical Reasoning II
Verbal Skills II
Quantitative Skills II
XAT Xavier School of Management (XLRI Jamshedpur) Verbal and Logical Ability
Decision Making
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation
General Knowledge
NMAT Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Quantitative Skills
Logical Reasoning 
Language Comprehension
SNAP Symbiosis International University General English 
Quantitative Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
Analytical and Logical Reasoning

PGDM vs MBA Salary

One of the most important differences between PGDM and 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 PGDM is 12.9LPA.

Core Objectives & Focus

PGDM courses are considered as 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 with flexibility in terms of choosing those subject areas that you are more inclined towards.

Course Structure

Here’s the real differentiating factor to understand 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 focussed 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 MBA syllabus is taken care by the University. This means that an MBA program of different institutes under a University will be the same but in 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 Institutes MBA Offering Institutes
IIM Ahmedabad XLRI School of Management
FMS Delhi IMT Ghaziabad
IIFT Delhi IIM Ranchi
NMIMS School of Business XIME
SIBM Pune Great Lakes Institute of Management

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, them 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 Resource, 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!


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 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 UK which are relatively affordable and can provide you with global exposure into 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!

It is always recommended that you include all factors when coming to a decision between PGDM vs 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.

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