Which course is better, MBA or PGDM

With the rise in the IT sector and corporate culture, more and more students opt for management programs. However, Indian students often get confused with PGDM vs MBA when pursuing a management course. This leads to a dilemma in opting for courses. While the course curriculum is almost the same for both programs, there are key differences that can help you decide which is better for you.

Those who are not aware of the difference may end up making chaotic decisions. Both MBA and PGDM are postgraduate programs. Here MBA is – Master of Business Administration and PGDM is – Post Graduate Diploma in Management, but PGDM is often considered low running program than MBA due to the word” diploma”. However, this is an incorrect assumption as they both have their pros and cons.

We are here to guide you with the difference between the PGDM vs MBA courses in India.

Here is the list of topics that we cover in this blog:

  1. What is MBA?
  2. What is PGDM?
  3. Difference between PGDM and MBA?
  4. PGDM vs MBA salary?
  5. Which is better, PGDM or MBA?
  6. PGDM and MBA Education Institutions
  7. FAQs

What is MBA? 

MBA -Master of Business Administration is a management program offered by most of the management colleges and universities across the world. 

This program can be conducted by only recognized institutions affiliated with reputed universities in Business Administration. 

What is PGDM?

PGDM – This is a diploma course offered by autonomous institutes. All India Council for Technical Education approves colleges to offer PGDM course.

Difference between PGDM and MBA? 

Institute TypeColleges affiliated with a university can offer 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 frequently updated than MBA courses.
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 university.Teaching and training are multidimensional. 

PGDM vs MBA Salary in India

MBA Salary And Jobs
The average salary for various MBA jobs like HR Manager, Business Analyst, Marketing Manager, Finance Advisor, Investment Banker is compared in the chart below.

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

PGDM Salary and Jobs

The average salary for various PGDM jobs like Project Manager, Data Scientist, Auditor, Tax Specialist, Consultant is compared in the chart below.

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

Also Read: Which are the most in-demand MBA specializations with the highest paying jobs?

Which is better, PGDM or MBA?

We have provided all the difference between PGDM vs MBA, now it’s your turn to choose which is suitable for you!
But keep in mind these below points while choosing any of these programs, they are:
1. Compare fee structure between PGDM vs MBA.

2. Compare the curriculum. Please note: PGDM is more focused on practical knowledge while MBA includes theoretical concepts of management.

3. India and Global Job context: In terms of Job, there is no difference between MBA and PGDM if one comes from a reputed institution.

4. Educational Context: In case one wishes to continue with the higher studies by going for a PhD, preference is always given to a candidate with an MBA degree. 

Therefore if someone is not looking for further studies, then there is absolutely no difference between an MBA and a PGDM. 

PGDM and MBA Education Institutions

Some of the best educational institutions that offer both MBA and PGDM are listed below: 

CollegesLocationAccepted ExamTuition fee
IIM AhmedabadAhmedabadCAT/GMATINR 23,00,000
IIM BangaloreBangaloreCAT/GMATINR 23,00,000
IIM CalcuttaKolkataCAT/GMATINR 27,00,000
IIM IndoreIndoreCAT/GMATINR 16,00,000
FMS DelhiNew DelhiCAT/GMATINR 1,92,000
IIFT DelhiNew DelhiIIFT/ GMATINR 17,25,000
PES University + Great LearningBangaloreINR 600000
NMIMS School of BusinessMumbaiNMAT/GRE/GMATINR 19,76,000
MBA degree in Data Science or Digital Marketing = Jain University + Great LearningBangaloreINR 200000
IIT KharagpurKharagpurCAT/GMATINR 9,00,000
DoMS IIT DelhiNew DelhiCATINR 9,60,000
SIBM PunePuneSNAPINR 18,80,000
CollegesLocationTuition Fee
XLRI Xavier School of ManagementJamshedpurINR 24,30,000
SPJIMR MumbaiMumbaiINR 22,00,000
NMIMS School of Business ManagementBangaloreINR 10,50,000
IMT GhaziabadGhaziabadINR 13,60,000
IMI Delhi – International Management InstituteNew DelhiINR 13,07,000
TAPMI Manipal – T A Pai Management InstituteManipalINR 11,06,000
Great Lakes Institute of ManagementChennaiINR 13,10,000
IIM RanchiRanchiINR 15,02,000
XIMEBangaloreINR 7,04,000


Q 1: What is the difference between MBA and PGDM?

A: MBA refers to a management degree issued by a University and PGDM refers to Post Graduate diploma offered by a private college or university, affiliated with AICTE. 

Q 2: Which is more valuable, MBA and PGDM?

A: The value of MBA and PGDM is determined based on the course curriculum and the institute’s ranking and reputation.

Q 3: Is PGDM equivalent to MBA?

A: PGDM is a Diploma course whereas MBA is a degree course, hence we cannot claim that both PGDM and MBA are equivalent. However, MBA and PGDM are largely similar in terms of curriculum.

Q 4: Do IIMs offer MBA or PGDM?

A: Yes, IIMs offer both MBA and PGDM  programs.

Q 5: Which is better among MBA and PGDM?

A: The quality of management course, be it MBA or PGDM, depends on factors curriculum, pedagogy, faculty, industry and international exposure, so you can decide which programme to select.

Q 6: Can we pursue an MBA after completing PGDM?

A: Yes, candidates are eligible to take up MBA programs after PGDM.

Q 7: What are the scopes of higher education after completing MBA and PGDM?

A: After completing an MBA, students can pursue PhD in Management whereas PGDM candidates can’t go for future studies. 

Q 8: Which course is more affordable among MBA and PGDM?

A: Generally MBA programmes are more affordable than PGDM. 

Q 9: Which are some of the top colleges offering PGDM?

A: Some of the top PGDM institutes in India include IIMs, Great lakes institute, SPJIMR Mumbai, among others.

Q 10: Which is the best PGDM college in India?

Ans. Great Learning or Great Lake management studies is one of the top-ranked management colleges for PGDM course.

Q 11: Which colleges offer both MBA and PGDM courses?

Ans. Some colleges like the International Institute of Business Studies in Bengaluru, Great Learning, Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai, Alliance School of Business in Anekal, IMT Ghaziabad offer both MBA and PGDM courses.

Q 12: Which is the best institute for a distance MBA in India?

Ans. Great Learning in collaboration with top universities like PES and JAIN is one of the best online MBA program in india. 

Q 13: Is PGDM approved by AICTE equivalent to an MBA degree?

Ans. Many institutions provide PGDM approved by AICTE. These institutions have more control over the curriculum and can change the curriculum depending on the latest trends. This makes PGDM to be equivalent to the MBA degree.

Q 14: Which is a better one, a full-time MBA/PGDM or an Executive MBA?

Ans. Executive MBA will be a better option for working professionals.

Also read: Top 10 reasons to join Executive PG Program in Management

Q 15: Whether there is an age limit for pursuing MBA / PGDM?

Ans. Minimum -25 years Max- No upper age limit.

If you wish to pursue your management studies, Great Learning offers the best Executive PG Program in Management to upskill your managerial skills. Join now!

Check out our most popular blogs on Management studies 



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