5 Differences Between PGDM and MBA



17 July, 2023

5 Differences Between PGDM and MBA

If you are planning to pursue a postgraduate course in management, you might be wondering whether to go for a PGDM or an MBA. Both are popular options that can help you advance your career in the business world. But what are the differences between them and which one is better suited for your goals?

Today, we will compare PGDM and MBA on various parameters such as eligibility, curriculum, fee, placements, jobs and salary. You will know whether PGDM is equal to MBA or not.

What is PGDM?

PGDM stands for Post Graduate Diploma in Management. It is a two-year diploma course offered by autonomous institutes or private colleges that are approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). PGDM courses are more industry-oriented and focus on practical knowledge and skills that are relevant to the current market scenario. PGDM courses also have more flexibility in updating their curriculum according to the changing needs of employers and the economy.

What is an MBA?

MBA stands for Master of Business Administration. It is a two-year degree course offered by universities or colleges that are affiliated with universities. MBA courses are recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and follow a more standardised and theoretical curriculum. It covers the core concepts and principles of business management. MBA courses provide you with deeper knowledge and require project work as part of the course.


Related: Confused About Which MBA Specialization is best for You? 10 decisive points

Difference Between PGDM and MBA

PGDM vs MBA: Eligibility

The basic eligibility criteria for both PGDM and MBA courses are similar. You need to have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognised university with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks. You also need to qualify for national-level or state-level entrance exams such as CAT, XAT, MAT, CMAT, ATMA or GMAT to get admission to a reputed institute or college. Some institutes may also conduct their own entrance tests or group discussions or personal interviews as part of the admission process.

PGDM vs MBA: Curriculum

The curriculum of PGDM and MBA courses differs in terms of their focus, depth and flexibility. PGDM courses are more application-based and emphasise developing the skills and competencies that are required for managing various aspects of a business. These include marketing, finance, operations, human resources, strategy, etc. PGDM courses also allow you to choose from various electives and specialisations that suit your interests and career goals. PGDM courses also update their syllabus frequently to keep pace with the latest trends and developments in the industry.

MBA courses are more theory-based and cover the fundamental concepts & frameworks that support the functioning of a business organisation. MBA courses also have a fixed curriculum that is prescribed by the university and does not change much over time. MBA courses also have fewer options for electives and specialisations and follow a more generalist approach to management education.

PGDM vs MBA: Fee

The fee for PGDM and MBA courses vary depending on the reputation, ranking, infrastructure, faculty and placement record of the institute or college. Generally speaking, PGDM courses tend to be more expensive than MBA courses as they are offered by private institutions. They charge higher fees to cover their operational costs and provide better facilities and services to their students. MBA courses are comparatively cheaper as they are subsidised by the government or the university.

The average fee for PGDM courses ranges from Rs. 4 lakh to Rs. 24 lakh per annum depending on the institute. Whereas the fee for MBA courses ranges from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh per annum depending on the college.

PGDM vs MBA: Placements

The placements of PGDM and MBA courses depend on various factors such as the quality of education, the reputation of the institute or college, the network of alumni, the industry linkages, the performance of the students, etc. Normally an MBA course has an edge over PGDM. It has more industry exposure, better corporate relations, more practical training and a more updated curriculum that makes its students more employable and ready for the job market. PGDM courses have more diversity in terms of sectors, roles and profiles that their students can opt for.

PGDM courses also have good placements but they may not match up to the level of MBA courses in terms of salary packages and job satisfaction. MBA courses also have more competition among students as they have larger batch sizes and fewer options for specialisation.

PGDM vs MBA: Jobs and Salary

The jobs and salaries of PGDM and MBA graduates depend on their skills, knowledge, experience, performance, industry, location, company etc. Both PGDM and MBA graduates can find lucrative jobs in various sectors such as banking, finance, consulting, marketing, sales, operations, human resources, IT, e-commerce, education, healthcare, etc. Both PGDM and MBA graduates can start their ventures or pursue higher studies or research in their fields of interest.

However, MBA graduates may have an advantage over PGDM graduates in terms of career progression, job satisfaction and salary growth. PGDM graduates may also have more options for switching careers or changing domains as they have more specialised qualifications and diverse experience.

The average salary package for a PGDM course student is INR 8.84 LPA. The average salary package for an MBA course student is INR 9.04 LPA depending on the college.


Both PGDM and MBA offer you high growth and skills required in the business world. Before going for any of these two programmes, you must ensure that it suits your requirements and career prospects. PGDM & MBA provide you with the necessary knowledge to boost your professional career and help you become a successful individual.

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