The most common dilemma amongst management education aspirants is: Should I join a PGDM programme or a MBA programme? This is a very common case since not many are fully aware of the subtle differences between the two and which one is largely beneficial. Due to the basic difference of a Diploma and a Degree, most of the students find it difficult to choose.

How are PGDM programmes different from MBA programmes?

PGDM is essentially a diploma program as the name suggests, which is granted by the institutions and some private schools whereas an MBA is offered only by management institutes which are affiliated to a University. PGDM programs are more flexible and customized while MBA programs are University run and therefore its adaptability is difficult at short notice.

The best examples are the IIM and XLRI. These elite institutions do not offer an MBA. IIMs offer PGP (Post Graduate Diploma Programmes) and the Xavier’s Institute offers PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management).

While MBA focuses more on theoretical aspects of management which helps develop technical skills and business knowledge, PGDM emphasizes on building soft skills making it more practical and job oriented. Generally MBA is for people looking for managerial roles which involve supervising, decision-making etc. There are various specializations in MBA from which a person can choose.

On the other hand PGDM is a diploma ideal for those seeking a career boost. The program is designed in such a way that the diploma acts as a supplementary to the general awareness a person possesses of the organization and only needs managerial knowledge for business situations. The course helps in sharpening the diagnostic abilities.

Since most of the PGDM institutes offering the diploma are autonomous, they are at liberty to design their own curriculum. The syllabus is regularly updated depending on the current industry relevant needs. On a general basis the syllabus at University level changes once in 3 or 5 years affecting university affiliating colleges.

Comparatively an MBA is more affordable than PGDM since the fees are almost similar to university standard.

However, accreditation status of colleges is of utmost importance while opting for PGDM courses wherein the courses need to be accredited by AICTE.

Is PGDM equivalent to MBA?

It is not always the case because if PGDM is to be an equivalent to MBA then the college offering the PGDM course must have accreditation from AIU (The Association of Indian Universities).

Thus, if you are in doubt over doing an MBA or PGDM, you must first find out about the Institute’s credentials. If it’s an MBA that you are considering check the University that it is affiliated to. If you are considering a PGDM check if the Institute has an autonomous status or if it is AICTE approved or not.
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