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MBA vs PGDM: Which is better?

Everything has an expiry date, probably true with MBA. In India MBA is an old version for those wanting to pursue management studies and now two-year diploma course PGDM sounds better, as long it is approved by AICTE. Generally, PGDM course is far more industry oriented and practical as far as job market is concerned.

I have been professor at one the of major B-Schools in India. With a bundle of degrees on offer, students are tremendously confused. There is a perception MBA (Master in Business Administration) is degree program whereas the other program is diploma. This is where the confusion starts. Having taught both MBA and the “so called diploma programs, I can assure that as far as legal equivalence is concerned; all two-year programs approved by AICTE or affiliated to a University are the same. There is not at all any difference in the acceptance of these courses. Yes, as far as market acceptance is concerned I have noticed these days’ companies have more faith on PGDM program. The reason could be that autonomous college’s focus remains entirely on one program wherein universities offering 100s of courses may not give that much of care to one.


Universities in India are extremely slow in revising their curriculum to the changing industry demand. This is why we don't have an MBA in Financial Markets or in real estate, although these are the fastest growing segments. The PGDM on the other side, is tailor-made and customized by the institute and is far more flexible. This makes it possible for the college to continuously upgrade and improve the curriculum. That is why the PGDM is far more industry oriented than MBA. The Question of Perusing Higher Education Is PGDM valid for higher education? In India, all the awards of PGDM from AICTE recognized institutes are equivalent to a master’s degree. A student can pursue her/his higher education like M Phil, PhD, or any other course with the PGDM conferred by an AICTE approved institution.

PGDM vis a vis MBA course:

Generally, University based curriculums for MBA are out of fashion and not updated very frequently. While PGDM courses keep updating almost every six months. I appreciate few colleges like SPJain, Taxila Business School and few more for changing in curriculum almost every term to cater to the futuristic requirements.

One important decision:

Normally we spend more time researching on the features of the laptop or a smartphone we buy than on the college we wish to make career with. Selecting an Business School may be the most important decision in the life of an management aspirant. You must not be swayed by the opinions and myths. A couple of hours spent researching the school is a good investment. If possible, visit the school and have a discussion with the faculty members and students. And keep in mind, Finally PGDM programs from AICTE recognised institutes are better than MBA.


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