PGDM vs MBA: Choosing the Best Decision for Your Future

Which course is more prominent, PGDM or MBA? This is the most vital question asked by many candidates when choosing to opt for a career. While both provide a unique level of education and open many exciting job opportunities, the main difference lies in which one is perfect for you.

Not to worry, in this blog, we will cover the significant differences between PGDM vs MBA programmes and highlight their key pros and cons to make an informed decision to thrive in future success. Let’s understand each programme in detail.

Understanding of the Basics: PGDM vs MBA

What is PGDM?

PGDM, which stands for Postgraduate Diploma in Management, is a two-year diploma programme offered by renowned autonomous institutes and recognised by the All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE). It is designed to provide more practical advantages and flexibility than an MBA programme, preparing you for the real-world challenges of the management field.

Important Features of PGDM

  • Institutions: Autonomous Institutes
  • Focus: Industry-oriented and practical knowledge with an in-depth focus on developing skills

  • What is an MBA?

An MBA is a two-year postgraduate degree offered by universities. The programme is designed to provide comprehensive knowledge in various business and management fields, ensuring you are well-equipped for the challenges of the business world. It is considered a more standard programme with a wide range of business concepts and theoretical experience, providing you with vital business knowledge.

Important Features of MBA:

  • Institutions: Universities and affiliated institutes
  • Focus: Educational and theoretical yet practical approach with a comprehensive business perspective.

Pros and Cons of PGDM vs MBA

Choosing between a PGDM and an MBA can be challenging because both provide a holistic curriculum that helps aspirants to have successful careers. However, as we know, each programme has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Here are some to consider before choosing your field of interest.

Post Graduate Diploma Management (PGDM) 


  1. Industry-Based Curriculum: PGDM programmes are updated regularly to reflect industry demands and market trends.
  2. Flexibility: PGDM offers a flexible syllabus that can be incorporated more frequently to adapt to new developments within the management.
  3. Focus on Practical Knowledge: Enhancing practical and industrial skills through workshops, internships, and seminars.
  4. Broad Specialisation Options: PGDM typically offers a broad range of specialisations within the programme, allowing aspirants to tailor their education to uplift their career goals.
  5. Corporate Connections: Obtaining PGDM often leads to substantial networking opportunities and placement structure within diverse industrial sectors. 


  1. Recognition and Accreditation: A PGDM is a diploma, not a degree, which might be less recognised than an MBA.
  2. Cost: PGDM is generally cost-effective, but if candidates do the PGDM programme from top universities, it can be more expensive than the MBA programme.
  3. Long-Term Value: An MBA is considered more prestigious and valuable than a PGDM in a particular business sector.
  4. Limited Alumni Network: Compared to an MBA programme, a PGDM programme has fewer networking opportunities, which can impact the candidates’ education.
  5. Perspective: In some industries and regions, an MBA is considered more prestigious and valuable than a PGDM, which may affect the career prospects of the candidates.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)


  1. Worldwide Recognition: The essential advantage of an MBA programme is its worldwide recognition. It is widely acknowledged and often considered the most prestigious degree in the business domain, making you feel valued and respected in the global business community. 
  2. University Affiliation and Accreditation: The MBA programme is affiliated with renowned bodies like UGC, AICTE, NAAC, etc., which benefits the candidates by providing them with acclaimed educational knowledge and resources from universities. 
  3. Course- Curriculum: The MBA offers a wide range of courses within the business programme, covering topics related to management, business, marketing, finance, etc. 
  4. Long-Term Value: MBA holds strong value for career upliftment, especially in research and educational domains. 
  5. Comprehensive Business Knowledge: MBA programmes offer various business topics, including marketing, finance, operations, HR and IT.


  1. Less Flexible Course-Curriculum: Affiliated university programmes may update their course syllabus less frequently than the PGDM programme.
  2. Theoretical Focus: MBA focuses more on theoretical knowledge than practical skills, which varies according to the programme.
  3. Less Industry Connection: Some MBA programmes may have less strong industry connections, which can impact placement opportunities. 
  4. Less MBA Specialisation: The MBA programme might have less specialisation than the PGDM programme, which generally limits candidates’ approach to a particular field of interest. 
  5. Cost: MBA programmes can be expensive, often costing between 2 LPA to 20 LPA. 

Difference between PGDM vs MBA: Key Comparison

Candidates pursuing a management course can check the table below to learn more about PGDM and MBA programmes. The information will guide you in deciding which programme aligns with your career goals.




Course Name 

Post Graduate Diploma Management

Master of Administration

Course Level




2 Years 

2 Years

Eligibility Criteria

Graduation in any stream with a minimum of 50% marks and 45% of marks for reserved category

Graduation in any discipline with a minimum mark of 50% with 45% marks of relaxation for the SC/ST category.

Entrance Exam






Course Fee

Rs 5,00,000 to Rs 24,00,000

Rs 2,00,000 to Rs 20,00,000


More focus on practical and industrial knowledge

More focus on theoretical aspects and key areas of business management


It is mostly expensive if done through a private university

More affordable if done through govt. university

Please Note: The fees given above are subject to change.

Top-Ranked Universities/Institutes Providing PGDM vs MBA

Here is the list of renowned universities/institutes providing PGDM and MBA programmes.

PGDM Universities/Institutes

Name of Universities/Institutes

Fees in INR

IIM Mumbai


IIM Kozhikode


IIM Lucknow


Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune


XLRI Jamshedpur


IMI Delhi


IIT Kharagpur


IMT Ghaziabad



MBA Universities/Institutes

Name of Universities/Institutes

Fees in INR

IIM Ahmedabad


IIM Indore


IIM Bangalore


IIFT Delhi


FMS Delhi


NMIMS Mumbai


MDI Gurgaon




KJ Somaiya Insitute of Management


Please Note: The fees below can vary depending on educational qualification, course choice, and universities. 

Best Universities/Institutes Offering Online PGDM vs Online MBA

Below are the best universities/institutes for online PGDM and Online MBA programmes with structured fees:

Online PGDM Universities/Institutes

Online PGDM Universities/ Institutes

Fees in INR 



GIM, Goa


BIMTECH Greater Noida


Jaipuria Institute of Management


IMT Ghaziabad


MIT School of Distance Learning


LN Welingkar WeSchool, Mumbai


Symbiosis School For Online & Digital Learning (SCDL)



Online MBA Universities/ Institutes

Online MBA Universities/ Institutes

Fees in INR 

Amity University


Manipal University Jaipur


Lovely Professional University


Manipal Academy for Higher Education (MAHE)


Jain University


Bharathidasan University Online


O.P Jindal Global University


Please Note: The fees given are subject to change 

PGDM vs MBA Syllabus

The syllabus set for PGDM is processed by AICTE, whereas the MBA curriculum is more practical and theoretical, which changes less because universities update it. 

Here is the general view of the PGDM and MBA syllabus to look forward to.




Semester 1

  • Managerial Economics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Quantitative Methods

Semester 2

  • Cost and Management Accounting
  • Financial Management
  • Organisation Effectiveness and Change
  • Management Science

Semester 3

  • International Business 
  • Operational Management
  • Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Legal Environment of Business

Semester 4

  • Business Law
  • Strategic Management
  • Project Study
  • Strategic Management

Please Note: This is a general syllabus, and it keeps on changing as per the B-schools

Career and Salary Prospects After Pursuing PGDM vs MBA

A management career is often considered an important factor that offers diverse career options in PGDM and MBA programmes. Obtaining any degree in PGDM or MBA can provide a diverse yet important career role to thrive in. 

Below is the list of the most renowned job roles in PGDM and MBA programmes to look forward to.

MBA Career Scope

Job Profile

Salary in INR 

Marketing Manager


Finance Manager


Sales Manager


Operations Manager


Product Manager


Business Development Manager


Accounting Manager



PGDM Career Scope

Job Profile

Salary in INR 

Commercial Manager


HR Manager


Brand Manager


Study Counsellor


Business Consultant


PR Officer


Strategic Manager


Please Note: The salary below can change depending on job location, work experience and academic background.

Top Recruiters for PGDM vs MBA

The top recruiters providing placement for PGDM and MBA programmes are given below. 

PGDM Recruiters

  1. HDFC Bank
  2. Dell
  3. Myntra
  4. Lifestyle
  5. Amazon

MBA Recruiters

  1. McKinsey
  2. Morgan Stanley
  3. Brain & Co
  4. Citibank
  5. Google
  6. Flipkart

How to choose between a PGDM and an MBA? Which is better

Selecting between a PGDM vs MBA varies depending on factors such as academic institutions, career paths, university infrastructure, etc. Below are key points to guide you in making an informed decision regarding your career.

Recognition and Accreditation

PGDM: The PGDM programme is offered by an autonomous institution that is not affiliated with any university and is accredited by AICTE.

MBA: The programme is offered by universities, institutes, and business schools and is accredited by recognised bodies like UGC, NAAC, etc.

Course Curriculum and Flexible Learning Mode

PGDM: The programme is more industry-based and can be related to market trends and industry needs. It mainly provides flexibility in course-curriculum format.

MBA: The MBA programme uses more focused theoretical and practical knowledge and follows a well-prescribed university syllabus. However, the course curriculum is slower because of bureaucratic processes.


PGDM: The PGDM programme is more expensive than the MBA programme because it is offered mainly in private universities.

MBA: Typically affordable if done in govt universities or opted for online MBA courses.

Career Goals

PGDM: Obtaining a PGDM course offers more career options in private selector and consultancy. Candidates can even start their own startups because of their practical knowledge and skills.

MBA: An MBA programme is a well-regarded degree, and aspirants can qualify for prominent academic roles in diverse sectors such as Manufacturing, Banking, Finance, Marketing, Retail, etc.

Worldwide Recognition

PGDM: This programme may face issues while considering studying abroad. On the other hand, an MBA is globally recognised and accepted by top universities. 

MBA: An MBA is a globally recognised degree that is beneficial for those planning to study or work internationally.


PGDM vs MBA is an important programme, and candidates’ choice depends on their career goals, financial circumstances, and learning environment. Both programmes offer essential opportunities as they provide different needs. If you want to advance your career, enrolling on an MBA programme is a much better choice as its value is widely and globally recognised. On the other hand, if you want industry knowledge, then choosing PGDM is a conveniently more accurate programme.

For more information, check the Hike Education website for clear and precise details.


Q1. What is the better programme to choose between a PGDM vs MBA?

While both have advantages and disadvantages, an MBA programme is more ideal for career advancement, as it provides practical and industrial knowledge; on the other hand, aspirants can choose PGDM, which offers solid corporate connections.

Q2. Which programme offers better career opportunities in PGDM vs MBA?

While both programmes offer better job opportunities, PGDM offers more suitable and dynamic industrial jobs with practical skills and knowledge. On the other hand, MBA is universally valued and recognised.

Q3. How much is the PGDM salary?

According to the Ambition Box report, a PGDM graduate student earns between INR 6LPA and INR 10LPA, with an average salary of INR 8 LPA.

Q4. Why are PGDM fees so high?

MBAs are available in most universities and colleges and have budget-friendly fees. On the other hand, PGDMs are offered primarily at private institutes that are not even affiliated with UGC, and therefore, the costs are more expensive.

Q5. Between PGDM vs MBA, which programme is considered more by the employers?

Preference depends mainly on job role and industry. Some employers want to scale up their skill set, so they go for a PGDM programme, while those who value practical and theoretical knowledge usually choose an MBA programme.

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