We have seen many of you wonderful people out there being in a dilemma, when it comes to understanding the difference between MBA and PGDM. The confusion gets further enhanced due to the ambiguous offerings by some of the B Schools. In order to help you understand the difference between MBA and PGDM, what is the significance of both and how do they impact your career; we bring to you this article. So read on the difference between MBA and PGDM and be well informed.

Difference between MBA and PGDM

Why few offer MBA and rest offer PGDM?

As per the law in India, only a University can offer degrees such as the MBA, BBA, B.Tech or B.E. Any educational institution which is not affiliated to a University cannot offer a degree. So institutes like IIMs, XLRI, NITIE, MDI etc. which are the autonomous bodies and run independently,  cannot offer MBA degree and hence offer the PGDM / PGP.


PGDM expands to Post Graduate Diploma in Management, while PGP is Post Graduate Program Diploma. And all the confusion starts when you see the term Diploma. Yes, you read it right – this is Diploma and not exactly a degree in technical terms. The main reason why postgraduate courses are named as PGDM is because when an Institute is an autonomous body (not affiliated to any University) and conducts management courses, then such Institutes cannot offer MBA degree. Even IIMs, XLRI’s doesn’t offer MBA degrees; they only give PGP Diploma.

Despite offering PGDM / PGP, autonomous colleges have their advantages

Autonomous institutes may design their own curriculum to be taught and upgrade it regularly instead of following outdated University syllabus. Reason for university syllabus being outdated at times is that it changes once in 3 or 5 years; which certainly is a deterrent in Management arena, where the industry and technology is rapidly changing.

While one may say that PGDM courses are more Industry relevant, up to date as compared to MBA courses; some of the University MBA Programmes have earned a huge brand values in India. Such MBA programmes which have earned reputed brand image are led by Delhi University’s MBA programme offered by FMS Delhi. It is today among top 4 colleges in India. This is followed by the MBA degree offered by Symbiosis University and Narsee Monjee University.

How does MBA or PGDM Impact your career? 

Indian Context

In purely an Indian context, there is NO DIFFERENCE when it comes to how the industry treats PGDM and MBA graduate. If you see, 9 out of top 10 B Schools in India offer PGDM / PGP and not MBA. This is the testimony to the fact that there is no difference between the two in India.

Career growth is same in both, and to be true career growth is dependent on individual’s performance and not on the name PGDM or MBA. Starting packages are dependent on college’s name and brand, not whether it offers MBA or PGDM and that is why you see most of the top B Schools in India offer PGDM/PGP and only couple of colleges offering MBA degree compete with them.

Global Context

Let us divide the analysis in Global context in two parts: Jobs perspective and Higher Education (like PhD or double MBA) perspective.

From job perspective, there is no difference even in global arena, especially if you are coming from a reputed B School of India. What matters more is the brand perception of institute, alumni base and how the respective industry treats your institute. Name of degree, MBA or PGDM doesn’t matter.

However, when we talk from the perspective of Higher Education; yes there is a difference and having an MBA degree helps you a bit more as compared to having a Diploma (PGDM / PGP). Though, the difference is miniscule of just a point or two when it comes to the evaluation of your application form for higher education as MBA gets you marked against Masters Degree while PGDM/PGP gets you marked against Masters-Diploma.

So, if you are not looking for higher studies, then whether you have MBA or PGDM doesn’t matter. What matters is you are coming from which college, its industry perception and similar aspects.