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Postgraduation is a defining moment in a student or a professional’s career. One of the most sort after postgraduation degree is an MBA or PGDM. Every year lakhs of students appear for different management entrance exams to get a seat in their dream b-school. 

A common doubt they have whether to choose an MBA or a PGDM programme. This doubt was further strengthened after the Indian Institute of Management Bill 2017 was passed on 28th July 2017 by the Lok Sabha. The IIM Bill 2017:

  • Came into effect from 31st December 2017 
  • Declared the IIMs as Institute of National Importance. 
  • Gave degree-awarding power to the IIMs which until then were only offering diplomas. 
  • Gave more autonomy and statuary status to all 20 IIMs

But does it make one better than the other? Does it impact the job opportunities one gets at the end of the programme? There are quite a few technical differences between an MBA and PGDM. But the good news is that it makes no difference at a professional level. Both MBA and PGDM are acceptable to the industry. Let us take a closer look.

MBA & PGDM - Differences


MBA or Masters of Business Administration

PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma in Management




Offered By

University to which colleges are affiliated.

Institutes that are autonomous bodies.


University Grants Commission (UGC)

Regulated by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)

PGDM is equivalent to MBA when the college offering PGDM is accredited from Association of Indian Universities.

Curriculum Design

As per university guidelines


Independent decision of an institute

Can be updated once in 4 to 7 years

Can be updated regularly bridging the industry – academia gap

Curriculum Focus

Industry oriented

Theory based

Helps build soft skills and technical skills

Course Structure

Semester based

Trimester based

Four semesters

Six trimesters

6 months duration

4 months duration


More affordable

Often more expensive

Can be as low as up to a few thousand rupees

Can go as high up to 35 lakhs

MBA & PGDM – Similarities Education-wise

  1. Both are designed to train students into professional managers and leaders.
  2. Core areas of focus in both are banking & finance, HR, operations, and marketing.
  3. Both MBA and PGDM offer a set of electives to choose from after the first year is complete.
  4. Summer internships and projects are an essential aspect of both the MBA and PGDM.
  5. Innovation is the key while teaching the MBA and PGDM courses.

MBA & PGDM – Similarities Career-wise 

  1. There is absolutely no difference in the kind of job opportunities one gets at the end of the completion of an MBA or PGDM. 
  2. The success in one’s career depends on individual performance.
  3. The salaries offered have more to do with the brand of the institute.

A master’s degree is a one-time investment which is bound to give positive returns in the future. The difference lies in the reputation and the exposure one gets at the b-school and not in the type of degree or diploma one earns. Industry accepts everyone equally.

Stay informed, Stay ahead and stay inspired with MBA Rendezvous