PGDM Vs MBA – Which One is Better?

It happens every year. No matter what, the problem seems to only grow. Now the problem we are talking about here is not about our increasing carbon footprint or melting glaciers or even about the jobs that seem to disappear every year. Here, we are talking about the problem that management aspirants like you face when they make up their mind to pursue a management program; the minute they decide to enrol for such a course, the very first thing that hits them hard is whether they should enrol for a PGDM course or go for an MBA program. And though both are management courses duly affiliated from responsible authorities, and offer wonderful career prospects, that does not diminish the confusion surrounding around PGDM and MBA.

Students scout the web to know which program has more value, which course offers better salary packages, whether PGDM is a master degree, and is PGDM equivalent to MBA. There are hundreds of other questions and queries that student community seems to not find any answer for. That’s precisely why we wrote down this post: to help you find updated and authoritative answers on your queries.

Which has more value: an MBA course or a PGDM program?

They both have tremendous value. And thought both are management courses and prepare you for the corporate world, they are different in terms of their course content and the skills they offer you. So, you cannot actually compare the two. Now, if you are someone who come from a middle class family or lower middle class family and want to build a successful career in top MNCs operating in India, then you should probably opt for a PGDM program rather than an MBA because PGDMs are built around the specific and current needs of the industry. Unlike MBA courses, PGDM programs are updated every year or so. This helps keep their courses well on track and industry-oriented. Whether it’s bit coins, block chain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, or content marketing, you will learn it all in your PGDM course. MBA colleges in India, on other hand, typically update their courses once in 3 or 5 years.

PGDM vs. MBA Salary

As a management aspirant, we always encourage our students to pursue great careers, rather than chasing monetary gains, at least in the first 5-10 years of their careers. Also, your salary won’t only depend on whether you have completed a PGDM or MBA; in fact, several factors including the brand value of your college, your individual performance in the exams, your interpersonal skills, determine what kind of package you’ll be offered.

Is PGDM equivalent to MBA?

MBA programs have been around for decades in India. And they have maintained their reputation over all this time. PGDMs, on the other hand, are comparatively new, and offer an alternative route to build successful and rewarding careers in corporate. PGDMs are thus often seen as equivalent to MBA; however, not PGDMs are equal to MBAs. Only after they get approved or recognized by bodies such as AICTE and AIU, they are considered equivalent to an MBA. Many students seem to prefer MBAs just because they are a degree course; however, you should know that even the top management institutions in India, including IIMs and XLRI Jamshedpur, offer PGDMs and PGPs, and not MBAs. The point is you should take up a course from a reputed college and finish it diligently. The rest of the things will fall in place on its own.

Below we’ve put together a comparison chart that further helps you distinguish between MBA and PGDM courses.

Parameters PGDM MBA
Fee Structure PGDM may charge the candidates with higher fees as these programs are run by autonomous institutes. MBA fee is comparatively lower as university guidelines are followed.
Program Relevance New relevant changes as per industry standards are updated in the curriculum as institutes have the freedom to modify the programs as per current business demands. MBA program usually follows the guidelines of the Universities and hence there are more theoretical concepts discussed as the curriculum is fixed.  



Skill Development There is a lot more emphasis given on soft skill development and developing relevant industry skills. Though similar aspects are surely given due importance here as well but the scope is limited.
Course Status Can be treated as an MBA degree if it has AIU (Association of Indian Universities) affiliation. MBA degree is by default offered by Universities.
Course Affiliation It is approved by AICTE, Indian Government and HRD Ministry. It is approved by Universities.
Weightage of course The brand value of institute is equally important as the course itself. The ranking of the university matters as much as the degree.
Course Duration The duration of this course is usually two years with 6 terms in total. The duration of this course may vary from 1-2 years. Generally, it is of 2 years and there are 4 terms in total.

The above tabular representation gives a detailed clarity about the parameters on which these courses are differentiated. The weightage of management program depends on the brand value of the institute offering it as the industry evaluates the performance of the students recruited and relate it with the training given at the institute.

Going by the industry consensus, PGDM programs are considered to be more relevant and updated to match with the current industry needs. To apply for the AICTE approved PGDM programs offered by Asia-Pacific Institute of Management (AIM), New Delhi, please click here –