The key differences between PGDM and MBA (and which one you should opt for)

Before we talk about the difference between a PGDM and an MBA, let’s talk a bit about the similarities between the two. The first similarity is both PGDM and MBA are management programs that have been developed by B-Schools and industry together to train individuals for different sorts of profiles in marketing, sales, international business, human resource, etc. Another similarity is the course duration which is generally for 2 years. Admission into PGDM and MBA programs also depends on your performance in competitive exams like CAT, MAT, XAT, etc, and in the in-house GD / PIs conducted by business schools. Now let’s come to the differences.

1. The first and prominent difference between a PGDM and MBA program is that PGDM programs are conducted by colleges or institutes affiliated by AICTE, whereas MBA programs in India can be conducted by institutes affiliated with universities.

2. PGDM colleges in India are seen as more competitive than their MBA counterparts since they get to update their course content every year or so. In case of MBA colleges in Delhi or elsewhere in India, they cannot change their course content unless the same comes from the university which they are affiliated with. So, it is clearly evident that PGDM students tend to study more contemporary issues pertaining to business world than their MBA counterparts. So whether it’s GST or issuance of new currency in the economy or something else affecting the Indian or global business and economy, it’s the PGDM students who get it first.

3. MBA is seen as more of a theory-focused program where you learn about the business as a whole, whereas PGDM has its focus on the practical side of business management. This one is particularly a major difference between a PG diploma and masters program, and this also reflects in the way companies offer summer internship and final placements to their students.

Which course you should opt for?

MBA is a traditional management program which has its own merits. However, there’s no denying the massive popularity of PGDM programs among students who dream to make it big in the world of business. Keep in mind that course content stays current in PGDM programs. Also, top management colleges in Delhi, like Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, offer tremendous exposure to their students, be it through foreign student exchange programs or summer internships, or guest lectures. Even IIMs do not offer you MBA programs; what they do offer is PGDM programs. So, we’d advise you to analyze your own strengths and weaknesses and your career aspirations. Then, compare the differences between a PGDM and MBA program. And then decide whether you’d like to pursue an MBA or an industry-oriented PGDM program. You can seek some help from a career counsellor as well. Or, you can also speak with someone in your family who’s done a management program before.

If you’d like to know about our institute, or the AICTE and Ministry of HRD (Govt. of India) approved PGDM Programs that we offer, do let us know. Here are our contact details: Phone numbers: 1800-1133-34, or 8287-2525-25. You can also reach out to us at