While choosing between their business and management qualification, students are sometimes confused between choosing MBA or PGDM. This article, written by experts at MBAUniverse.com, will clear your doubts.
So, what is the main difference between MBA and PGDM? The main difference between them is: Masters in Business Administration or MBA is a degree course that is basically offered by the Universities (both Government and Private) and Colleges affiliated to these Universities whereas Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) is a Diploma programme that is offered by B-schools/Colleges that are recognised by the Government of India’s nodal body for technical education – All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
It’s important to note that even the prestigious IIMs and ISB Hyderabad offer Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) and not MBA as they are neither a University nor are affiliated colleges to any other university. However, with the passing of IIM Bill 2017, IIMs are expected to offer MBA in coming years.
I want to stress that while choosing between MBA or PGDM, what is the most important for you as a student is to understand your personal goals. It depends on what you are more interested in, if you are interested in a corporate job and career, you should choose a B-school/ MBA Colleges based on their Ranking, Curriculum and Placements, and should not by the degree or diploma they offer. Corporates don’t treat MBAs or PGDMs differently. They only want candidates that can perform really well on the job. So curriculum and faculty, and not degree or diploma, is the most important.
While IIMs are a well-known brand, PGDM B-schools are at par with IIMs and MBA colleges as according to Business Today, MINT-MBAUniverse.com and other reputed B-school Rankings more than 75 out of 100 Top B-schools in India are PGDM B-schools.Many top PGDM B-schools have received MBA Equivalence from Government body AIU, and their PGDM is treated at par with MBA when it comes for higher studies like M.Phil or Ph.D. However, if you are looking for just another academic qualification, that too at a low fee, then an MBA from a Government university will work well.
MBA or PGDM: How should you decide
Here is how you can decide between the two:
Decide your MBA Goals:
If your goal is to join the corporate world, then PGDM or MBA makes no difference. What matters is your learning at a B-school. However, if your goal is to get another academic qualification at low cost, MBA fits the requirements well.
Set up your MBA Budget:
This is an important consideration since the MBA fee ranges from Rs.25,000 at FMS Delhi to Rs. 21 lakhs at IIM Ahmedabad. No doubt the financial assistance in the form of study loan is available to pursue the MBA programme from all the banks and financial institutions in India, you need to weigh all the pros and cons based on fee structure and your financial ability.
Since it is not possible for everyone to get 99+ in CAT and be a lucky one among 200 candidates to get admission in MBA programme at FMS, Delhi, there are good MBA colleges with low fee structure in the range of 2 to 10 lakhs in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad where you can pursue your MBA/PGDM. However, before moving ahead, you should also see the Return on Investment that you would get after completing your MBA.
Check your Academic Credentials and MBA Entrance Exam Scores:
PGDM B-schools can choose from one or many of 6 approved exams: CAT, XAT, CMAT, MAT, GMAT, ATMA. These exams are held in December, January, February every year. State-level MBA Exams like PGCET and TANCET happen later in the year in May, June. If you score well in CAT, XAT etc, you have a good chance to get into good PGDM B-schools.
Make the right selection:
Doing MBA can be your need for future growth, your quest to learn leadership skills or to simply enhance your business and entrepreneurship skills. However, you are needed to make the right choice and choose the best suitable MBA programme.
Top Reasons to choose PGDM
Industry oriented course structure:
The course pattern of PGDM is basically more industry-oriented and more benefitting as compared to MBA, since autonomous institutes offer this course, therefore the curriculum is kept in accordance to the latest developments. Also, PGDM has a better and more practical approach, whereas, MBA just gives you bookish knowledge.
Specialization in Any Field:
PGDM lets you to be an expert in your areas of interest. For example, if you choose to go for a specialization in Human Resource Management, then you can choose minor subjects like Marketing/ Finance/IT/Project management which gives you an edge over other candidates.
Preference for Higher Studies:
Many recognised Business schools in India as well as Abroad, give preference to PGDM students over MBA students. This is due to the practicality of PGDM offers and MBA being more theoretical. Hence it gives you an advantage over other students provided it is done from a recognised institute.
Real-time Business World Experience:
In PGDM, students are given immense exposure to the real-time business world through rigorous classroom studies, meetings with top business leaders, management internships and various other similar ways. These techniques help the students to get comfortable with the business environment and makes them job ready.
Better Placement Offers:
Institutes with PGDM courses have many attractive placement offers since they are independent in nature. Whereas MBA doesn’t guarantee you a placement or job offer and you have to struggle on your own for placement.
In institutes offering PGDM, the teachers are more qualified as they are offered lucrative salary packages whereas in MBA colleges due to the outdated rules of universities, college makes extra efforts to bring the latest corporate learnings.
Job Oriented Programme:
PGDM is more job oriented than MBA which helps one in getting a suitable job right after completing the course. The job opportunities are widened with a PGDM due to the added skills you learn during the course.
PGDM gives more learning opportunities, Seminars and workshops are arranged. Top industry managers are called as guests for giving speeches and to motivate students. Industries also prefer autonomous institutions for campus recruitments.
Better Financial Aid:
It is easier to get education loans if you study in an AICTE approved business school Like Best B-School in UP they are widely recognised. In private or national banks, students can easily avail loans and complete their studies without any burden.
Just getting a degree won’t get you a job. What you require are the right skills. PGDM teaches you those skills. It makes you ready for the leadership and managerial skills you learn. These skills will definitely help you in surviving the competitive corporate world with ease.
Top Reasons to choose MBA
Good MBA programmes offered by top Government or Private Universities are compatible to the best management courses offered by any B-school in India. Although both MBA and PGDM are similar in outcomes in terms of employment prospective, there are still some differences as shared below:
MBA, a Degree programme:
At the end of an MBA programme, students are presented with MBA degree instead of a Post Graduate Diploma. You do not need any AIU equivalence certificate to accompany your MBA degree while to prove that you have done MBA an equivalence certificate is needed with PGDM.
MBA has Global acceptability for employment:
At the international level, MBA degree is well recognized for global employment opportunities and is acceptable by all the recruiters. Top B-schools in the world offer MBA degree and not PGDM diploma.
MBA degree – requirement for higher studies abroad:
If you wish to pursue higher studies like doctoral programme abroad, it is the MBA degree that makes an impact and is acceptable. Foreign universities need your MBA degree instead of diploma to offer you admission in Ph.D/Doctoral programme.
MBA backed by University:
MBA degrees are awarded by Universities. The education is uniform, learning among all the University affiliated colleges. Besides, students do not have to be so particular or so much cautious while opting for MBA course offered by the University or University colleges as they carry all the university related credentials as again the private PGDM colleges who sometimes may not follow the AICTE norms carefully.
This happens at the time of fee refund as candidates find it difficult to get their paid PGDM fee back. Since the MBA colleges are affiliated to a University and Universities are controlled by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the colleges have to abide by the university norms. In addition to UGC approval, these university affiliated colleges can also get AICTE approval for their different courses.
MBA Fee structure is low:
University or university affiliated MBA colleges offer MBA at a lower fee than PGDM programmes. This is true as FMS – University of Delhi offers MBA at Rs.25,000/-; JBIMS-University of Mumbai offers MBA at Rs.6 lakhs (Recently revised upwards); PUMBA-Pune University offers MBA at Rs.1.50 lakhs; Bangalore University MBA fee is Rs. 54000/-.
Not only this, the same college that offers University MBA and AICTE approved PGDM has a low fee structure for MBA and higher fee structure for PGDM.
As MBA degrees offered by the universities are mostly government approved universities, the MBA fee structure is regulated by them even for the private MBA colleges affiliated to them. These universities offer MBA at a subsidised fee as they receive financial aid and grants from the government but since private universities have to manage on their own they have high fee structure for MBA programme like NMIMS, Symbiosis, Xavier University Bhubaneswar among others.
Legacy of MBA:
Except the PGP programmes offered by IIMs and a few other top B-schools, MBA programmes are much older. The Parliament has recently passed the IIM Bill which seeks to empower all the IIMs to confer MBA degree instead of PGDM.
How to choose a B-school?
While this article is about MBA or PGDM, following are the key parameters to choose the right B-school or College:
- Placement record
- Ranking of the B-school
- Legacy & Reputation of the B-school
- Fee of the B-school
- Student-faculty ratio
- Quality of peers/students joining the MBA/PGDM Program
- Location of the B-school
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