Purpose of both PGDM and MBA programs is to transform your career in the field of management. P.G.D.M or Post Graduate Diploma in Management, offers a diploma in management unlike M.B.A, which provides a Master’s degree in Business Administration. PGDM has ‘diploma’ attached, all hell breaks loose and confusion starts. Thoughts start coming up now. "Do I need a diploma degree after completion of Bachelor’s degree or after a corporate stint". A diploma is of lesser value than MBA. Right? Wrong. This is the most common myth associated with PGDM vs MBA.
To give you a clear idea regarding the same, top Management institutions of India like IIMs, IMT, SP Jain and XLRI offer a PGDM degree. And some other top institutions like FMS, Symbiosis, NMIMS and IBS which offer an MBA degree. So, what and where is the difference among them?
Some of the visibile differences:
1) Only universities can offer MBA: In India, those management institutions which are affiliated to a university can offer an MBA degree. Because of this institutions like (PUMBA) Department of Management Sciences, University of Pune, Faculty of Management Studies or Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies offers an MBA degree, as they are affiliated with Pune, Delhi and Mumbai University respectively. Alh the IIMs, though being the best of the lot, can't offer MBA degree as they are not affiliated with any university and act as an autonomous body. Institutions which are not affiliated to any university are autonomous and can offer diploma and not degree, hence offering PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) degree. However, some of these programmes offered by various institutions are approved by regulatory bodies such as AICTE.
2) Focus of curriculum: While there are very much similarities in the curriculum of both PGDM and MBA, there are some finer points of difference among them. While MBA is more theory and exam oriented, while PGDM is more focussed on building soft skills and is more industry-oriented. It prepares you more towards the job market.
3)PGDM Curriculum is flexible: Since an autonomous institution doesn't have to follow any university standards or guidelines, it is free to modify its curriculum according to the industry's standards and change in business environment. Also a PGDM provides you with an industrial exposure. Whereas for MBAs, it will take time to change the curriculum as it is affiliated with to a university and it will essentially follow the university standards, guidelines and changing this curriculum is a very slow process.
4) MBAs are more affordable: In comparision with PGDM, generally MBAs seem to be more affordable as the fees is almost similar to university standard. You can get a rough idea if you compare the fees structure of IIM and FMS.
5) Difference in focus: MBA focusses more in developing business knowledge and technical skills whereas as PGDM will prepare graduates for senior level positions in an industry and constructs the way for a strong corporate career. Hence, if you're looking for a career in the challenging area of management, you should go for PGDM.
However, one should remember that it is not important whether a student pursues MBA or PGDM. The institution where he is studying is of supreme importance, enhances their employability and provides better placement oppurtunities. If you pursue your management studies from a reputed college which is recognised and offers decent placements, then your chances of employment and going abroad get enhanced.