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What is the difference between PGDM and MBA?

“Which is better? PGDM or MBA?”
Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) or Post Graduate Programme (PGP) or Masters in Business Administration (MBA) are both management courses at Master’s level. Both the courses have a commercial orientation and it’s difficult to differentiate between the two.
“MBA and PGDM are both business orientated courses. The main aim of the courses is to equip a person who wants to move up in the hierarchy and enter in to the management field,”
While both the courses have same outcomes in terms of employment prospective, there are some subtle differences.
Beneath, we have listed five differences between PGP/PGDM and MBA:

1. Degree vs Diploma
At the end of PGP and PGDM course, candidates are offered a Diploma. However, at the end of an MBA programmes, candidates receive a degree.
Many students tend to think that a diploma course does not hold the same value as that of a degree. But that is not true. All the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top B-Schools such as XLRI Jamshedpur and SP Jain Mumbai offer PGP or PGDM courses. Most of these institutes are autonomous bodies (not affiliated to any University) and conducts their own management course.
The government is currently mulling about conferring MBA degrees at IIMs.

2. Syllabus
In most cases, MBA course curriculum is designed by the university. The core syllabus (and sometimes even elective subjects) will be pretty much same in two MBA colleges under the same university.
However, PGP or PGDM courses are determined by the individual institute. This gives a certain flexibility to the course curriculum. Syllabus undergoes a change according to industrial requirements every year.
Universities tend to lag behind and change their syllabus after a few years.
“For people who are interested in the corporate world or want to be an entrepreneur, PGDM would be a more suitable choice,”
3. Susceptible to Fraudulence
Since PGP or PGDM courses are offered by autonomous bodies, students need to be careful while taking admission. Many smaller colleges and institutes make claims or do not have proper accreditation status. MBA degrees are conferred by varsities, and hence there’s a lower chance of fraudulent claims.

4. Focus
Both MBA and PGDM courses have common core subjects. However, some experts claim most MBA courses focus more on theoretical and technical aspects of management rather than adopting a practical approach. PGP or PGDM courses have an industrial orientation and focus on skills based on market requirements.

5. Cost Factor
It has been observed that most MBA courses have lower tuition fees as compared to PGP or PGDM courses. This may be so because mostly government approved universities offer MBA degrees. These universities receive financial aid and grants from the government, making the degree cheaper for the student. In case of a PGP or PGDM degree, students have to bear the cost of the entire programme. However, this is not an ironclad rule. There are MBA degrees which charge high tuition fees (such as IIFT).