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Chetna Verma

Updated on 23rd November, 2023 , 7 min read

MBA vs PGDM: Differences, Eligibility, Admission, Jobs, Salary 2024


MBA and PGDM are two of the most popular course choices for students foreseeing a career in the domain of management. As a result, students always get confused about finding a suitable option in "MBA vs. PGDM". If you also want to know "What is the key difference between PGDM and MBA", then read this article.

While PGDM is a diploma, MBA is a degree course. Although both courses have similar curricula, there are key differences between the PGDM and MBA. Read this article to learn “Which is better, MBA or PGDM?”. Some of the factors that students can consider while choosing between MBA and PGDM are fees, career goals, academic background and performance in entrance exams, ranking and placement record of the college, and salary.

All about MBA:

Online MBA Courses

MBA Entrance Exams

MBA Admission 2024-25

MBA Specializations

MBA Salary

Government Jobs After MBA

MBA Subjects and Syllabus

Jobs after MBA

Distance MBA


TIER-1 MBA Colleges



Know about both courses in detail:

PGDM Post Graduate Diploma in ManagementMBA Master of Business Administration

Difference Between PGDM and MBA


Full FormPost Graduate Diploma in ManagementMaster of Business Administration
Approving AuthorityAICTE, Ministry of HRD, Government of India.AICTE, Ministry of HRD, Government of India, UGC Approval (for university level)
ValidityValid and equivalent to Post Graduate Degree.Valid Post Graduate Degree.
Eligibilitybachelor's degree in any stream with a minimum of 50% score from a recognized universitygraduation in any subject or equivalents with a minimum of 50% from a recognized university
Admission ProcessEntrance Exam/ Direct AdmissionEntrance Exams Based
Entrance Exams

National level entrance exams: CATMAT, XAT, ATMA

State-level entrance exams: TSICETMAH-CET, etc.

National level entrance exams: CAT, MAT, CMAT

State-level entrance exams: TSICETMAH CET, etc.

PlacementsPGDM institutions mostly have better placement records as compared to MBA institutions.Few MBA institutions like FMS, and JBIMS have better placement records.
Course SyllabusRegularly updated as per the dynamic needs of the industry.  Approved by AICTE.Prepared by universities and updated less regularly.
Teaching PedagogyMultidimensional training with case studies, simulations, presentations, short-term training, etc.Limited scope as the syllabus if prepared by the university.
ExaminationsPGDM examinations are approved by AICTE MBA Examinations are conducted by the university

MBA Specialization Courses:

MBA International Business

MBA Finance

MBA Hotel Management

MBA Banking and Finance

MBA Business Analytics

MBA Aviation Management

MBA Digital Marketing

MBA Biotechnology

MBA Data Science

MBA Agriculture

MBA General Management

MBA Marketing Management

MBA Event Management

Executive MBA

What is an MBA?

MBA Full Form is Master of Business Administration. It is a two-year postgraduate course that aims to prepare students for management management-level positions. It is a degree course. MBA admissions are based on entrance exams like CAT, XAT, etc.

What is PGDM?

PGDM full form is a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. It is a two-year industry-focused management course. It is a diploma course and mostly the course admissions are based on entrance exams. However, some colleges grant direct admissions, which is mostly followed by private institutions.

Key Differences Between MBA and PGDM


Now, we will look at the detailed differences between PGDM and MBA courses based on various factors such as qualification type, syllabus, course fees, colleges, etc.

MBA vs PGDM: Affiliation and Accreditations

The primary distinction between the two programs is that while the PGDM is a diploma course, MBA is a degree course. Any public or private college affiliated with the university may provide an MBA course. Degrees can only be granted by certain institutions, which are administered by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

PGDM courses are offered by AICTE-approved B-schools that come under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), which is independent of the UGC. It must be noted that the corporate world does not differentiate between the two. Both MBA as well as PGDM graduates are qualified for similar managerial positions.

Related Articles:

MBA FinanceMBA Finance SyllabusMBA Finance Jobs

MBA vs PGDM: Eligibility

The basic eligibility criteria for MBA and PGDM courses are listed below.

  • Eligibility Criteria for MBA: Candidates must have earned a bachelor's degree in any discipline with a minimum cumulative GPA of 50% to be admitted to MBA programs. To join well-known MBA colleges in India, applicants must pass the entrance exam at the national or university level.
  • Eligibility Criteria for PGDM: Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a minimum of 50% in any discipline to be eligible for the PGDM program. A few prestigious PGDM schools grant admission based on the results of the entrance exam.

MBA vs PGDM: Syllabus

The curriculum for MBA courses is typically created by the university. In two MBA colleges within the same university, the core curriculum (and occasionally even the elective subjects) will be essentially the same. Universities fail to regularly update their curricula. However, each institute chooses its own PGPM or PGDM course syllabus. This allows the course program some flexibility. Every year is modified by business and industry needs.

Given below is a list of common topics that are found in the syllabus for MBA and PGDM: 

MBA Syllabus: 

Finance ManagementMarketing Management
Business StatisticsOrganizational Behavior
Project ManagementPrinciples of Accounting
Human Resource ManagementBusiness Communication and Skills

PGDM Syllabus: 

Marketing and Consumer BehaviorIntroduction to Information Technology
Financial Reporting and AnalysisOperations Management
Strategic ManagementBusiness Law & Corporate Governance
Finance AccountingManagement Information System

MBA vs PGDM: Course Fees

It has been noted that most MBA programs charge lower tuition fees than PGP or PGDM programs. This may be the case because most MBA programs are offered by government-approved universities. Government subsidies and financial aid are provided to certain colleges, making degrees more affordable for students. Students are responsible for covering the whole cost of a PGP or PGDM diploma program. Nonetheless, this rule is not stagnant; some MBA colleges also charge expensive tuition fees.

  • MBA Fees: INR 2 – 20 LPA
  • PGDM Fees: INR 4 – 24 LPA 

MBA vs PGDM: Admission 2024

MBA Admission Process:

  • Registration and completing the application form.
  • Appear for the MBA entrance exam.
  • Taking GD and PI rounds.
  • Counselling for the final seat allotment.

PGDM Admission Process:

  • Registration and completing the application form.
  • Taking PGDM entrance exams.
  • Shortlisting of candidates based on entrance exam scores and academic records.
  • Counselling round for seat allotment. 

MBA vs PGDM: Entrance Exams

Both courses accept results from a range of competitive exams, including the CAT, MAT, GMAT, XAT, etc. Many institutions and colleges accept grades from state-level exams, including the MAHCET, TSICET, PGCET, and TANCET for MBA courses. A few elite colleges also administer their entrance exams, such as the XAT (XLRI), SNAP (Symbiosis), and IIFT EXAM (IIFT).

Regarding entrance exams, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all theory. For instance, the CAT, the most popular entrance exam in India, is not approved by the Indian School of Business (ISB). In the case of the PGDM course, there is no specific admission score cut-off because admissions depend on many variables, such as past academic and professional performance, achievements, diversity of background, etc.

MBA vs PGDM: Placements

Given below is a list comparing the placements offered to MBA and PGDM graduates:

MBA Placements:

College NameLocationAverage Annual Salary
Indian Institute of ManagementCalcuttaINR 34,00,000
Indian School of BusinessHyderabadINR 34,70,000
Indian Institute of ManagementBangaloreINR 33,80,000
Faculty of Management StudiesDelhiINR 32,40,000
SP Jain Institute of Management and ResearchMumbaiINR 32,00,000

PGDM Placements:

College NameLocationAverage Annual Salary
Institute of Management TechnologyGhaziabadINR 17,35,000
XLRI: Xavier School of ManagementJamshedpurINR 32,70,000
Birla Institute of Management TechnologyNoidaINR 11,25,000
SP Jain Institute of Management and ResearchMumbaiINR 33,02,000
Great Lakes Institute of Management GurgaonINR 14,50,000
Jaipuria Institute of ManagementJaipurINR 11,49,000

MBA vs PGDM: Jobs and Salary

Jobs and Salary After MBA:

Given below is a list of the top job profiles and the average annual salary offered after an MBA:

Job ProfileAverage Annual Salary
Accounting ManagerINR 7,21,000
Human Resource ManagerINR 6,60,000
Marketing ManagerINR 7,00,000
Business Development ManagerINR 5,70,000
Senior Business AnalystINR 11,60,000

Jobs and Salary After PGDM:

Given below is a list of the top job profiles and the average annual salary offered after PGDM:

Job ProfileAverage Annual Salary
Business ConsultantINR 9,40,000
PR OfficerINR 2,50,000
Strategic ManagerINR 19,88,000
Brand ManagerINR 12,00,000
International Sales ManagerINR 10,00,000

MBA vs PGDM: Top Colleges

In this section, we have listed the top colleges for both courses along with the course fees.

Top MBA Colleges in India

Here is a list of the top colleges that offer MBA courses in India:

Name of the CollegeMBA Course Fees
IIM AhmedabadINR 23 lakhs
IIM BangaloreINR 23 lakhs
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, PuneINR 9.6 lakhs
 Indian Institute of Management, RanchiINR 7.8 lakhs
IIT Madras, ChennaiINR 4 lakhs
FMS Delhi - Faculty of Management Studies, DelhiINR 20.9 lakhs
Indian Institute of Technology, DelhiINR 11.6 lakhs
IIT Kanpur, KanpurINR 1.58 lakhs
NIT Trichy, TiruchirappalliINR  97,280

Top PGDM Colleges in India

Here is a list of the top colleges that offer PGDM courses in India:

Name of the CollegePGDM Course Fees
IIM AhmedabadINR 22 lakhs
IIM CalcuttaINR 19 lakhs
IIM BangaloreINR 23 lakhs
SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), MumbaiINR 16 lakhs
XLRI Xavier School of Management, JamshedpurINR 15 lakhs
IIM LucknowINR 14.16 lakhs
MDIINR 21.32 lakhs
NMIMSINR 11.20 lakhs
IMI New DelhiINR 16.49 lakhs

MBA vs. PGDM: Which is Better?

While both MBA and PGDM have their pros and cons, it is up to your personal goals in life to decide on a suitable course for yourself. We have listed the parameters that differentiate between the two courses. You can measure both courses against your preferences and choices to find suitable course options for yourself. While the course curriculum is quite similar, course fees, entrance exam scores, and college reputation can be major areas of concern. Students must give extra preference to the college repute and placement record of the company to land better job prospects.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better PGDM vs MBA?

While MBA degree is an excellent option, PGDM diploma course has acquired popularity in the recent years. PGDM course curriculum is regularly updated. Moreover, it is more industry-aligned and practical as per the job market trends.

What is the key difference between MBA and PGDM?

The primary difference is that MBA is a degree course and PGDM is a diploma course. MBA course is offered by recognized universities, while PGDM is provided by private institutions and universities.

Is MBA equal to PGDM?

PGDM course is a diploma program and is considered equivalent to MBA degree. In case of MBA, exams are conducted by affiliated university, and for PGDM, exams are approved by AICTE.

Is PGDM harder than MBA?

Since PGDM institutions are self-driven, they put in more effort than MBA universities. More so, companies prefer PGDM because of the useful practical insights that the PGDM course offers.

Is PGDM equal to MBA for government jobs?

Yes. PGDM approved by AIU is considered as an equivalent to MBA and a valid qualification for government jobs and higher studies.

Can I do both PGDM and MBA?

No. You cannot do two similar management degree at the same time from two different colleges.

Which colleges offer both MBA and PGDM courses?

International Institute of Business Studies in Bengaluru, IMT Ghaziabad, Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai, Alliance School of Business in Anekal are some of the colleges that offer both MBA as well as PGDM courses.

Which offers better salary PGDM or MBA?

As observed, the salary after PGDM course is higher as compared to MBA course. The average starting salary after an MBA degree is INR 7-10 LPA. However, After PGDM course, the average starting salary is anywhere between INR 12-15 LPA.

Which is more valuable PGDM vs MBA?

MBA is an old management degree program. While PGDM is a two-year diploma course which is more industry relevant and practical with respect to market trends and job market. It is totally up to the expectations of the students to find out which option is more suitable and valuable for them.

What is the basic difference between MBA and PGDM?

The basic difference is that MBA is a degree course, PGDM is a diploma course. Students can get an MBA degree from government or private college affiliated to universities.

What should I prefer to do business, MBA or PGDM?

For management studies, MBA is considered an old version. It is better to pursue PGDM if you want to get into business because it is more industry-relevant and updated as per the job market.

Can I pursue an MBA after completing PGDM?

Yes, after acquiring PGDM diploma certificate from an autonomous institution, you can apply and acquire MBA degree from SPPU.

What is the scope for MBA and PGDM?

MBA and PGDM both courses opens up doors to various career opportunities in private as well as public sectors. Students can apply for management, analytical roles, business analysts, etc.

Does PGDM has any disadvantage when compared to MBA?

In India, MBA is regarded as a very secure and powerful topic and has long been favoured. People have not yet realised how important PGDM is. The fact that the MBA is a well-known course and has been on the market for a long time is the only advantage it has over the PGDM. Students wishing to pursue careers in management and business might consider the PGDM, which is a similarly significant and rewarding course.

Can I get a government job with an MBA or PGDM degree?

Both MBA and PGDM degrees can be relevant for certain government job positions. However, the eligibility criteria can vary. It is important to check the official job notifications and requirements for the desired government positions.

What is the difference between MBA vs PGDM?

MBA is a degree program offered by universities, while PGDM is a diploma program offered by autonomous institutions or business schools

Which one has better industry recognition, MBA vs PGDM?

Both MBA and PGDM programs are recognized by the industry. However, the reputation and recognition of a program depend on factors such as the institution offering it, the curriculum, faculty, placement records, and alumni network. It is important to research and choose a reputable institution for either MBA or PGDM.

Which program is better for career advancement, MBA vs PGDM?

Both MBA and PGDM can contribute to career advancement. It is essential to choose a program that aligns with your career goals, offers relevant specializations, and provides ample opportunities for internships and industry exposure.

Which program is more expensive, MBA vs PGDM?

Generally, MBA programs offered by universities tend to have a higher fee structure compared to PGDM programs offered by autonomous institutions or business schools.

Which program has better networking opportunities, MBA vs PGDM?

Both MBA and PGDM programs offer networking opportunities, but the extent and quality of networking can vary depending on the institution and its alumni network.

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