MBA: The Why, The Whats & The Hows

MBA Vs PGDM: What's the Difference & Which One to Choose?

Yocket Editorial Team

Both an MBA (Master of Business Administration) and a PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) are prestigious postgraduate degrees offered by business schools. An MBA is most commonly an academic degree program of a university that deals with theoretical and applied business domains. Contrary to the MBA, PGDM is a Diploma course offered mostly by autonomous institutions or business schools where the emphasis is more on exposure to industry and the curriculum revolves around industry-ready experience. First, they are two different beasts of advanced business education — accreditation and all. MBA is a degree course from a university, and PGDM is a diploma course often customized to make Industry.

Wondering whether you should choose between an MBA or a PGDM? Yocket's here to help! We can help you explore both MBA and PGDM options and select what suits you best. With over 10,000 success stories, including admissions to top schools like Harvard, Columbia, Babson, and UCLA, our experts know how to turn your MBA dreams into reality. Schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards your MBA journey!

Table of Contents: 

What is an MBA? 

MBA, or Master of Business Administration, is exclusively offered by colleges affiliated with universities, constituting a degree program. It helps a student learn concepts for applying for practical application in business and investment management. It seeks to broaden the scope of knowledge of freshly graduated professionals, coming from virtually any field, towards different business management functions.

An MBA program can provide a general study of business or specialize in a particular field, such as accounting, finance, marketing, or international business. With this specialization, students can benefit from customizing their curriculum to reflect their career aspirations and industry preferences.

Most programs will also offer concentrated areas of study, including entrepreneurship, international business, and healthcare management, to name a few. Its curricula enable students to think critically, network, and have leadership abilities. These are significant qualifications for professionals looking to rise the career ladder or entrepreneurs aiming to start their path.

There are several types of MBA programs, each catering to different needs and career stages:

  1. Full-Time MBA
  2. Part-Time MBA
  3. Executive MBA (EMBA)
  4. Online MBA
  5. Global MBA
  6. Specialized MBA
  7.  Accelerated MBA

Each type offers unique advantages and is suited to various career goals, professional experiences, and personal circumstances. In India, examples of colleges affiliated with universities offering MBA degrees include the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), and Xavier School of Management (XLRI).

What is PGDM?  

The Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) is a two-year business management program equivalent to an MBA. It is ideal for graduates who are not only looking for lucrative placements but also for those who want to become managers. This provides a lot of pragmatic and market-relevant information to the students and helps them get exposed to real-world challenges. PGDM programs are formulated suitably for individuals who want to propel their careers in management from diverse fields or industry sectors.

In India, one can pursue the PGDM program from some of the top universities like Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), XLRI Jamshedpur, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, and IMT Ghaziabad etc. These institutes offer a platform for students to acquire key management competencies and knowledge with a degree-centric curriculum, case studies, and industry interface.

Different types of PGDM programs cater to different requirements and career aspirations. It has various programs on offer that cover the length and breadth of management education suited to the needs of every aspirant - it offers General Management programs, specialized programs in Finance, Marketing, HR, Executive PGDM programs meant for professionals who already have prior work experience and the Distance Learning PGDM programs intended for those who seek flexibility.

The vast repertoire of elective courses and specializations in PGDM programs ensures students can customize their learning experience to fit their interests and career goals. Enabled by AICTE, PGDM courses are typically known to offer better placement options as they are more focused, industry-centric academic curricula.

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MBA Vs. PGDM: What’s the Difference?

Analyzing the similarities and disparities between MBA and PGDM is crucial in determining which course aligns best with your requirements. In the table below, we've juxtaposed MBA and PGDM across six distinct parameters to clarify their compatibility with your needs.





  • 50% in bachelor’s required.
  • A letter confirming the present status of a candidate in the final year of a bachelor/equivalent degree is required.

  • Bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognized university or institution (no. of years not specified)

  • 50% to 60% in bachelor’s 

  • Students in the final year of Bachelor's degree programs are eligible for PGDM programs in India.


  • Full-time MBA: 2 years or 4 semesters (some institutes offer a 1.5-year program).

  • Part-time or Executive MBA: 2 to 3 Years (classes held on weekends and evenings).

  • 1-Year PGDM

  • 2-Year PGDM

  • Executive PGDM: 1.5 to 2 years (held on weekends or evenings of weekdays)

Entrance Exams




Degree course

Diploma course

Course Structure and Approach

The university-approved curriculum is primarily theoretical and uniform across institutes affiliated with a university—mostly semester-based system.

The industry-focused program focused on building soft skills.  Mostly a trimester-based system.


Accredited by the University Grants Commission (UGC)

Certified by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)


Both MBA and PGDM are viewed as equivalent during recruitment. The influencing factor is mainly the institute offering it. 

The PGDM courses might be industry-oriented and preferred by MNCs. They might need help with roadblocks while applying for higher education or overseas jobs.


While there may be slight variations in the design of MBA and PGDM courses, both aim to prepare students for the industry. However, it's crucial to exercise caution when seeking admission to PGDM programs. Since awarding institutes are autonomous, verifying their course accreditation is paramount to avoid potential fraud.

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What is the Salary Difference Between MBA & PGDM Professionals?

A recent Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) survey reveals that MBA graduates from leading business schools worldwide reportedly opted for an average starting salary of nearly $115,000 (INR 96,14,000). In contrast, the Postgraduate Diploma Management (PDGM) graduates were getting approximately a median starting salary of $90,000 (INR 75,24,000). 

These numbers will differ widely according to industry, region, and job function. However, With time, the salary difference comes down as PGDM professionals gain experience and showcase their skill sets in the industry. That said, recent graduates from top M7 MBA programs maintain a slight pay edge, particularly in fields where leadership roles are in high demand.

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Top Colleges Offering MBA and PGDM

Now, let's explore some of the premier colleges offering MBA and PGDM courses in India:


Average/Mean/Median Salary

Accepted Exam


Tuition Fees

IIM Ahmedabad

INR 25,83,120



INR 23,00,000

IIM Bangalore

INR 24,54,000



INR 23,00,000

IIM Calcutta

INR 27,90,000



INR 27,00,000

IIM Indore

INR 20,79,000



INR 16,00,000

FMS Delhi

INR 23,20,000


New Delhi

INR 1,92,000

IIFT Delhi

INR 18,00,000


New Delhi

INR 17,25,000

NMIMS School of Business

INR 17,79,000



INR 19,76,000

IIT Kharagpur

INR 16,11,000



INR 9,00,000

DoMS IIT Delhi

INR 18,47,000


New Delhi

INR 9,60,000


INR 20,14,000



INR 18,80,000

XLRI Xavier School of Management

INR 24,30,000



INR 20,00,000


INR 22,00,000



INR 17,50,000

NMIMS School of Business Management

INR 10,50,000



INR 19,76,000

IMT Ghaziabad

INR 13,60,000



INR 18,30,000

IMI Delhi – International Management Institute

INR 13,07,000


New Delhi

INR 13,16,000

TAPMI Manipal – T A Pai Management Institute

INR 11,06,000



INR 14,60,000

Great Lakes Institute of Management

INR 13,10,000



INR 10,10,000

IIM Ranchi

INR 15,02,000



INR 15,00,000


INR 7,04,000



INR 10,00,000

After analyzing data for these colleges, the average salary for MBA graduates is approximately INR 21.3 lakhs, while for PGDM graduates, it's INR 12.96 lakhs. Comparing average fees, MBA colleges charge around INR 16.5 lakhs, whereas PGDM courses cost about INR 15.38 lakhs. The variance in average salary between MBA and PGDM courses can also be linked to the enactment of the IIM Act 2017, which empowered IIMs to confer degrees. Consequently, fees for MBA degree colleges, including those charged by IIMs, increased.

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MBA Vs. PGDM: Which One is Better? 

Whether an MBA or PGDM will be better for you depends on certain factors like career goals and preferences. MBA and PGDM are prestigious management programs, but they cater to different needs and offer unique advantages. 

There are numerous advantages to going for an MBA, some of them are listed below:

  • Degree Recognition: An MBA is a university-affiliated degree recognized globally. This can be advantageous if you plan to work internationally or pursue further academic studies.
  • Established Curriculum: The curriculum is often structured and adheres to academic standards set by the university, ensuring a comprehensive management education.
  • Regulated Curriculum: This often means that the curriculum is standardized and regulated by educational authorities, which implies education is of quality.
  • Research Opportunities: MBAs at universities might offer more research opportunities and a slightly academic path for development.

On the other hand, PGDM does not cover as much of general management education, but changes according to the industry trends. PGDM program also focuses on the overall development of students through soft-skill and leadership-based courses and activities, extra-curricular and intense industry interaction through guest lectures.

Some of the advantages of choosing PGDM are:

  • Practical and Industry-Oriented: PGDM programs are helpful and are designed to adjust according to changing trends.
  • Flexibility: Colleges offering PGDM can change their curriculum more frequently with the changing industry scenarios than the universities offering MBA.
  • Specialization: Being industry-specific, PGDM programs may offer more specializations and elective courses customized to individual streams.
  • Duration: PGDM is offered in one year or even long-term courses, which is best for those seeking a boost in their career but aspiring for a shorter duration.

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From the Desk of Yocket

Choosing between an MBA and a PGDM involves weighing distinct benefits and considerations. While both programs prepare students for business success, accreditation and curriculum structure differences affect career paths. Individuals can confidently pursue academic and professional fulfillment by aligning program specifics with personal goals.
Looking to navigate the complexities of MBA and PGDM programs? Yocket Premium is your ultimate guide! With personalized support, we help you choose the perfect program tailored to your needs. Trusted by over 10,000 students, our expert guidance ensures your academic and career success. Unlock your potential with Yocket Premium today!


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