MBA or PGDM – Does it Make a Difference?

Amongst hundreds of questions around a post graduate degree in management this is an important one. MBA or PGDM? Let us analyze this difference and if it is relevant to students. How should it affect you in taking a decision about your college selection?

Who can offer them?
Only institutes who are affiliated to a university can offer an MBA degree. The course structure in the colleges offering an MBA degree is regulated at the university level. Whereas a Post Graduate Diploma in Management is offered by autonomous institutes who are not affiliated to any university and hence are not allowed to offer a degree in MBA.
Examples – Premiere Indian Management institutes like IIMs are autonomous and offer a PGDM degree or PGP Diploma. Whereas, Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies are affiliated to Delhi and Mumbai Universities respectively and hence offer an MBA.

Accreditation of these courses
There are mainly two bodies concerned with accreditation of management courses all across India. University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The universities offering an MBA course is recognized if it is accredited by UGC. For a college to provide a PGDM degree it should be accredited by AICTE.

How are these courses different?
The curriculum of an MBA course is regulated at the university level. It does not change that frequently as the industry demands. It is more of a traditional program the focus of which is theoretical. It focuses more on teaching the fundamentals and increasing the knowledge of the students.
As against an MBA course, the curriculum a PGDM course is focused towards building the skill of the students. As they are offered by autonomous bodies, not controlled by universities, they frequently update their course structure and selection to match with the industry trends and needs. Their pedagogy is bent towards making the students industry ready. These courses are generally more innovative and challenging for the students and are mostly expensive.

Which to Choose between MBA and PGDM?
The most important question to follow is Which College? Up till now we looked at how the two courses are planned. But to a student what should matter is the execution of these courses. How much exposure does the college give to students to learn from them? There are some excellent colleges that offer an MBA degree and there are some excellent colleges that offer a PGDM and then they are others. It totally depends on the options of colleges you have to choose from. Choose them carefully!

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