Is PGDM equivalent to MBA degree?

We get this question from every student while they make their choice to enroll at either of our top business schools, IIMP or ISBS, in Pune.

One way to answer is:

The choice depends on which course inspires your intellectual curiosity, the field you want to plunge into, and make a difference. It is also about the lifestyle that you always dreamed of. It is about you in a world full of opportunities to learn and grow throughout your life.

Everyone has heard of Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees and the incredibly versatile skills they offer to future managers and business leaders. Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM), on the other hand, comes with a different set of academic qualifications in tune with the latest business trends.

So when it comes to the equivalence of PGDM vs MBA, how do you choose one?

In this blog you will explore more about the similarities and differences between PGDM and MBA degrees so you can decide which option suits your needs better.

What is the difference between PGDM and MBA?

While the debate over the supremacy of MBA vs PGDM is an ongoing debate, we’ll bring forth the key differences between MBA and PGDM- answering a big question for aspiring management students.

What is PGDM?

PGDM is a Post Graduate Diploma in Management which is a Diploma course in business management offered by autonomous institutes that are not affiliated to a University. The autonomous bodies upgrade their syllabus regularly as per the evolving business environment. Autonomous business schools receive their approvals from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

What is an MBA?

Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a degree course provided by the University or colleges recognized and approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC), and also by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Here’s a table showing the basic difference between MBA and PGDM.

Parameters  MBA PGDM
Course Curriculum Syllabus is curated by Universities & gets an update less frequently. The syllabus gets updated as per needs of industry & requirement. Syllabus is approved under AICTE.
Approving Body AICTE, Ministry of HRD (Govt. of India), UGC Approval is mandatory at University level. AICTE, Ministry of HRD (Govt. of India) approval is mandatory.
Equivalence MBA is a postgraduate degree. PGDM is a Diploma and is equivalent to MBA from any Indian University.  
Examinations Exams are conducted by affiliated University. PGDM institutions are authorized by AICTE to conduct the exams.
Entrance Process Thorough State level Entrance Examinations. Thorough CAT/ MAT/XAT/ATMA and some colleges approve state level exams as well. Indira conducts Indira Common Admission Process (ICAP) as a mandatory examination for its PGDM course entrance.
Placements Can vary with the Institution. Can vary with the Institution.
Degree Validity It is a valid Post Graduate Degree. It is a valid and equivalent to Post Graduate Degree.

In India or overseas, both MBA and PGDM hold high value. As you’re now a step closer to understanding the difference between the two, you can choose to pursue the one which is more beneficial in the long run.

Read more: MBA or PGDM? Which course should you choose?

PGDM & MBA: Difference in fees

The average PGDM course fees in India start from INR 1 Lakhs and it can go up to INR 20 Lakhs, largely depending upon the college, their affiliation, and placement scenarios. While for MBA, the fees in India ranges from INR 20,000 to INR 40 lakh for a two-year full-time program. 

Fees for MBA and PGDM courses in top-level business schools depend on several factors such as infrastructure, hostel facility, extra-curricular activities, and pedagogy. For example, if a PGDM or an MBA institute offers an international study tour program wherein the candidates visit a foreign location, the course fee will be high. On the other hand, if the MBA institute is funded by the government, the fees will be relatively low.

How to analyze a business school’s fee structure?

There are a few categories of expenses to think about when figuring out how much your MBA or PGDM course is really going to cost.

  1. Tuition: The fee you pay for taking MBA or PGDM classes is based on the academic program you choose. Tuition is also affected by selecting a college in the state where you live, and if the business school is public or private.
  2. Fees: PGDM and MBA academic programs may have additional fees beyond tuition costs. Some colleges offer Laptops during their study duration as an inclusive part of fees. Student fees are not fees students can opt-out of. Students need to examine a management college’s fee structure and maximize the services that are being paid for by fees.
  3. Books and supplies: The cost of books and the supplies students will need to complete a program can vary greatly. Books and supplies can add thousands or more to the annual tuition cost. 

A business college education is the second-largest expense an individual is likely to make in a lifetime. There are many variabilities of fee structure from an MBA or PGDM Business schools in India, which you can analyze on your own.

PGDM & MBA: Difference in Curriculum

Those considering an MBA or PGDM course are typically curious about the coursework these degrees require. So we’ll help potential business management candidates learn about what to expect from their degree courses. Before presenting the curricula taught in India’s best MBA & PGDM business schools like Indira, let’s briefly review what this degree is, and why someone might want to pursue it.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a master’s degree that hones the expertise required for success by aspiring business leaders. The Indira School of Business Studies (ISBS) and Indira Institute of Management Pune (IIMP) established the finest performing MBA & PGDM courses to train leaders in business. 

An MBA program has evolved into an extensive professional training curriculum to groom future business leaders. Above all, the MBA curriculum intends to develop students’ analytical abilities needed to optimally solve problems that managers and executives typically face, while at the same time developing students’ leadership capabilities.

As the most popular graduate degree in India, the typical two-year MBA curriculum blends these advanced skills with real-world experience to prepare graduates for advancement in management careers in a broad range of fields.

PGDM syllabus is an industry-oriented course putting a focus on skillful approach and practical knowledge. If a candidate has taken up a PGDM course, he/she is likely to study a syllabus with upgraded topics and sections as per the needs of the industry. 

Let’s look at the differences and similarities between the syllabus of MBA and PGDM courses.

Syllabus of MBA Syllabus of PGDM
University offered courses Course offered by private institutions
Designed by Universities Designed by Autonomous bodies
Theory and technica Industry centric
Revision of syllabus takes 4-5 years Revision of syllabus on a regular basis
Two-years full-time syllabus 1-2 year full-time syllabus based on institutional verdict
Core and elective courses Core and elective courses

Who should pursue PGDM?

The PGDM course is the right opportunity for students who are business professionals or have work experience in the business environment. Students who are keen to advance their analytical skills, thinking and problem solving approach across various functional areas of business processes.  

PGDM course would prove as the right next step in several circumstances:

  • Gain deep professional expertise
  • Move to a higher level of your career with an advanced qualification and skill set
  • Stay abreast of new developments or technologies that can impact or enhance your role

For example, if your major is in Finance and your interests are in the financial sector but you want to dive deeper into public finances or corporate finances, you can advance your financial knowledge with a specialized Masters in that particular field. 

Read more: What are the parameters for a good PGDM course?

Who should pursue MBA?

The strongest candidates are dedicated to their intended career paths to achieve success and have a clear plan to pursue after obtaining an MBA degree. A good MBA candidate possesses  leadership potential and consistent academic achievement. Other abilities include creativity, dedication, commitment and professionalism.

  • Work experience: at least two to three years
  • GMAT or GRE score
  • Undergraduate degree with a good GPA
  • Extracurricular activities (helpful)

How does an MBA or PGDM affect your career? Indian Scenario & Global Scenario

Many people ask, “Is an MBA worth it even if I’m already working for a successful organization?” or “Why do i need a PGDM if i own a business?” We’ve examined how corporations benefit from hiring employees with MBAs and how PGDM upgrades your business skill set. What are the career advantages of an MBA or PGDM for you?

Career advantages of MBA in India and Globally

  • MBA graduates often move into more challenging and prominent positions at an accelerated rate.
  • MBA graduates are often offered a higher salary.
  • An MBA program gives you ample networking opportunities.
  • Get job opportunities as Marketing Manager, Investment Banker, Management Consultant, Financial Advisor, Operations Manager, etc.

Career advantages of PGDM in India and Globally

  • Gain a multitude of skills and have access to more networking opportunities.
  • Allows you to contribute to your employer’s organization quickly and effectively.
  • Get job opportunities as Business consultant, Business Analyst, Data Analyst, Project Manager, Operations Manager, Risk Manager, Operations Research Analyst, Management Analyst, Product manager, etc.
  • Industries as diverse as chemicals, utilities, fashion, health, grocery and construction all require functional managers with a clear understanding of systems, efficiency and operational issues.

That said, an MBA or PGDM can help you launch your own organizations or work in a leadership or management role within a company. Graduates with either of qualifications can pursue positions as management consultants or managers or supervisors in any industry.

The only question remaining is: Where will you go and what will you do with an MBA or a PGDM?

PGDM vs MBA: General FAQs answered!

A business management degree has many facets. Below you will find a list of helpful questions and answers that will help enable you to better understand the ins and outs of a PGDM or MBA degree.

Here are some of the frequently answered questions (FAQs) about PGDM and MBA.

Q1: What is the full form of PGDM?

Ans: The full form of PGDM is Post Graduate Diploma in Management.

Q2: What is the full form of an MBA?

Ans: The full form of MBA is Master of Business Administration.

Q3: Which course is better PGDM or MBA?

Ans: Both the courses are symmetrical in nature and both are management programs. It depends upon the student which course they want to pursue. In PGDM Course, the emphasis is on practical exposure of Management Learning through multiple avenues such as Marketing / Finance /HR Club, Project Assignment.

Q4: What is the duration of the PGDM Course?

Ans: PGDM Course is two years full time and approved by AICTE

Q5: What is an MBA?

Ans: The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is an internationally-recognized degree designed to develop the skills required for careers in business and management. 

Q6: Can I complete the PGDM course on a part-time basis?

Ans: No, it is a full-time program.

Q7: Is PGDM a Postgraduate degree?

Ans: Yes, it is a  Post Graduate Diploma program.

Q8: What is the syllabus for the PGDM Course?

Ans: Please login to ISBS or IIMP – Website for detailed syllabus of PGDM Course. Please select PGDM Tab on any one of these websites to get detailed information for the syllabus. 

Q9: How can I get admission in PGDM @ INDIRA, Pune?

Ans: Candidates need to appear for the All India Entrance Exam (CAT/MAT/CMAT/MH-CET (for Maharashtra colleges), ATMA & XAT – Any of the ones. 

  • A student needs to complete online registration on
  • Post form filling, the student will have to appear for GD /PI at respective centers PAN India, and admissions will happen on a merit basis. 

Q10: Is the PGDM course a diploma or degree?

Ans: As the name suggests, it’s a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. 

Q 11: What kind of International Study Tours do students get to experience?

Ans: Indira provides an International tour to Dubai or Singapore, or any other location every year. Each tour provides students with a unique opportunity to explore the daily operations of global organizations and conceptualize the key management themes studied in the program.

Q 12: What kind of extracurricular activities are conducted in the college?  

Ans: Extra-curricular activities like – Management games: Business Plan & Business quiz competition, Photography competition, OMT (outdoor Management Training), Fitness Program, CSR Activities, etc, are regularly conducted in the colleges.

Q 13: Would your institute provide 100% placement?

Ans: We provide 100% job assistance to help you with your placement process. At INDIRA, on average 400+ companies visit for placement.

Q 14: Does your college provide an Education Loan facility?

Ans: No, the college does not provide any education loan. Students need to apply directly to the bank for the loan process. INDIRA will provide the required admission letter and prospectus for admitted students for the processing of education loans. 

Q 15: Does your college provide a scholarship?

Ans: No, we do not provide any scholarships.

Q 16: Is a residential facility available for girls and boys?

Ans: Yes, a residential facility is available for both Girls & Boys. 

Q 17: Where do PGDM students get placed?

Ans: After the successful completion of the PGDM course, students can get placed in the private and public sectors all across the globe. 

Q 18: What are the documents required at the time of admission to INDIRA?

Ans: Documents of 10th, 12th, Semester wise graduation mark-sheet, entrance, caste certificate (if applicable), gap certificate, Aadhar card or any Govt. proof documents & Transfer Certificate in case graduation is already complete. For students appearing for the last year of Graduation, they need to submit TC within six months of the admission date. 

Q 19: What are the Entrance Exams that are accepted for the PGDM and MBA course?

Ans: All India Entrance Exam – MAT/CAT/XAT/CMAT/GMAT, MH –CET / ATMA – any one test is required. However, having a test scorecard, a student can not automatically claim for admission since they must meet the merit requirement of the INDIRA Management courses.

Q 20: What is the difference between IIMP and ISBS campuses in Pune?

Ans: There is absolutely no difference. The only difference is that the HR specialization is not available on IIMP Campus. Rest both the institutes are the same and a part of the INDIRA Group. 

Q 21: Who can apply for an MBA?

Ans: The applicants are business enthusiasts with acknowledged entrepreneurial initiative, whose management success has been proven in practice throughout a long experience as leaders. 

Q 22: Who is eligible to pursue an MBA course in India?

Ans: The eligibility to pursue an MBA in India is a minimum of 3 years of Bachelor’s degree with 50% from a recognized University/Institute. Besides that, a student has to clear an entrance test, group discussion, and personal interview to enroll in the top business school.

Choose to pursue an advance business management studies with Indira

Which course should I do, MBA or PGDM in India?

Well, we guess you now have a firm answer to that after reading the blog.

Studying an MBA or PGDM in India can vastly improve the prospects and quality of your career, enabling you to reach your ultimate potential in the business world. Business programmes offer excellent returns and add an edge to your employment in the job market.

Since management programmes are also seen as great networking opportunities, ISBS and IIMP, Pune offers one a chance to meet the most powerful business leaders during lectures, seminars, and events that feature guest speakers. They also provide great opportunities to do projects and internships with some of the most prestigious industry giants.

So, here is your time to master business fundamentals and fulfill your potential with India’s leading business programs at Indira.

Register your interest for MBA or PGDM to get your application started.

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