With today’s competitive society offering a host of career options, it can be incredibly difficult to stand out from the competition and get the job you want. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring a master’s degree are projected to increase by 18 percent from 2012 to 2022. A postgraduate degree can not only help you learn new skills but also set yourself apart from the competition and remain a valuable employee. However, one dilemma faced by every aspirant wanting to pursue a postgraduate course is choosing between PGDM vs MBA. 

What is PGDM?

A PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma in Management is a Diploma program offered by recognized business schools and/or autonomous business schools. The PGDM curriculum can be revised or updated at the business school’s discretion. This helps to keep it on par with all the new industry requirements and standards.

What is MBA?

An MBA or Master’s in Business Administration is a Degree Program offered by a government or private university or a college that is affiliated with a university. The MBA curriculum is usually fixed in nature as revisions to the syllabus take place over a period of 3-5 years after thorough considerations. An MBA degree has its own perks, but the rigid curriculum makes it hard to maintain a pace with new changes in the industry requirements and standards. However, there are some universities that do update their curriculum regularly.

Difference Between PGDM and MBA

Here are some differences between PGDM vs MBA:

Degree vs Diploma

One of the major differences while comparing PGDM vs MBA is that MBA is a degree course that is offered only by institutes or colleges affiliated to universities whereas PGDM is a diploma course offered by autonomous institutes. However, instead of just the name significance, you should focus more on other quality determinants like curriculum, peer group, rankings, and teaching methodologies while choosing between the two.


The PGDM curriculum is updated regularly to keep it on par with all the new industry requirements and standards. While making the curriculum for a PGDM program, industry veterans in the field are consulted. These industry veterans bring a lot of foresight that encourages the inclusion of emerging technologies such as Business Analytics, AI, Blockchain, etc. into the management curriculum.

An MBA degree has a thorough but rigid curriculum that makes it hard to maintain a pace with new changes in the industry requirements and standards. While making the curriculum for an MBA program, the universities have huge control over the evaluation criteria.

Teaching Methodology

A PGDM program provides room for more application-based learning in classrooms. Huge stress is placed on the application of concepts in real-time as well as in contemporary business cases. Learning takes outside the classroom as well in the form of events, seminars, competitions, industry visits, etc., for developing a number of skills essential for management professionals.

An MBA program is more focused on theory-based learning approaches. Although the students are exposed to real-life applications of concepts and out-of-class learning approaches, the focus is more on a classic classroom-type learning approach.

Peer Group

A PGDM program is preferred and opted for by many working professionals looking to get ahead in their careers. As such, students in a PGDM program get a chance to interact with numerous thought leaders and other professionals in their own industry. Moreover, there are a number of guest lectures, conclaves, and symposiums held which help to develop strong leadership and managerial skills crucial for a successful career.

An MBA degree is also opted for by many working professionals. However, there are a lot more fresh graduate students in the peer group of an MBA classroom. 

Fee Structure

A PGDM program is a huge investment of money as the institutes offering them mostly incur all the costs by themselves. However, these fees are utilized to enable global faculty exposure and a cutting-edge curriculum that helps the students bag the most coveted jobs out there.

An MBA program has lower fees and is more affordable as compared to a PGDM program as they are offered by universities and colleges, most of which obtain grants from government subsidies.


Almost every MBA degree lasts for a duration of two years. A PGDM degree can last for one or two years depending on the institute providing it.

Salary Difference Between PGDM vs MBA Professionals

From a job perspective, both PGDM and MBA professionals have a salary advantage over other professionals without them. There is not much salary difference between PGDM vs MBA professionals as both offer an equal advantage. On average, employees with a bachelor’s degree earn $65,400 per year, while those with a master’s degree have a 23 percent increase of an annual income of $80,200.

Which is Better: PGDM or MBA?

Now that we have provided all the differences between PGDM vs MBA, it is your turn to choose which is best suited for you. However, you can keep these points in mind while choosing them:

  • Ask yourself whether you want just a degree or a more application-based approach to learning
  • Compare the curriculum - practical knowledge vs theoretical knowledge

From an educational perspective, if you wish to continue with higher studies by going for a Ph.D., preference is given to a candidate with an MBA degree. But if future studies are not on your mind and you are more focused on advancing your career in the industry, both offer an equal advantage.


Now you know some of the main differences between PGDM vs MBA. However, it must be noted that both are important and the corporate sector treats MBA and PGDM graduates equally. Your skill set and exposure to new technologies will matter the most in the long run. However, to get a good start, you must aim for the most reputed institutes while choosing for further studies. Simplilearn offers a number of Executive Certificate Program In General Management updated with all the latest industry requirements and standards. Get started with one of these courses today and set yourself apart from the rest of the workforce.

Our Business And Leadership Courses Duration And Fees

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