What’s the difference between an MBA and a PGDM?


Most parents know that education is the only valuable lifelong asset that they can give to their children. Education is expensive. We all know that. Especially if one has to study in premium institutes. But this kind of financial and academic investment will pay off in the long run. Our children will be able to lead a better quality of life because they get placement or good jobs with decent salaries to begin with. Inflation is a reality. The number of zeros in one’s salary structure does not matter. Accommodation, food, commute and clothes suck out most of the zeros from that fat salary!


Use the word – Diploma – and most people (parents and students) will first say NO! Let’s go for a degree. And this is the first mistake that they inadvertently make.


Here are some fundas that will clarify the confusion between an MBA AND A PGDM. There is not much we need to really know about an MBA degree. Most of the confusion is related to the misleading ‘diploma’ in the PGDM.


What is a PGDM? Who can offer a PGDM?


  • PGDM means a Post Graduate Diploma in Management.
  • The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is the controlling body for both technical and management courses.
  • The AICTE falls under the Ministry of Human Resource Development under the Government of India.
  • The University Grants Commission controls the universities of India.
  • Most colleges will be affiliated to some recognized university.
  • But there are several colleges which are autonomous.
  • These autonomous colleges are independent bodies.
  • Autonomous colleges are not affiliated to any recognized university.
  • Such autonomous colleges cannot offer an MBA degree to their students.
  • The students studying in these colleges will only get a Post Graduate Diploma in Management.
  • Reputed, Premier institutes like XLRI’s and IIM’s can also offer only a PGDM to their students for this sole reason.
  • However, the AICTE has now started permitting certain approved colleges to run this PGDM course in their campus.
  • So, colleges falling under this category will get a PGDM certificate at the end of the course which will be directly approved by the AICTE.


Who can offer an MBA Course?


  • Naturally and obviously – only colleges which are affiliated to some university can offer the students a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
  • Even then such colleges should have the approval of the AICTE.


That does not definitely mean that an MBA degree is ‘safer’. Often a PGDM course adds more value to the worth of the resume and the skills of the student.


We will deal with this in a little more detail in the next article.


What the parents and the students need to REALLY DOUBLE CHECK is:


  • Whether the college that they wish to seek admission into – for a PGDM – is accredited to the AICTE.
  • Whether the college that they wish to seek admission into – for an MBA – is affiliated to a recognized university which is controlled by the University Grants Commission.
  • Such colleges must also be accredited by the AICTE.


Yes, as mentioned in the previous article too, there are quite a few colleges where such degree or diploma courses are started without getting it accredited by the AICTE.

They promise the students and the parents that they are sure to get it before the course finishes. But they may fail to get it and the students will suffer as a result because having invested their time and money into a course, they will not have a valid degree at the end of two years.

We want our readers to be aware and alert about such fine real technicalities before they take the plunge.

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2 Responses

  1. June 9, 2016

    […] you really feel that you want to explore the commercial aspect of your technical expertise, do go in for an MBA/PGDM. Don’t get swayed by other people’s opinions. Do this course if you really know that you have […]

  2. June 14, 2016

    […] students seriously consider doing an MBA (or PGDM), they quickly realize that they need to specialize in something […]