MBA Vs PGDM : Difference between the two terms

MBA Vs PGDM : Difference between the two terms

There is a debate that keeps going on, on what is the right course to choose for post graduate study in management, PGDM or MBA.For this it is probably important to understand the difference in these and the reason that both coexist in our country. The primary reason for this nomenclature to happen was that a degree was supposed to be the domain only of Universities in India and therefore when the most premier institutions in post graduate management, the IIM’s got established they needed a different nomenclature as they were not Universities and hence PGDM/PGDBM/PGDBA and all such nomenclatures came into being.pgdm vs mba

How PGDM came into existence ?

As is the outcome of anything which gets sort of compartmentalized, individual authorities try to find reasons to show their domains in a superior light and hence universities tried to put entry restrictions on students pursuing PGDM for higher education such as Ph.D. Facts to keep in mind here also are:

a)      IIM’s have their own fellowship program which is equivalent to a Ph.D. and in which generally only PGDM students are taken in

b)      Since AICTE approval implied by statute that the AICTE approved PGDM was equivalent in the country to MBA, as a legal provision not approving a PGDM student for Ph.D. admission in the University was more of an unwritten rule rather than a guideline.

c)       It is for this reason that there are innumerous cases of students who have done PGDM from IIM’s and even other private institutes of repute who have got admission to Ph.D. programs in management in Universities and vice versa MBA from Universities having got into fellowship programs in IIM’s although such instances are much lesser for obvious reasons.

d)      The lines get further blurred when other alternates are developed, for example

  1. Since by law a student can do a full time program and a distance / part time program simultaneously many students doing PGDM pursue simultaneously a cheaper distance education MBA degree from a University which being the same course of study only implies a few more examinations to get a degree also. The other benefit is that Govt Universities like IGNOU, MKU, Alagappa, etc. are not only very economical but also provide very good study material.
  2. A body got created by Universities called the AIU which went out certifying PGDM institutes for their affiliation thus providing the perception for an amount that students from these institutes could go to universities coming under this body. How many students actually go for even higher education having completed their post graduation in management is as it is miniscule and making this as a parameter to create perceptions is succeeding to what extent other than becoming a marketing tool is anybody’s guess.

Coporates Prefer PGDM, not MBA

The argument from the PGDM perspective was autonomy to deliver dynamic curriculum in line with corporate requirements which in fact was the basis of the establishment of IIM’s as autonomous institutes. This can also probably be the reason why private corporate entities still prefer PGDM pass outs. The flip side exists here also though where many institutions grossly misused the autonomy to deliver only what suited them and dole out marks and thereby diplomas.

The underlying fact therefore is that only the quality of education imparted which suits the target audience of student that come to an institute at the affordable and appropriate price point providing a good Return of Investment are only facts on which choice of admission for post graduate study in management should be based.

Leave a Comment