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Why PGDM and Not an MBA?

Updated on September 7, 2016

Studying management after getting an undergraduate degree, be it in any field or any subject, has become a norm today. Whether one wants to polish their skills, desires a job that pays better, wants to improve their resume, or is looking for a job that would eventually change their profile all together - studying management is the most obvious choice that people make.

Though these are all obvious reasons for taking this step, most people don’t even have to consciously think about those reasons to choose this line of studying. Right after getting an undergraduate degree, or pursuing a job for a year or two, the next apparent step is somehow towards management, most of the times.

The thing the students get stuck on, even before they start listing out the colleges they would like admission in, is whether to go for an MBA or a PGDM. While both these courses offer management, there are some underlying differences between the two that justify the confusion that students go through before choosing between the two.

PGDM or MBA
PGDM or MBA | Source

What is PGDM?
PGDM, which stands for a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, is a management course offered by those institutes in India, which are autonomous (i.e. they do not come under any university) and run independently, while being recognized by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). While this course does not provide a Degree at the end of the course unlike an MBA, accreditation by Association of Indian Universities (AIU) makes this Diploma providing course equivalent to an MBA.

What is MBA?
An MBA (Master in Business Administration) is a degree course in management offered by institutes that are affiliated to some university. And as per law, none other than a University can offer a degree in management.

What to Go For - PGDM? Or MBA?
The only constant thing is change, they say. And it sure is true when it comes to the ever-changing current events that trigger the ever-developing and modifying industry trends. This being true for almost every industry, the colleges getting the future industry experts ready must also be in tandem with the changing dynamics of the world around. And for this reason mainly, PGDM gets a few brownie points over MBA.

As MBA is offered by only those colleges that are affiliated to the universities, they have a fixed curriculum that they can not go beyond or opt out of. Based strictly on university guidelines, MBA syllabus is seldom updated. So term after term of students come in to read the same thing, and learn about concepts that may have far back modified themselves or become too old. Moreover, one could also very easily expect this course to be more on the theoretical side.

PGDM on the other hand, is offered by autonomous colleges. And that makes a really big difference. These institutions are free to change their syllabus according to the latest industry developments. Unlike a University, which would need to pass it through its senate in order to review its syllabus and could even take 10 years to get done, autonomy provides a lot of convenience to an institution that way.

In a way, after having completed the two years of learning, whether one has a PGDM or an MBA wouldn’t have a whole lot of effect on the way that student’s career prospect turns out to be. There are two main reasons for that. One is that it majorly depends upon the individual performance of a person, and secondly, there are a lot of colleges that offer MBA that have earned themselves a good name. So, there are colleges that in themselves are a like a big brand, like Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), and so on. But the same goes for PGDM too. We have all the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Xavier School of Management (XLRI), SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, and other great colleges that offer a diploma in management, instead of a degree.

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So, in the end, it comes down to what will help a student in getting that individual performance up; what will aid them in some way to better span their career growth. The quickness to take action as soon as the decision is made, is what one can expect out of a PGDM-offering institute. And this stands true for almost all important processes, like the admission procedure, deciding on the fee structure, and so on - and that in itself is a game-changer. These colleges usually stress on not just the changing industry standards by getting the students’ skill sets ready, but focus on soft skills too. So autonomous colleges work on making sure that a student after getting a PGDM, is absolutely ready to face every present-day challenge that he might encounter.

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