Very often, management students stand on this cross road and wonder, PGDM or MBA? Which one will land me my dream job? Which one makes me academically better? Which one is meant more for me and is not the way of the herd? A very common debate! Let us sort this out for you.
“An MBA is for those who seek a university programme to get a holistic view of Management while the PGDM is for those who seek specialisation in a particular area of their interest,” feels V. Venkataramana, Dean, School of Management Studies, University of Hyderabad.
PGDM, strictly speaking, isn’t a degree. So, in a degree hungry country like ours, why at all should a person go for it? As stated above, PGDM gives you a tunnel vision, yes, but keeps you focused on what you want to achieve rather than give you a broad based idea of things. While MBA is seen as a natural set up after a graduate degree, PGDM is seen as a diploma pursued for professional advancement and a very relevant one for growing fast in your profession.
As far credibility of a diploma vs. degree stand, there are times a PGDM might end up scoring higher than a plain MBA because it might be suited better to the job description.
While an MBA is regulated by the UGC, a PGDM is regulated by the AICTE. This gives institutions offering a PGDM course higher autonomy than those offering plain, vanilla MBA courses. Even though both courses give you an insight into and knowledge of Business Administration, the approach and concentration of what is taught is fairly different.
PGDM tackles the more practical fields of education as compared to MBA that provides you academic knowledge. The basic difference between the two is that the former makes you street smart and the other makes you book wise. Hence, more of professionals who want to advance their fields should usually go in for a PGDM.
Fee structure for PGDM courses is much higher as compared to MBAs but if your purpose is to seek advancement in your chosen field, a PGDM might be a better card to pick over a generic MBA which might end up not helping you at all. Since a person would be devoting an exact same amount of time (i.e. 2 years) one might want to work toward a specific goal than being the jack of all trade and master of none.
One of the key things where PGDM triumphs over MBA is the interval in which the curriculum is updated. Since recognised universities hand out MBAs, the curriculum there is a little rigid compared to the fairly autonomous institutes that aren’t governed by the UGC. Usually, a curriculum update takes less time and is more fluid while pursuing PGDM.
As far as placements depend, the onus goes to the institution more than the course and though there are arguers in favour of and against both courses, they would seem neck to neck to an unbiased eye.