MBA vs PGDM: Differences, Eligibility, Admission, Jobs, Salary 2023

MBA vs PGDM: Differences, Eligibility, Admission, Jobs, Salary 2023

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Jasmine Arora
Deputy Manager-Content
Updated on Sep 7, 2023 17:00 IST

“What is more valuable MBA or PGDM?”, This question has always put management aspirants in a state of dilemma. Master of Business Administration (MBA Full form) and Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM Full form) are both management courses that can be completed in a duration of two years. However, the major difference between both programmes is that MBA is a Degree, while PGDM course is a Diploma.

The MBA syllabus is more theoretical and designed by universities, while the PGDM syllabus focuses more on industry needs and market trends. Interested students can read further to know more differences between MBA and PGDM courses and how they need to pick the right course according to their needs.

Also Read:

MBA Admissions Underway: Check Application Status

MBA vs PGDM: Highlights

Students interested in pursuing management courses can check the table below to understand the key highlights of MBA and PGDM courses. The important details related to course level, entrance exams, course fees, job profiles, and average annual salary are tabulated below:




Full Form

Master of Business Administration

Post Graduate Diploma in Management

Course Level



Entrance Exams

Through national and state-level entrance examinations like CAT, MAT, XAT, CMAT, NMAT, 


Through CAT, MAT, XAT, ATMA and some state-level examinations like TSICETMAH-CET, etc.


University Grants Commission (UGC)

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)


Valid Post Graduate Degree.

Valid and equivalent to Post Graduate Degree.


The syllabus is prepared by universities and gets updated less frequently

Syllabus is dynamic, AICTE approved and gets updated frequently as per industry needs.

Course Fee (in INR)

INR 2 lakh to 27 lakh and above

INR 3 lakh to INR 15 lakh

Average Salary (in INR)

INR 5 lakh to 25 lakh per annum


INR 5 to INR 15 lakh


Sales and Marketing, Operations, Finance, Human Resources, Digital Marketing, etc.

IT, Operations Management, Business Analytics, Marketing, HR, etc.

Top Job Profiles

Finance Manager, Marketing Manager, Sales Manager, Project Manager, etc.

HR Recruiters, Sales Manager, Public Relations Manager, Research Analyst etc.

Top Recruiters

Boston Consulting Group, Mckinsey, Bain & Co, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Adobe, etc.

HDFC Bank, Dell, Myntra, Amazon, Lifestyle etc.

Top Colleges

IIM AhmedabadIIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode, etc. 

IIM Indore, IIM Calcutta, XLRI Jamshedpur, etc.

Also Read:

How to prepare for MBA?

Difference Between MBA and PGDM

MBA institutes fall under universities (both Government and Private), whereas PGDM programmes are generally run by autonomous institutes that are approved by the AICTE. The growing number of businesses has highlighted the importance of MBA as it equips students with managerial skills important in running a business.

Contrarily, PGDM teaches the necessary skills required to expand a company or lead a successful business. PGDM can help students in shaping their careers in various domains like hotels, banks, law firms, educational institutes, marketing agencies, and consultancies.  

What is MBA?

MBA is a two-year postgraduate programme that is pursued by students after completing their graduation with 50 per cent aggregate marks. MBA equip students with valuable management skills, hence a large number of BTech, BBA, BCom, BA, BSc, BCA graduates opt for MBA in post-graduation.

The most popular MBA entrance exams are CAT, CMAT, XAT, MAH CET among others. Some of the popular colleges offering MBA programmes in various specialisations includes IIM AhmedabadIIM BangaloreIIM CalcuttaIIM Lucknow, FMS Delhi, XLRI among others.

Also Read:

MBA Outlook Report 2023

What is PGDM?

PGDM, also popularly known as Post Graduate Diploma in Management, is a two-year programme offered by top management B-schools in India. PGDM is considered an alternative of MBA and is considered  almost equal to the MBA degree. It is offered by AICTE-approved institutes/universities or autonomous B-schools.

PGDM aims at catering to industry requirements and helps students to acquire the necessary skills. The syllabus of PGDM is also designed in a manner that incorporates market trends and changing needs. Candidates completing the PGDM course are offered diplomas instead of degrees. The fee of PGDM range between INR 3 lakh to 15 lakh.

Also Read:

Part-time MBA and PGDM Courses

MBA vs PGDM: Eligibility

MBA can be pursued in different modes as  Part Time MBA, Distance MBA, Online MBA, Executive MBA and Integrated MBA. Hence, eligibility criteria for every programme differs. Similarly, the PGDM eligibility criteria may differ from institute to institute. Candidates are always suggested to check the official website of the institute to know the detailed PGDM course eligibility criteria.

The table below contains the eligibility requirement for Full-time MBA and PGDM programmes.





Graduate in any stream

Graduate in any stream

Minimum Percentage

Average 50 per cent marks (45 per cent for Reserved category)

Minimum 55 per cent aggregate marks

Entrance Exams



Work Experience

Some courses and colleges demand work experience of 3 to 5 years


Also Read:

MBA After Class 12th from IIMs

Popular Integrated MBA Programmes in India

 MBA vs PGDM: Entrance Exams

Some of the top B-schools conduct their own entrance examination or accept national/state entrance examinations score for admission to management courses like MBA and PGDM.

Students must meet the set eligibility criteria and appear in the entrance exams mentioned below qualify for admission to MBA and PGDM courses:




Conducting Body



Mode of Exam

Online and Offline

Online and Offline

Entrance Exams



Entrance Exams Syllabus

CAT Syllabus, MAT Syllabus,

CMAT Syllabus, SNAP Syllabus

Same as MBA

Also Read:

List of all MBA entrance exams

List of all PGDM entrance exams

MBA vs PGDM: Syllabus

MBA curriculum is more theoretical and changes less frequently as it is designed by the universities. On the other hand, PGDM syllabus is set by AICTE and focused taking into consideration the changing industry needs. 

Here is a general overview of the semester-wise MBA and PGDM syllabus in India:





  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Managerial Economics
  • Human Resource Management


  • Organisation Effectiveness and Change
  • Management Science
  • Cost and Management Accounting
  • Financial Management


  • International Business
  • Operations Management


  • Project Study
  • Strategic Management
  • Business Law
  • Strategic Management

Also Read:

MBA Syllabus

PGDM Syllabus

MBA vs PGDM: Top MBA/PGDM Colleges

Students can pursue an MBA and PGDM from several top management institutes, including the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), XLRI-Jamshedpur, and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research-Mumbai.

Interested candidates can see the tables below to know the top colleges offering MBA and PGDM programmes.

Top MBA Colleges

There are about 5,000 MBA colleges in India. One can choose their best-suited institutes with the help of the MBA college predictor. Some of the top colleges with their fees are:

Name of College

Fees (in INR)

IIM Ahmedabad

24.6 lakh

IIM Bangalore

20 lakh

IIM, Calcutta

21 lakh

IIM, Indore

20 lakh

IIM Bodh Gaya

19 lakh 

IIM Rohtak

20 lakh

MDI Gurgaon

12 lakh

XLRI, Jamshedpur

25 lakh


17 lakh

IIFT Delhi

12 lakh

Also Read:

NIRF Ranking Colleges

Top PGDM Colleges

Candidates can select the PGDM institute based on several factors like accreditation, candidate’s requirement, placement, curriculum, global exposure and so forth. Students can check the table below for popular PGDM Colleges:

Name of College

Fees (in INR)

XLRI, Jamshedpur

27 lakh

MDI Gurgaon

10 lakh

SP Jain (SPJIMR), Mumbai

9.5 lakh

International Management Institute, New Delhi

18 lakh

Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune

15.9 lakh 

IIT, Delhi

10.5 lakh

IIM, Calcutta

23-25 lakh

IIM, Kozhikode

12-20 lakh

IIM, Indore

17-35 lakh

IIM, Ahmedabad

12-24 lakh

Also Read:

Top 100 Universities in India as per NIRF Ranking

MBA vs PGDM: Jobs and Salaries

A career in management can lead to a variety of job prospects. Nowadays, students are more interested in starting their own firms. Students take up MBA or PGDM courses to refine their managerial skills. Students holding a Bachelor's Degree in any area and the qualifying percentage can enrol in the management programmes to further their professional development.

MBA Job Profiles and Average Salary

MBA pay is mostly determined by the MBA specialisation chosen. Finance, Marketing, General Management, Business Analytics, and Entrepreneurship are among the top MBA specialisations that frequently yield the greatest pay after graduation.

The highest-paying positions in India after an MBA range from INR 5 to 30 LPA. Given below are some of the popular job options after MBA and their corresponding salaries:

Job Profile

Average Annual Salary (in INR)

Finance Manager

9.6 LPA

Marketing Manager

10 LPA

Sales Manager

10.2 LPA

Operations Manager


Product Manager

15 LPA

Also Read:

MBA Placements

PGDM Job Profiles and Average Salary

After completing a PGDM programme, one can find a variety of job options in both the public and private sectors. The young entrants can earn between INR 5 and 10 LPA at the start and increase their pay-scale with experience.

Job Profile

Average Annual Salary (in INR)

Study Counsellor


Commercial Manager

15 LPA

HR Manager


Brand Manager

10 LPA

Senior Finance Analyst

6.5 LPA

FAQs About MBA vs PGDM

Q. Which is better: PGDM or MBA?

A. Both PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) and MBA (Master of Business Administration) are demanding management programmes, carrying a great future scope. As both the programmes have their own advantages and disadvantages, the students need to consider various factors like individual goals, preferences, and circumstances into consideration before making the final decision.

In India, both are typically two-year programmes. PGDM and MBA offer great placement opportunities to students and they can get average CTC of INR 5 lakh to 10 lakh after completing these courses.

Also Read:

Careers in MBA

Q. Is PGDM equal to MBA?

A. Although a PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) and an MBA (Master of Business Administration) are not exactly the same, they might be comparable in many ways. PGDM is considered an alternative of MBA and treated with equality in the management industry. This is how they contrast:




Degree vs Diploma

Master’s Degree

PG Diploma


Designed by Universities

Designed by Industry Experts




Q. Is India PGDM degree valid abroad?

A. Yes, Indian PGDM degree can be valid abroad, but conditionally. The country in which you intend to use the degree, the exact school that granted the PGDM, and the programme's accreditation status are just a few of the variables that can affect the validity and recognition of an Indian PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) degree abroad.

Different nations have different policies regarding the recognition of Indian PGDM degrees abroad. Popular countries for MBA abroad are UKUSA, CanadaAustralia, Germany and New Zealand. Students have to appear for Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) and language proficiency tests Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for MBA/PGDM abroad admission. 

Q. Who earns more MBA or PGDM graduate?

A. Earning potential may be impacted by the location and reputation of the MBA or PGDM programme and the university awarding the degree. Higher incomes and greater employment prospects may be available to graduates from prestigious and reputable colleges.

Also, these courses are offered in various specialisations, which is another factor that determines the pay scale of graduates. Average salary post MBA is INR 5 lakh to 25 lakh per annum, while the average PGDM pay ranges betwen INR 6 lakh to 30 lakh per year.

Q. How to select top colleges for MBA and PGDM?

A. Students can select top colleges for MBA and PGDM on the basis of entrance exams by different colleges. Students can click below to learn about colleges on the basis of CAT, MAT, XAT, CMAT scores accepted in MBA and PGDM:

Q. Which is more affordable MBA or PGDM?

A. The cost of MBA programmes is comparatively low than PGDM programmes as the MBA course is usually offered by universities and colleges, the majority of which receive grants from the UGC and government funding. The fees of government colleges are lower than private MBA colleges. MBA can be pursued at a fees ranging from INR 3 lakh to 25 lakh.

Contrarily, PGDM programme is unquestionably a significant financial commitment. Since institutes and independent business schools that operate PGDM programmes, primarily on-campus, are responsible for covering all of their own expenses, the result is much higher programme fees. The fees of PGDM programmes can range between INR 4 lakh to 30 lakh.

About the Author
Jasmine Arora
Deputy Manager-Content

I am a passionate writer with around 11 years of rich experience in the field of Journalism and Content Writing. I enjoy creating Research-based content for digital platforms with best SEO techniques. Being an autho... Read Full Bio


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