Everyone wants to partake in the global start-up boom–and what better way than to upskill via a PGDM or an MBA degree? However, choosing the right postgraduate course can be a tightrope walk for management aspirants due to the massive availability of courses. One may feel inclined to pursue a traditional MBA degree from a top varsity but find themselves being directed to PGDM programs instead. So, what is the difference between PGDM and MBA, and which one is right for you? We help decode the mystery in this article.

Let’s start with some basic definitions and similarities between the two- While PGDM stands for a postgraduate diploma in management, MBA stands for master’s in business administration. They’re postgraduate courses aiming to produce quality managers and business leaders with well-rounded soft and technical skills.

Students often flock to the top city to pursue MBA and related courses. Several PGDM colleges in Mumbai offer lucrative course options to students. MBA colleges in Mumbai are also revered for their highly rated and unique course structure and teaching methodology. MBA institutes in Mumbai are also famous for their focus on experiential learning. While both courses can open multiple avenues for recent graduates, there are a few subtle but significant differences between the two. Let’s take a look.

  • Degree Vs Diploma
  • Syllabus
  • Fee
  • Pedagogy
  • Personal Goals

Degree vs Diploma

In short, MBA is a degree while PGDM is a diploma course. Since MBA is a degree, only a UGC-backed university is allowed to give it out. There are several highly rated and UGC accredited MBA colleges in Mumbai for aspirants looking to step foot into the business industry while living in the financial capital of this country. Some top MBA colleges in Mumbai such as Universal Business School (UBS) etc offer these management courses.

A PGDM course is offered by AICTE accredited educational institutes that are either independent or backed by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry. MBA institutes in Mumbai include SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, XLRI, and UBS. These PGDM colleges in Mumbai are known for their excellent pedagogy and opportunities for networking.

However, people often reject diplomas favoring traditional MBA degrees—mainly due to a common misconception surrounding the credibility of such courses. Well, let’s debunk this myth right away-Both PGDM and MBA offer a fantastic return on investment. Some top-rated b-schools offering PGDMs are ISB and MICA. Even IIMs offer PGDM courses and their traditional and much coveted MBA degrees.


While MBA adopts a more theoretical approach toward teaching, PGDM allows scope for experiential learning. An MBA is more academic than PGDM, which focuses on imparting skills that corroborate with existing industry standards. MBA curriculum is often theoretical and resistant to change. PGDM courses can be changed in accordance with industry standards and modern developments. However, this is just a general observation. Institutes often create unique curriculums – Hence, it is unnecessary for an MBA to be strictly theoretical or for a PGDM course to be strictly focused on practical aspects of learning.

You can opt for MBA institutes in Mumbai or PGDM colleges in Mumbai if you’re looking to pursue a rewarding business degree from a top-rated b-school in Maharashtra. In addition, both MBA and PGDM are great educational options for managers looking to carve a fruitful career in the business and management arena.


A big reason behind the massive popularity of MBA degrees is the return-on-investment factor. Since most MBA degrees are offered by UGC-backed college bodies, the fee is lower than PGDM courses. Such colleges receive most of their educational grants from the government. However, this return-on-investment factor also makes MBA admission extremely difficult—everyone wants to get in, and the competition spikes to exponential levels. This is where PGDM colleges in Mumbai come to the rescue. While a PGDM requires considerable investment, the course structure is futuristic and well-aligned with industry standards.


As stated before, teaching methodologies in MBA and PGDM can differ from college to college. However, a traditional MBA tends to emphasize theoretical aspects of business instead of PGDM, which makes modern learning techniques accessible to all. On the other hand, a PGDM course will allow you to step out of your bubble to network and learn outside the confines of the classroom. This allows students to develop the soft skills that they and industry experts are so desperately after. The best part about a modern-day PGDM or MBA course from MBA institutes in Mumbai focuses on developing soft skills to take on challenging assignments in the real world.

Personal Goals

While we’ve listed this point as the last one, it is the most important one – choose an MBA degree or PGDM course based on your personal goals, dreams, aptitude, achievement, and financial background. We insist that you thoroughly peruse your college brochure to make the right decision on your course. Consider all essential factors before making a decision. Then, make a decision that suits you well and makes sense within your circumstances.

While an MBA is more revered and less expensive, a PGDM is more expensive but offers better returns on investment and the chance to learn through experience. A traditional MBA can often be rooted in theory, but do not dismiss MBA in its entirety. Many MBA colleges have tweaked their syllabus to meet modern industry requirements. The ultimate decision lies in the hands of the candidate choosing their respective programme. We hope you thoroughly peruse this guide to understand the difference between PGDM and MBA and can make a decision that aligns well with your personal and professional goals.