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What is PGDM and How does it compare against the highly popular MBA courses in the corporate world


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Which track of management education to follow is one of the most challenging selections that management education candidates must make. The first question that comes to mind is whether what is the PGDM course?.

Because PGDM is a diploma and MBA is a degree, there is a prevalent assumption in our country that MBA is superior to PGDM. But which one is more widely accepted in the industry?

The experts discuss the distinctions between the two types of management education and provide guidance on what is the PGDM course and how to move forward in your career.

Have you just finished your undergraduate studies and are thinking about getting an MBA? Or have you worked for a few years, gained some experience, and now want to move up the corporate ladder? When researching MBA programs, keep in mind that some of the business schools you're considering offer MBA courses after graduation under a different name. Simply put, you come across the PGDM, or Postgraduate Diploma in Management, when you really want an MBA. It's probable that the name makes you question whether it's the same as an MBA. So, what do PGDM courses include after graduation? What is the difference between it and a master's degree in business administration? Let us explore.

what is the PGDM course or an MBA? While looking for the best management program for you, you must have pondered this question. Despite the fact that you're looking for an MBA program, you discover that several of the business schools you really want to attend offer a PGDM program instead. Why is it referred to as a PGDM diploma program rather than an MBA degree program?

The phrases MBA and PGDM are often used these days, yet they are frequently misunderstood. When you combine that with the fact that the term "diploma" is banned, you have a lot of confusion. And the misunderstanding derives from what that word entails when provided by some of the country's greatest B schools, rather than the word itself. We'll explain the differences between MBA and PGDM, two of India's most popular management degrees, in this article.

MBA and PGDM stand for Masters of Business Administration and Post Graduate Diploma in Management, respectively. Despite the fact that both programs last two years and are offered by prestigious B-schools to prepare students for a profitable management career, there are some important similarities and contrasts between them.

Let’s see how the MBA and PGDM course details are similar:

Both programs teach managerial skills, but recruiters are more interested in the b-school's educational quality, its unique value propositions, alumni track records, and the value that graduates bring to the table. In truth, recruiters do not distinguish between these students and PGDM students in b-schools that provide a one-year 'certificate' program in management, sometimes known as PGPM, PGP, or other names depending on the b-school. Hiring is solely based on the recruiter's work experience, background, and skill requirements, as well as how well the students meet those standards.

A similar argument can be made for pursuing higher education, such as a Ph.D. or Fellowship program. A PGDM diploma is equally as good as an MBA degree for pursuing a Ph.D. At the undergraduate level, a degree was always thought to be more valuable than a diploma. However, the quality and usefulness of postgraduate courses, such as management programs, are determined by the b-school and the curriculum, not the name.

So, what are the key distinctions between an MBA and what is the PGDM course?

In response to changing business needs and industry behavior, business schools (or private MBA colleges) offering PGDM can alter their curriculum. They can quickly adopt new methods, techniques, and technology to provide their pupils with cutting-edge instruction. Universities undergo such revisions over a period of time, usually 3 to 5 years.

Students can benefit from private b-schools offering PGDM courses by inviting visiting teachers from around the world for an enhanced learning experience. In addition, business schools that specialize in on-campus PGDM programs emphasize students' overall development through soft-skill and leadership-based courses and activities, extra-curricular, and intensive industry interaction through guest speakers.

If you choose to devote two years of your life to one of these very indulgent programs, you need thoroughly research their value propositions, services, and industry perceptions before making a decision.

PGDM course Curriculum details

MBA programs have a set curriculum and are typically more theoretical in nature. The updating of curricula to keep up with changes in the industry and economic landscape is somewhat strict. These modifications take about 3-5 years to complete. Private universities, on the other hand, revise their curriculum more often.

The PGDM curriculum, on the other hand, can be amended or modified at the discretion of the business school, keeping it up to date with new industry requirements and standards. This allows schools to maintain a competitive advantage, and competition stimulates curriculum and pedagogy innovation. In contrast to pure theoretical learning, such systems allow for more practical application-based learning.

In reality, any excellent PGDM school would include industry experts in curriculum design. These veterans contribute a foresight that encourages management curriculum to include emerging and disruptive technologies like AI, Design Thinking, and Business Analytics.

In this vein, it is important to understand that MBA tests are administered by individual institutions, and all colleges within a given university will have the same exams. Exams are performed by the schools themselves in the case of IIMs and private b-schools, who have a large amount of control over their evaluation criteria.

Degree vs Diploma:

The first and most fundamental distinction between the two programs is that an MBA is a degree program, whilst a PGDM is a diploma program. A government or private institution, or a college connected with a university, offers an MBA program. Degrees can only be awarded by universities that are part of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

A PGDM program is provided by AICTE-accredited business schools and standalone/autonomous business schools. It is important to note, however, that the business world makes no distinction between the two. Graduates of both degrees are equally qualified for management positions.

The 20 current IIMs, on the other hand, were designated as Institutions of National Importance under the IIM Act of 2017 and were given the ability to issue MBA degrees, whereas previously they could only award certificates like any other private business school.

To evaluate which program will put you in the searchlight of promising recruiters, you must focus more on important quality variables such as faculty, curriculum, campus, peer group, rankings and accreditations, and placements, rather than the name.

What is the Teaching Methodology in PGDM 

A good PGDM program provides much more than classroom instruction. Case study pedagogy is very important in PGDM courses since these cases assist students to learn how principles are used in real-world situations and are based on classic and contemporary business cases that have changed the industry over time. Extracurricular activities, social initiatives, events, competitions, and other forms of learning take place outside of the classroom to build a variety of soft skills necessary for management professionals.

During intensive industry interface sessions, students in a PGDM degree get the opportunity to connect with several thought leaders and CXOs, which helps them develop industry perspectives and blur the lines between theory and practical application. PGDM program includes live projects, summer internships with leading corporations, as well as regular guest lectures, conclaves, and symposiums – all of which aid in the development of strong leadership, managerial, and analytical skills, which are essential for a successful management career.

Entrance exam

Both programs accept scores from a variety of competitive exams, including the CAT, MAT, GMAT, XAT, and CMAT. Many institutions and colleges accept scores from state-level assessments such as MAHCET, TSICET, PGCET, and TANCET when applying to MBA programs. 

When it comes to entrance exams, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, most institutes don't recognize the most widely accepted CAT score in India. Shortlisting for PGDM institutions may also be based on other variables such as past academic and professional performance, achievements, diversity of background, and so on, rather than a specific entry score cut-off. These test results are essential for admission to the schools of your choosing. As a result, you must first determine which test results are desired at those schools, as well as their cut-off or safe-score requirements, and then prepare accordingly.

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