Confused about how and what to pursue in higher education? Not knowing if the chosen subject is right or wrong for you? It is a big leap for a student because that will be a big part in shaping their future career. Multiple options are put in front of the students and they face a difficult time in choosing one particular subject amongst them. Often the parents end up taking decisions on behalf of them, that have been proven fatal in many cases. One should choose a subject of his/her interests, the one he/she is good at or likes studying the most. It may also include hobbies. There is nothing better than making a career based on hobbies. One should have a clear understanding between higher education and further education. Higher education includes graduation courses which are pursued immediately after school, the duration of which varies from 3 to 4 years. Further education includes gaining postgraduate degrees based on the graduated subjects.
MBA and PGDM fall under further education. There seems to be absolutely no difference between MBA and PGDM in terms of employment, if one comes from a reputed business school. But MBA has an advantage over PGDM, since MBA is a degree and not a diploma. In a country like India, the word ‘diploma’ is considered a taboo and is not viewed to be equivalent to a degree. Therefore most of the students go for MBA rather than PGDM. Now, the question arises, what exactly is MBA and PGDM and what should we choose?
MBA is the acronym for Master of Business Administration. It is a degree that can be achieved through learning all about business relations. The need for an MBA course increased in the United States during the early 20th century due to the lack of proper management both in companies and industries. It teaches leadership skills, technical skills and all about managing a business. The course covers several business administrations like, entrepreneurship, management, marketing, accounting, finance, supply chain management, and all about business communications, its laws, strategies and ethics. Most of the MBA courses include further studies focusing on a particular subject related to the course, such as, Master of Accountancy, Master of Finance, Master of Economics. MBA is a professional degree and different business schools offer different types of courses. Some offer full time courses whereas some of them give the opportunity of part time and distance courses. Nowadays executive courses are also available, in which the students can attend night classes and on the weekends. Criteria for getting admission to a business school depends on different factors. Some of the programs depend on the previous scores, scores secured in entrance examinations, a resume including previous work experience or a letter of recommendation and personal interviews. Whereas some institutes focus on the extra curricular activities of the candidates. They emphasize on the contribution of their volunteer work and community services and how they can use it in creating a better environment in the school. There are two types of entrance tests that are acknowledged in getting into a business school - the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The latter one is most prominently used as an entrance exam for admissions in MBA programs. On an average, full time MBA takes about 18 months to complete. With an MBA degree one can break into the competitive industries or secure a good job away from home. Presently there are over 2500 MBA programs offered worldwide. Famous MBA institutes in India includes Faculty of Management studies (University of Delhi, Delhi), Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM, Pune), Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS, Mumbai), Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS, Mumbai).
On the other hand, PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma in Management is a diploma course that focuses on the different aspects of management and business industry. Any graduates from any stream can apply for a diploma course, but graduation in management is more preferable. Admissions in a diploma course is solely based on entrance exams like MAT, CAT, XAT and many more. A diploma is a certificate offered by an educational institution, such as, college or university that provides evidence that a student has successfully completed a particular course of study. In India, two types of diplomas are issued - Formal education sector diploma, which are issued by the government approved or any recognized institution (college or university) and non formal education sector diploma which are issued by NGOs, companies or societies. A diploma is a short term course offered by an institution to train a person in a particular field, whereas a degree is comparatively a long term course. There is no need for the institution to be UGC or AICTE approved in order to issue a diploma. A diploma course offers more of a practical experience rather than a theoretical one. A diploma course helps a person to focus around a particular area and get them job ready, whereas a degree gives the person more in-depth knowledge and gives them to start at a higher level. Therefore, a person having a degree is always more preferable over the person having a diploma in the same field. Course fees also differ. A diploma course is more expensive as compared to a degree course (since it is equivalent to a university). Famous PGDM institutes in India include Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), Xavier School of Management (XLRI, Jamshedpur), SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai.
A degree in MBA is issued by an university affiliated institution, whereas PGDM is offered by institutions that are autonomous (not affiliated to any university) and runs independently, since such institutes cannot offer an MBA degree. Autonomous institutes have an advantage of forming their own syllabus that helps them in keeping up to date with the present technology, while in case of an university affiliated institution, syllabus changes every 3 to 4 years. Overall, MBA and PGDM have both advantages and disadvantages of their own. Different people possess different career needs and so a person has to choose accordingly.