Which is the best? Well, teachers say the course value depends on the institutes than the degree it self. An MBA from a Central University or an established management department in the State University definitely has an advantage given its experienced faculty and infrastructure. At the same time, a PGDM from institutes like NIMT, ISB, IPE, XLRI or such top institutes has a brand value and are readily accepted by the industry.

“An MBA is for those who seek a university programme to get a holistic view of the programme while the PGDM is for those who seek specialisation in the area of their interest,” feels V. Venkataramana, Dean, School of Management Studies, University of Hyderabad. “Top varsity colleges are trusted as they have experienced faculty and established curriculum while PGDM has an element of flexibility as the institutes are independent, but they have to be chosen carefully.”

“As far as industry is concerned they recognise talent from the institutes of repute than bothering whether it’s an MBA or PGDM,” says B. Srinivasa Rao, Associate Professor.

Content wise there is not much difference but MBA will not have recognition problems for those going abroad while PGDM students have to be doubly sure of taking the equivalence certificates.

Earlier, a PGDM was not recognised for higher studies like M.Phil or Ph.D that seek a degree as a pre-requisite. But now PGDM certificates of some top institutes like NIMT are also being considered equivalent to MBA for higher studies.

But the teachers believe that MBA is not an end in itself but a means. As senior management professor of OU, A. Vidhyadhar Reddy explains, an MBA degree helps students develop skills in various spheres like finance, operations, economics, teamwork, ethics and leadership. He says one should use the programme to develop network with alumni, business and community leaders that help in career growth.

While choosing the institution, teachers’ advice that, aspirants should look for the brand of the business school. The brand signifies its established practices that provide better learning environment for personal growth and its networking help students reach its alumni and industry easily. A powerful brand is a tag that can be carried throughout the career.

NIMT, for example, has been serving PGDM course since 1992 and has made no compromise in quality of the curriculum or content. The organization has established a well renowned brand image for PGDM course in the minds of students as well as corporates.