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PGDM or PGPM: Which Program Is Best For You?

As well as the MBA, business management postgrads in India can also choose the PGDM or PGPM, but which program is best for your experience?


Mon Mar 20 2023

To kick-start a business career in India, students are faced with three key choices: a Postgraduate Program in Management (PGPM), a Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) or an MBA. Deciding which is best for your experience and ambitions is the first step towards application.

It’s a problem of plenty: the management higher education landscape in India offers more than 5,500 course options to aspiring students. Find out more about the options open to you with this snapshot.

In essence, all of these are management postgraduate programs, meant for new graduates and working professionals. However, a key difference between PGDM or PGPM, and MBA is that the former two programs are overseen by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), while the latter is managed and governed by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

What is the PGDM?

This two-year, full-time diploma in management suits newly graduated bachelor’s students, or early-career employees with a few years’ work experience. There are no age limits to application and with more than 400 AICTE-approved PGDM colleges spread across India, accessibility is not a problem. 

Several distance and online PGDM courses are also available, offered by top private colleges such as Symbiosis International University in Pune or NMIMS in Mumbai, also government-run Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), and the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), which are governed directly by the Ministry of Education.  

PGDM programs offer academia-industry interaction and are the right path for high-achieving early careerists, mid-careerists desiring a job-switch via a qualification upgrade, or senior employees looking to update managerial capabilities and skillsets.

The PGDM's wide range of specializations 

With more than 50 specializations on offer, the PGDM offers concentrations suiting most industry sectors and roles. Common streams include marketing, HR, finance, business analytics, information technology, consulting, retail, entrepreneurship, operations and general management, supply chain management, rural management and agribusiness management. 

More unique specialist courses include international business (Amity International Business School, Noida), international marketing (Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bengaluru), entrepreneurship management (TISS, Xavier Labour Research Institute, Jamshedpur), apparel management (Institute of Apparel Management, Gurgaon), rural management (Institute of Rural Management, Anand), business design and innovation or digital transformation (SOIL Institute, Gurgaon).

What is the PGPM?

For the one-year, full-time program, the profile and entry requirements remain the same as for the PGDM, except that this option is preferred by relatively more senior professionals who are time-constrained, and hence need a concentrated, focused, and dedicated course. These are often promoted as executive or leadership programs, targeting top corporate teams across functions. 

Why choose an MBA?

While the PGDM and PGPM are exceedingly practical and focused on experiential learning, the MBA in India can enhance technical and theoretical hard skills. Unlike its namesake elsewhere in the globe, where it is a well-known master’s for graduates with a few years’ work experience under their belts, in India graduates can join most MBAs right out of their first degrees. Find out more about the six top colleges for MBA in India, according to the prestigious FT MBA Ranking 2023. 

PGDM vs PGPM – ROI comparison

The main differentiator here is the course duration – the two-year PGDM versus the one-year PGPM. The fees and salaries for both are presented below for you to get a quick grasp on financial planning and ROI comparison:


Fee: INR 400,000 to INR 2,400,000 per year.

Average graduate salary: INR 600,000 to INR 800,000.

Verdict: The fee is recovered in between one and three years. 


Average fee: INR 100,000 to Rs. 150,000 for one year.

Average salary: INR 100,000. However, some colleges such as SOIL Institute, Gurgaon claim INR 1,100,000 average packages and 153% ROI realised by its PGPM alumni. 

Verdict: In most cases, the course fee is recovered in the first year itself. 

That said, the longer term benefits of the PGDM include in-depth, comprehensive coverage of subjects, and more immersive learning opportunities. Also, networking and outreach prospects tend to be better. It’s important to juxtapose the longer-term rewards with the short-term ROI consideration when deciding which course to opt for.

Next read:  Find out the Top 10 Colleges For An MBA In India