In this article, I will cover the similarities and differences between the MMS and the PGDM programs offered by institutes across Mumbai/Maharashtra. Whenever I talk to students, I realize that there is no authentic information about these programs and students are confused between the two courses with respect to the scores that are accepted and the process that is followed for admission. First, we will start with the similarities between the two programs.
Similarities between MMS and PGDM (2-year full-time) offered by various institutes:
1. Both the programs are offered under the same roof by institutes such as Welingkar, Somaiya, Dalmia, SIES, etc. and both are two year full-time programs.
2. The course content and the experience is more or less similar. Both will prepare you for what you want to do eventually.
3. The placements for both the programs are similar and the recruiters care more about the brand name and candidate’s ability than the specific program that you’ve done.
Having said that, there are quite a few differences between the two programs. Let’s have a look at the differences:
1. MMS, at the end of the day, is a University degree and has more credibility from that perspective. A PGDM is offered by a specific institute and one needs to exercise caution and join only the institutes that are well established and have industry acceptance. So, if there is a choice between MMS or PG from a lower ranked institute, it makes more sense to go for the MMS program.
2. PGDM courses offer better structure, course content, and flexibility compared to the MMS program. Welingkar, for example, has better subjects in its PGDM course structure which is not the case with MMS where it has to adhere to the University course structure, core subjects, and electives. A common sentiment shared by most of the students who are pursuing the MMS program is that the University doesn’t revise the syllabus frequently to reflect the latest trends.
3. PGDM program is more expensive than the MMS program. Somaiya, for example, charges significantly higher fees for the PGDM program than its MMS program. Students who are on a tight budget, tend to prefer MMS over PG for this reason as the extra cost is most of the times unjustified.
4. Placement opportunities tend to be similar. Though most of the students have reported that the placements tend to be similar and the students of MMS and PGDM course appear for the final placements together, some students have also reported differential treatment in the past from institute administration towards PGDM students. This could be because of the fact that the institute benefits more from the PGDM program (higher fee) than its MMS program as the former is a revenue driver while the latter is an obligation.
5. PGDM batch tends to be more diverse compared to MMS batch due to difference in the admission process. As the PGDM process includes intial screening on the basis of written test/profile + Group/Case Discussion + Personal Interview rounds, the accepted students are presumed to be better/diverse. At the same time, this can’t be generalized. The MMS program admission is on the basis of Centralized Admission Process (CAP) which relies exclusively on aptitude/written test score, which may or may not be the best screening tool.
The application process for MMS is through CAP and for PGDM, students need to apply to the institute directly. For example, if I am planning to study at Welingkar, I have two options. I can either opt for the MMS program or the PGDM program. For the PGDM program, I should apply directly to the institute by submitting the application form available on the institute website and participate in their selection process. For the MMS program, I need to apply through the Centralized Admission Process (CAP) which commences post CET result.
1. PGDM allows students to create more options for themselves as the weight of the written test score is low. For example, if I get a low score in all the tests that I take, I will not have any chance for MMS but I can still make it to a PGDM program.
2. PGDM cutoffs are not released by most of the institutes except a few. For example, Somaiya releases its PG cutoff to get a GDPI call but N L Dalmia doesn’t. If you’re wondering whether you should apply or not, you can either check with the institute or talk to students who are currently pursuing the program and gather some credible information.
3. Decide whether a certain institute makes sense for you or not. If it does, go ahead and apply. Institute comparison can be done only when you have converts. Create converts for yourself and then choose the best option.
4. Some of these institutes have deadlines just around the corner. Visit the respective website and keep a track. Apply well in advance to avoid last minute rush. Make sure that you also register for the remaining tests: MAT and ATMA, in addition to the Maharashtra MBA CET.
I hope this helps all the aspirants who are worried about their test performance and are doubting their chance. Hang in there! However cliched it may sound, the war is not over yet because you’re still standing.
If there are any queries, please leave them in the comments below and allow me a few days to get back. Share this with your friends and co-aspirants. Happy prepping! 🙂