8 Reasons why a Development Management Program is the best alternative to MBA

by Admin | 21 April, 2022
8 Reasons Why A Development Management Program is The Best Alternative to an Mba

A PGP DM, or a Post Graduate Program in Development Management, is a course designed to teach students how to manage and lead Social Purpose Organisations. While the course is ideal for people who have some work experience in the Social Sector, it can also be pursued by freshers and people who wish to transition into the Social Sector.

The first Development Management Program in India was created when the founders of ISDM, Ravi Sreedharan, Sharad Agarwal, Gaurav Shah, and Suparna Diwakar, realised that there was a need to teach people how to manage and lead in the Social Sector. This program fuses principles of management with the ethos of the social sector, to create a curriculum that is specifically suited for Development Sector needs. While this is a management program, it is different from an MBA in a few significant ways.

Summary - ISDM’s Post Graduate Program in Development Management fuses principles of management with the ethos of the social sector, creating a curriculum suited for the Development Sector needs.



Difference Between an MBA and Development Management

Like an MBA, a Development Management program will help people gain management skills and learn how to lead. But while an MBA degree prepares people to manage within the private sector, a Development Management program will prepare people to navigate management in the Social Sector, a space which has complexities of its own. Unlike an MBA, a Development Management program brings together strands from different disciplines such as management, social work, public policy, and development studies so that students can tackle the multifaceted problems they may encounter in the Social Sector.

Development Management is a fairly new field, but organisations all over the world recognise the merit of building this domain up. Courses in Development Management are now being offered in premier colleges in cities such as London as well.

What are the advantages of doing a Development Management program over an MBA? You can read on to find out.

1) Social Sector is a burgeoning field

While many people seem to think that the Social Sector does not have many job opportunities, that is not the case today. The Social Sector is a vast field, where people can find the opportunity to work in thematic areas ranging from health and education to water, sanitation and gender and in roles such as fundraising, digital marketing, management, advocacy, research, and content creation. Increased philanthropic activities and stricter CSR mandates also mean that more funding is available in the sector.


While the jobs are available, there is an urgent need for the right kind of talent in the field. There are a few academic routes that people can take in order to work in the Development Sector full-time, such as a Master’s in Social Work or a Master’s in Development Studies, but doing a Development Management program will help students get a grasp on how to manage, lead, and work in various different roles in the sector. Students who graduate from the PGP DM are also equipped with all the skills they need in order to start their own Social Purpose Organisation.

2) Job Satisfaction

Gone are the days when the only thing that people considered while looking for a career was the paycheck. Now, people look for jobs that are meaningful, respectful of the boundaries between personal and professional lives, and give them the paycheck they deserve as well. The Social Sector is the one place where people can easily find all three.


By doing a Development Management program, people can gain access to the skills, network, and means they need to get a job that gives them satisfaction and helps them make an impact on the world as well.

3) Develop Management Skills

Good management skills are required if one wishes to excel in any field. A Development Management Program will prepare Development Professionals with the necessary skills and tools that they need by bringing together management concepts such as design thinking, systems thinking, situational analysis, and financial perspectives with Social Sector requirements such as ethics, sustainability, collaborative work, and field experience.

In simpler words, a Development Management Program will help you build the head of a management professional with the heart of a Social Sector leader–a combination that will help people excel as change-makers.




4) Insights from Sector Leaders

Management in the Social Sector is very different from management elsewhere. While many industries and spaces thrive on competition, collaboration is often the key in the Social Sector. To learn how to manage and collaborate effectively, it is important to learn from the people who have done so successfully in the past.

Doing a Development Management Program from a reputed university will allow you to meet and interact with leaders, both from the Social Sector and other industries, who can give you pointers on how to manage and lead.

5) Get a Versatile Experience

Doing a Development Management Program will allow you to work on many different kinds of projects. You will learn how to collaborate with your team during team work exercises, reflect while working on your assignments, and get guidance from your mentors as well.

Participating in different kinds of workshops and sessions during your education will help you gain a wide variety of skills. Guest Lectures, Rural Immersion, and interaction with Sector leaders will also help you develop a network in your field.

Study at ISDM


6) Work experience is not strictly necessary

One of the advantages of a Development Management Program is that work experience is not always necessary. While we recommend having two years of work experience before joining, freshers can also get a lot out of the PGP DM. However, having volunteering experience with NGOs or other Social Purpose Organisations is always valuable if you wish to join a Development Management program or work in the Social Sector.




The one thing that is required for a Development Management Program is passion and drive to make a meaningful impact on the world around you.

7) Open to people from different backgrounds

A Development Management program can be done by people from different backgrounds. Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Artists, and even Accountants can benefit from this degree. Since this is a management course, it will help everyone in developing their management and leadership skills.

The course will also help you understand how you can use your existing knowledge and skill set in order to make a difference in the Social Sector. People from other sectors, for instance the corporate sector, can also study a Development Management program in order to transition into the Social Sector.

Given the nature of the space, Development Management Programs are also often spaces that are more accepting of people irrespective of their sexuality, gender, or economic status.

8) There is an urgent need

Following the Covid-19 Pandemic, many of the problems that already existed in society were exacerbated. More than 23 crore Indians, for instance, slipped back into poverty. Now, more than ever, the Social Sector needs committed, passionate, and driven professionals to create impactful change.

But to tackle the complex problems that are present in the Social Sector, the right management skills, knowledge, and tools are required in tandem with passion. A Development Management program, which brings both a sustainable idea of development and management together, can help you gain the skills you need to tackle problems in the Social Sector.

Summary - Like an MBA, a Development Management Course will help people gain management skills and learn how to lead. Here are 8 advantages of pursuing a Development Management program over an MBA.


These are some of the reasons why pursuing a Development Management program can be a good alternative to pursuing an MBA. ISDM offers one of the finest Development Management programs in India. Their PGP DM is an 11-month program that will help you in developing leadership and management skills in order to work in the Social Sector.

If you are considering a career in Social Sector, it might be worth your while to look into PGP -DM program offered by ISDM. You can find more information about the program here:

Summary - ISDM offers one of the finest courses for the Development Sector in India. Their PGP DM is an 11-month program that will help you gain leadership and management skills in order to ace it in the Social Sector.

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