As heavily debated as the egg or the hen, one can spend entire weekends and sometimes even months over the Diploma vs Degree or diploma or B.Sc, which is the best discussion. For any student who has passed the Boards, making the key decision around diploma vs bachelor’s can be slightly unnerving. In this blog, we aim to help students out by providing all the important information about both these degrees, so that they can make the right choice!
This Blog Includes:
- Overview: Diploma vs Degree
- What is a Degree?
- Advantages and Disadvantages of a Degree
- What is a Diploma?
- Advantages and Disadvantages of a Diploma
- Diploma vs Degree: Popular Courses
- Diploma vs Degree: Key Differences Explained!
- When to Use a Certificate
- When to Use a Diploma
- When to Use a Degree
- Diploma vs Degree: Final Verdict
Overview: Diploma vs Degree
To make things easy, let us start from the beginning, that is by defining and breaking down what each of these in confusion on diploma vs bachelor means.
Offered by an autonomous institution, college, or university, a Degree course is generally completed within 3 to 4 years. Whereas in the case of a Diploma, these programs are usually provided by colleges and take a maximum of 2 years to complete.
If we were to lay down the specifics of differences between the Diploma Vs Degree while trying to determine diploma or B.Sc which is the best, they would be as follows:
|Meaning||A degree is a credential granted by a college or university upon satisfactory completion of study at a specific level in a chosen stream.||A diploma is a certificate awarded by an educational institution to a student for completing a specific course and passing the examination.|
|Eligibility||Higher Secondary||High School|
|Time||3-4 Years||1-2 Years|
|Learning Curve||Deep and Intense||Holistic|
|Awarded by||Universities||Universities, Colleges, and Private institutions|
|Conducted By||Universities||Universities, Educational Institutes and Private Companies|
What is a Degree?
Intense studying of a stream of choice can lead to any of the four major types of degrees, popularly known as:
- Bachelor’s Degree: A Bachelor’s degree is four three years, generally a full-time undergraduate course which can lead you to your Master’s degree.
- Associate Degree: An Associate degree program is available as a vocational degree that trains the students comprehensively in theory and practical. It spans two years.
- Master’s Degree: A Master’s degree is a specialized, concentrated post-graduate degree that is pursued after the Bachelor’s degree. This higher study program is of two years duration.
- Doctorate Degree: A Doctorate is the highest level of academic degree which can be studied after the master’s degree. Do not be misled by the term ‘doctorate’ for it implies a doctorate of philosophy, which means it encourages independent research under the guidance of an assigned supervisor. It takes anywhere from four to seven years to complete a PhD program. Once you are awarded the degree, a job is soon on the list!
The primary benefit of pursuing a degree course is that the students can apply for and get jobs shortly. The curriculum focuses on the specialization as per the student’s strengths.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Degree
One advantage of a degree is that many employers often require one, even if your major doesn’t necessarily apply to the job. Embarking on the journey for a degree and seeing it through to completion also can show commitment and dedication, which can be advantageous in the job market.
Other benefits to earning a degree include:
- Better potential for earning higher salaries.
- More marketable and desirable for jobs beyond entry level.
- Learning additional skills like critical thinking and analysis.
- Networking opportunities for future career options.
- Better job benefits like insurance, retirement, and possibly even travel.
A couple of disadvantages when looking at a degree program are the cost and the time it takes to complete. Even though most institutions offer financial aid of some kind, degrees can still be the most expensive form of higher education. They also usually take the longest to complete and so require a significant time investment.
What is a Diploma?
A Diploma is more in-depth than a certificate and can take a little longer to earn, but still usually less than a year. Diploma programs are also often more technical. The classes taken in conjunction with earning a Diploma allow you to gain a thorough understanding of your field of study, though you won’t earn a degree upon completion of the program. The two most popularly known Diplomas are:
- Graduate Diploma: A certified qualification that is undertaken at the undergraduate degree level.
- Post-graduate Diploma: A certified qualification that is undertaken after the bachelor’s degree course.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Diploma
A Diploma can be advantageous if you’re looking to make a career change in a relatively short amount of time and the field you’re entering doesn’t require a degree. Since Diplomas are often more technical or trade-based, they are helpful when wanting to pursue a career such as an electrician or a dental assistant.
Some other advantages to a Diploma include:
- They can be completed in a relatively short amount of time
- They are cost-effective; they cost less than a full-fledged degree
- You don’t have to worry about prerequisites or other complicated enrollment procedures you may find with a degree program
- Class schedules are often flexible as most attendees are working professionals
- Classes are focused on the exact skills you will need in the field
- Diploma programs usually offer some kind of internship or externships, so you can gain practical experience and also network for future job opportunities.
One of the differences between a Diploma and an associate’s degree is the general education courses; you’ll be required to take those to receive an associate’s degree, but not when you work toward a Diploma.
Diploma vs Degree: Popular Courses
Between Diploma Vs Degree, here are the branch-wise course names you have probably heard of while contemplating which to choose. We have listed out the names by which the degree and the diploma course are known:
|Bachelors or Masters in Arts (English, Hindi, Sanskrit, French or any other language)||Diploma in Literature (English / Chinese etc.)|
|B.Com / M.Com||Diploma in Marketing, Sales, etc.|
|Bachelors/ Masters in Fine Arts||Diploma in Drawing/ Singing/ Acting etc|
|B.E/ B. Tech/ M.E./ M.Tech||Diploma in Automotive Engineering, Automobile Designing|
|B.Sc/ B.E./ B.Tech / M.Sc/ M.E./ M.Tech in Biotechnology||Diploma in Biotech, Horticulture, Agricultural Sciences|
|Bachelors or Masters in Mass Comm & Journalism||Diploma in Photography/ Film Making / Acting/ Cinematography|
|BBA/ MBA||Diploma in Business Studies/ Administration|
Students willing to enter the Management domain are always confused between 2 courses – PGDM and MBA. If you are also stuck in such a dilemma, read our blog on PGDM vs MBA to make the right career choice!
Diploma vs Degree: Key Differences Explained!
The following points highlight the significant distinctions between a degree and a diploma:
- As stated above as well, the degree is a credential awarded by the university to a student for successfully completing his studies up to a certain stage in a field of study of his choice. The diploma is a certificate presented to a student by an educational institution for successfully studying and completing a specific course.
- Admission to a degree programme is done on a yearly basis. Admission to a diploma course, on the other hand, is done on a yearly or half-yearly basis, depending on the policies of the university or institution.
- Degree programmes are typically more expensive than diploma programmes. Furthermore, degree courses require more time than diploma courses to complete.
- Some degree programmes are flexible, allowing students to change their major after only a few months of enrollment. A diploma, on the other hand, does not have such a choice.
- The minimum qualification for entrance to a degree programme is 10+2, however for a diploma, it is 10th.
- Degree holders are typically paid more than diploma holders.
- There are four categories of degrees: bachelor’s, master’s, associate’s, and doctoral. The type of diplomas that are available is graduate and postgraduate.
When to Use a Certificate
A certificate is helpful if you wish to work directly in a specific subject. For those seeking employment as electricians, plumbers, HVAC professionals, etc., a certificate might be useful.
These certificate programmes will mostly rely on apprenticeship and practical training to get students ready for the position.
When to Use a Diploma
A diploma, unlike a certificate, gives students greater in-depth preparation for entering a highly specialised sector. At a university or technical college, you can obtain a diploma. The average length of these programmes is two years.
When to Use a Degree
Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are just two of the various types of degrees available. They serve several purposes.
Diploma vs Degree: Final Verdict
In case you are wondering “degree vs diploma which is better?”, truth be told, it is completely upon personal preference. The top benefit of a Diploma Certificate course lies in its duration and affordability. It emphasizes more on a practical and hands-on approach to learning. However, there is a wider gap existing in the Diploma Vs Degree area, which demarcates with the choice of subject. Hence it is advisable to go through in detail the offerings of each and understand the finer nuances underlying within.
While options await us in plenty after our class 12 boards, we should peruse and decide upon our commitment towards a higher diploma vs degree or between a degree or diploma program. We should keep it in mind that such a choice could well be the career-defining moment of our lives. In the race between a diploma or a degree – which is better, we have listed out the options for you. It is time for you to focus on your strength, a specific skill that you would love to learn and continue doing once you are employed.
-Be prepared for a career (some careers will require degrees)
-Earn more money than non-graduates
-Expand your mind and network
-Become an expert in a field
-Can contribute to debt (unless you get financial aid or attend an online and tuition-free university like the University of the People)
-Not guaranteed a job
An associate’s degree can be the first step to deciding whether you want to earn your Bachelor’s degree. It also can land you an entry-level position in your field of choice. An associate’s degree is useful if you’ve already completed some college units. It can also be a good choice to test out a career change before committing to something bigger and more costly like a bachelor’s degree.
When you continue your academic career and graduate with a degree, you continue to expand your horizons. The higher the degree you receive, the more options you’ll have for higher-paying jobs. The only consideration is what degree you will need for your desired position.
Diplomas are hands-on and provide tailored coursework for the specific diploma you’re earning. They are practical.
-Doesn’t take long to earn
-Flexible and made to support working professionals
-Missing general education classes so you won’t earn a degree, but instead solely a diploma
Some career options that require a diploma include:
-Business Operations Specialist
This is truly subjective and depends on your career goals and outstanding circumstances. You’ll want to consider the following before selecting your route:
-How much time do you have?
-How much money or financial aid do you need?
-What field do you want to enter?
-What are your skills?
To conclude, in the tussle between Diploma Vs Degree or a higher diploma vs a degree, later on, not everyone could choose a long-term educational program like a degree. This is where short-term diploma courses are a befitting alternative. While there will always be a difference in acquiring knowledge, one can always believe in oneself and learn on the job. A Diploma offers you the chance to network earlier in life, while a Degree lets you know your subject in depth. Leverage Edu’s expert team can help you with choosing the right option for your career. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.