After a student passes out of high school, many doubt whether to pursue a specific course or a diploma (Degree vs Diploma). Many of them think both are the same and hold the same importance.
This is incorrect. Degree and diploma are two very different qualifications and hold different importance in a student’s career. It is vital to know the difference between them to choose what suits you the best and proceed accordingly.
To make it easier for you, we have this detailed blog on the difference between a Degree vs Diploma.
What is a degree?
A degree is a certificate awarded by the college or university on completing studies at a particular level in a stream opted by him or her.
Types – There are various levels of degrees you can earn, including:
Who Confers the Degree?
Only a university can confer a degree. To pursue higher education, only a degree from a UGC-approved university is accepted. AICTE-approved private institutes are affiliated with UGC-approved universities. In case a person graduates from an AICTE approved private institute affiliated with a UGC approved university, he still gets the university’s degree.
Example: Many AICTE approved private colleges under Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, but after completing the course, the student does not get a degree from the institute. He gets a degree from the university, in this case, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
The curriculum of a degree
The curriculum is designed to provide an overview of subjects other than the one the student may be interested in.
For example, in an engineering degree course for Computer Science, the first year focuses on subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Mechanics, and Engineering Drawing apart from C and COBOL; subsequent years have subjects like Digital Electronics and Analog Electronics.
Typically, there is one subject that you major in, called specialisation, whereas other topics are called electives.
After finishing your degree, you can opt to take up higher education to better your skills or look for a job in your field. For example, after a B. Com (Honours) degree, you can opt to work in finance or accounting or apply to college abroad to pursue an MBA or M. Comm.
A person must have successfully passed the 12th standard to pursue a bachelor’s degree. One must possess a bachelor’s degree to pursue a master’s degree, and a masters’ degree is required to follow a post-doctorate program (PhD).
What is a diploma?
A diploma is a certificate issued by the educational institution to the student to pursue a particular course from the institution and pass the examination afterwards.
There are also post-graduate diplomas from universities and colleges. These are awarded for in-depth and specific coursework that is more specialised than a certification.
What is a Technical Diploma?
You can also elect to earn a technical diploma. A technical diploma is awarded concurrently with a high school diploma. It signifies that a student has completed vocational training in a technical field.
Vocational high schools may offer technical diplomas in subjects like culinary arts, welding, and media production.
Who Confers a Diploma?
An institute, a polytechnic, or even a university can offer a diploma course. There is no need for the institute or the university to be UGC or AICTE approved.
The curriculum of a diploma
The course is designed so that the person gets basic theoretical knowledge about the subject in focus, apart from extensive practical training needed in the job industry.
A lot of diploma courses have on-the-job training and apprenticeship and focus more on practical exams.
For example, a diploma in computer science involves subjects centred on programming languages and computer hardware only.
After a diploma, you can either enrol for a degree course or look for jobs.
For example, in universities like Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, you can enrol in a B. Tech in Computer Science course after you complete your diploma course. In that case, you will be directly given admission to the second year. It is generally tough to get admitted to a higher degree after only a diploma course. To do so, you need to pursue a course for at least 1 or 2 more years, after your diploma.
A person can enrol for a diploma course even after class 10. There are diploma courses that require the candidate to be an HSC pass-out. Diploma courses at the master’s level require the candidate to have a graduate degree.
Thus, these were some of the details regarding the differences between a Degree vs Diploma. Below we have answered some common questions regarding the same topic, which will help you further.
Q1. What are the Pros and Cons of Earning a Degree?
- Stay prepared for a career (some careers will require degrees)
- Earn more money than non-graduates
- Learn independence
- Expand your mind and network
- Become an expert in a field
- Requires time
- 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
Q2. What are the Pros and Cons of a Diploma?
- It does not take a long time to earn
- Flexible and made to support working professionals
- Practical knowledge
- Missing general education classes so you won’t earn a degree, but instead solely a diploma
Q3. What Type of Program is Right for Me?
This is truly subjective and depends on your career goals and outstanding circumstances. You’ll want to consider the following before selecting your route (Degree vs Diploma):
- 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?
We truly hope we could resolve any queries you might have had regarding whether to pursue a degree or a diploma in a particular program.
Further, ForeignAdmits provides you with world-class mentors from around the globe. Make full use of the opportunities coming your way and contact our mentors for expert opinion and professional help.