Degree Or Diploma. Which One Should You Opt For

Degree or deploma

Is the choice between a degree and a diploma course giving you trouble? Pooja Salvi talks about these two options and which one of these can be your best bet and help further your career

A degree and a diploma are both recognitions conferred on a person after he/she successfully completes an educational course. However, there are differences between both of them and it is necessary for one to know and understand those differences.

• 3 or 4-year-long course (after HSC exam from a statutory board/a university in India or an equivalent)
• Emphasizes on academics and imparting in-depth knowledge of the opted subject

• 1 or 2-year-long course
• More vocational in nature
• Concentrates only on the important areas of study


Opt for a DEGREE if:
• You want to gain in-depth knowledge in your interested field
• You have financial support for 3 or 4 years
• Getting a job soon is not your priority
• You want broader job opportunities

Opt for a DIPLOMA if:
• You have scored less in your 10th/12th exam (this doesn’t mark the end of your education; opt for a diploma since the admission criteria is lenient on marks)
• You think you cannot cope up with the degree curriculum after your 12th; choose a diploma program and ease your way into a degree
• Entering the workforce is topping your priority list
• You want a more practical and focused education
• You don’t have the funds to cover a 3 or 4 year study period

What about Certificate courses?

  • Costlier than a diploma course since they are affiliated to private institutions or international universities
  • Aim at providing career-oriented knowledge
  • Guarantee finesse in your already existing educational qualifications and add plus points to your resume
  • Usually last a few weeks to a number of months, depending on how you choose to complete the course – full-time or part-time
Image Credits: Federal Times

Graduate Degree Vs Graduate Diploma

Graduate Degree

After class 12

Varies, for example:

  • Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) is 3 years
  • Bachelor of Technology (BTech) is 4 years
  • MBBS is 5 and a half years

What’s It Like?
Provides more in-depth knowledge
• Provides an overview of many subjects that are electives
• One subject to major in
• Example: computer science engineering degree – the first year concentrates on physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanics, and engineering drawing,  part from languages like COBOL

Is It Any Good?
Degree has more value and recognition

What Next?
Either improve your skills by opting for higher education (a master’s degree) or look for a job

Graduate Diploma

After class 10 or 12

How Long?
1-2 year or more. Some courses like environmental biochemistry require 12 weeks, while some like customer resource management utilise 3 years

What’s It Like?
Is more vocational and prepares you to get into the work field sooner
• The curriculum is designed in such a way that the student gets only the basic theoretical knowledge
• Extensive practical, on-field training provided
• Many diploma courses have on-job training and apprenticeships or concentrate more on practical exams
• Example: a diploma in computers involves modules on programming languages and computer hardware only

Is It Any Good?
Diploma has lesser recognition

What Next?
Either enroll for a bachelor’s degree or look for jobs.
Example: enrolling for BTech in computer science after a diploma will put you directly in the second year

Postgraduate Degree Vs Postgraduate Diploma

Postgraduate Degree

After a bachelor’s degree

How Long?
Usually 2 years; longer than a PG diploma

What’s It Like?

  • More academically concentrated
  • Imparts further knowledge in your chosen field

Postgraduate Diploma

After a bachelor’s degree

How Long?
Varies; most professional PG diplomas are usually at least a year long

What’s It Like?
Gives knowledge about a specific profession

With all explained, you can now think about all the aspects and make a choice that suits you the best.


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