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The Difference Between Diploma and Degree

To select a course for a bright future is important and confusing, Choices are so many but the area of interest and the factors to take one option requires lots of study and research. Parents and students need to check the time and money they are investing into the course, the advantages thoroughly, and at the end of the course, after getting certification how much it is worth it.


The image unveils the difference between diploma and degree


All of these questions need to be answered before enrolling in any of the courses. Let’s have some brief about the most searched questions before heading towards our topic difference between diploma and degree


The most difficult question after high school education in front of parents and students are courses which are suitable for them and put a strong foundation for future, there are popular options after 10th and 12th one is a diploma and another one is a degree.


Students can get admission for diploma after 10th or 12th but for degree minimum qualification is 12th and diploma in respective or likewise field. We will further see the difference between diploma and degree which can be enrolled after 10th and 12th with their types qualification and duration.


Following are the questions parents worry about so parents and students refer to this article to understand the choices they have.


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What are the courses after the 10th? 


There are many options for you after 10th, Students can go with 11th & 12th and then can go for the graduation. Diploma courses are often chosen after high school as short-term courses with job opportunities. 


Students by their choice can go with any of the above but if you are planning to do a diploma course take admission after 10th and not after 12th it is reliable.


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What are the courses after the 12th?


After the 12th board, the next choice of life is very important and decider students and parents both are very serious about this decision because of the age at which student is and the future of the child. So after 12th, there are many degree courses.


One can go to 12th if you want a quick job in the technical field after completion of a diploma course. There some conditions to be filled for diploma after 12th.


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Structure of Indian education system:


The education system needs to be well-founded and discipline as the future of students, Society and the world depend upon that so various statutory bodies maintain and coordinates with each other to provide a better quality of education throughout. The system is very huge and needs to be strictly preserved.


Before heading towards the difference between Diploma and Degree, let’s understand the background a little about our education system. Diplomas and Degrees are given by universities and universities are granted by UGC. For a private institution, AICTE handles the approval and synchronizes the syllabus, exams & results system, and other funding-related topics. Below are the brief introductions.


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A University offers a wider range of courses that include courses after 10th, Till 10th student can be recognized as board student the boards are different depending upon the location. So 11th- 12th, Diploma, and other undergraduate courses, as well as degrees after the undergraduate courses, also postgraduate diplomas and higher studies come under university comes under the universities. 


There are plenty of universities in India classified into; Central, State, Deemed, and private universities. 


UGC (University Grants Commission):


UGC of India is a legal body set up by the government of India in line with the UGC act 1956 under the ministry of education. It maintains the standard of higher education all over India by Coordination with various universities in India.


It grants the status to the universities so that uniformly the education systems grow and serves better to the students. It also allocates the funds to the universities and advises the prior steps to increase the quality of the education system. 


AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education):


AICTE is a UGC of private universities, it maintains the quality of education to the standard level as stated by UGC. AICTE works on proper planning and coordination in the development of the education system. AICTE approval is compulsory for the institutes that are providing the courses.


What are Diploma and Degree?


         Diploma and Degree are the certifications after high school examination; these courses can get you a job and opens so many ways for your career. The difference between diploma and degree will see in-depth with the courses and types then also career-wise.


         The education system strictly maintaining the difference between diploma and degree so students can go by their choice and takes the required course.


 The difference between a diploma and a degree in terms of boards they are handled by have differed depends upon the location every state have its own board for diploma courses like MSBTE, GSTEB, etc. but a degree, we have one board in India which control, maintain and coordinate for quality for degree education that is AICTE.


 The next sections will see the difference between diploma and degree with their definitions and their types.


What is a Diploma? 


Educational institute’s awards with a certificate for completing a particular course after evaluating the student called a Diploma. The diploma is a longer course than a certificate course but lesser than the degree course. This is a course that can be enrolled after the 10th high school examination.


Diploma courses are generally short-term courses that range between as little as 1 month and the duration goes up to 3 years. There are various study courses in which students can obtain a diploma.        In India Diploma is often called a Polytechnic in terms of technical courses, which offer technical knowledge in the academic and syllabus.


Most of these courses are job-oriented and vocational courses mean these are focused on practical knowledge compare to the theory. The difference between diploma and degree is not just their topical differentiation but also in their types. Let’s see the Diploma course types.


What are the types of Diplomas? 


A Diploma is a course in which we have two types one is before degree and another is after degree. The difference between diploma and degree can be explained by these two types also, Following are those:


1. Undergraduate diploma: 


This diploma course can be done after the 10th or 12th before the degree course and the name suggest it is an undergraduate program for the students. Students can take admission in the same field as they want to pursue a degree later or by their choice.


The undergraduate program certifies students for bachelor’s degrees. The evaluation done in this program can be used by institutes for admissions and further activities.


Students come after the high school examination and experience exposure to the certified courses for career opportunities in these types of courses. As this undergraduate diploma course also offers jobs and careers it is easy for the students to understand the after school and college life scenario.


Diploma courses are offered by private and government institutes. Compare to the private institute’s government institutes take lesser fees.


Benefits of undergraduate diploma courses:


1. These courses give more practical knowledge.

2. This practical knowledge helps students to be skillful enough to get a job.

3. Also they find the ease of doing the next level degree course after the diploma.

4. Students can able to understand the theory subject in their further studies 


Eligibility: 10th or 12th

Duration: 2 to 3 years


Undergraduate diploma after 10th takes you 3 years whereas after 12th it takes 2 years with the important subjects decided by the respective board to be given in exam and passing of those are compulsory to continue the course.


2. Postgraduate diploma:


Postgraduate diplomas can be enrolled after the degree course and getting graduated. These courses are of higher studies and specialization in the specific subject. PG diploma shows your dedication towards your education you have completed in bachelor’s degree. Your employer might get impressed by your involvement in the PG course that is 2 to 3 years of your life when other things are available out there.


This can be of the same duration as a degree or lesser than that. But it ensures your higher qualification. Postgraduate diplomas can be obtained by private as well as government institutes. 


Eligibility: Degree course

Duration: 2 to 3 years


Benefits of postgraduate diploma courses:


1. Postgraduate diploma is based on the practical knowledge in the field you are

2. This course increases the field knowledge resulting in greater career opportunities

3. Postgraduate diploma takes less time than a master’s degree. 

4. A bigger exposure towards the world more interactions with people and a well-developed personality.


What are the diploma courses available in India?


 Students nowadays have plenty of options to choose from various Diploma courses, Due to this they can know their interest and make a successful career out of it. Also, all the information including brochure, admission process, subjects, mark weightage, etc. is available on the college website so students can go through it.


Undergraduate Diploma courses are further classified into various areas some of the diploma courses after 10th is as follows also can be considered for diploma courses after 12th:


  • Engineering Diploma courses
  • Hotel management diploma courses
  • Animation and Multimedia diploma courses
  • Airhostess diploma courses
  • Medical diploma courses
  • Business management diploma
  • Acting and Arts diploma
  • Paramedical diploma
  • Law-related diploma courses
  • Mass communication & Media diploma


Postgraduate Diploma courses after degree are as follows:


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Art & Design 
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Management
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Management Banking 
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Engineering
  • Postgraduate diploma in intellectual property rights


Apart from the above list, there are plenty of available diploma courses, and there are many sub-branches of diploma courses for particular job orientation. Students I suggest you have a brief knowledge about the same for the effective career ahead.


What is a Degree? 


 The degree is a long-term course which can be done after qualification of diploma and 12th, Certificate of diploma or 12th can get you enrolled in the degree course. Understanding the subject thoroughly is the main objective of a Degree. Basically, degree courses have much more significance for getting a job.


Degree courses after 12th:


Students take particular streams in 12th as expertise so they can get enrolled in that particular degree course. In terms of engineering, Maths is the subject student takes if they are seriously aiming for an engineering degree. After 12th JEE Main is the exam that can get you an admission into an engineering course. This is national level exams attended by lakhs of student


Eligibility: 12th & Entrance exams

Duration: 4 years


Degree courses after Diploma/Polytechnic:


Diploma courses are another door to enter into Degree courses after completing the course student can get admission to the desired degree course in which he has already done a diploma course.


Polytechnic is an engineering term for technical diploma courses, where students can study and gather practical knowledge in a particular subject wherein future he will pursue a Degree. Polytechnic has limited job opportunities where Degree in the same will increase your chances to get hired quick, though many of the students chose polytechnic and job afterward.


The difference between diploma and degree comes again for getting admission also, Polytechnic course can get you in direct second year in engineering degree course where you will be able to start with technical perspective as soon as you enter in degree course.


Eligibility: Diploma/Polytechnic in a particular field

Duration: 3 year


Associate degree
2 years
Diploma/Polytechnic or 12th

Bachelor’s degree
4 years
Diploma/Polytechnic or 12th

Master’s degree
2 years
Bachelor’s degree

Doctorate degree
2 -3 years (Course wise different)
Master’s degree or Bachelor’s degree course wise


What is the difference between Diploma and Degree? 


 Diploma and Degree are the courses that come with different levels of acknowledgment with a certification, which can be used for further studies and career. Both of them have their own significance in the education system.


Diplomas are meant to be short-term courses focusing on the important and practical side of the subject with a theory enough to understand the concept whereas Degree courses enclose each topic whether it is small or big. The hierarchy of the education system is placed Degree upwards as compares to the Diploma courses.


 These courses differ in the level of difficulties as well. Once you finish the diploma you can get a limited job role but a degree asks for your continuous efforts for a longer duration of time. Degrees are considered more superior and very flexible in terms of the job opportunities people will get after completion.


Following are the points from which you will get to know the difference between Diploma and Degree.


  • Diploma course takes less time than of Degree whereas Degree takes 1 to 2 year more.
  • Diploma courses are focused on the practical knowledge of the stream but in Degree, in-depth studies are required of theory subjects as well.
  • The certification of the students in Diploma is given for the successful completion of the course, Degree is obtained up to a specific stage in a field student already chose.
  • Admission in the Diploma after 10th & 12th are available but for Degree is should be Diploma qualified or 12th completed successfully with required entrance exams.
  • The difference between diploma and degree are also depending upon the fee structure of the courses. The degree is costlier than Diploma


Some Degree courses provide the choice after getting admission to change the stream but it is not possible in the diploma courses. It differs based on the location.

Compensation and job opportunities are available greater in Degree courses compare to diploma

For some jobs If you are a degree holder, you can apply for the diploma jobs also with the same stream but it is not possible when you are from a diploma and applies for degree jobs.

What are the types of degrees? 


As we have seen the types of diplomas, In Degree also we have various categories in which we can pursue a degree. People enroll in these categories considering the perquisites and eligibility. The difference between diplomas and degrees is not just their topical differentiation but also in their types. Let’s see Degree course types. While we see the difference between diploma and degree will also see different types of degrees.


What are the types of degrees:


1.      Associates Degree:


An Associate degree comes between High school education and a bachelor’s degree; It is a first-level degree program that helps candidates to get an outline of a subject they are taking into the future for degree and master degree courses. This course ensures that students did complete college study.


Students from Associate degree course need to study the subject broadly as compare to the Diploma courses, which includes theory and practical knowledge focused more broadly on the theory. Basically, a candidate from this course gets more paid compare to a diploma.


This degree based on the country you are some countries allows these types of degree which are similar to a degree but not exactly.


2.      Bachelor’s Degree:


This program is widely adopted after getting a degree which is uniform eligibility for most of the job opportunities whether it can be government or private. This course is an undergraduate course and takes 4-year dedication and focus of the student, this duration is of the full-time course, Part-time course duration can vary depends on the university you get into. This is a most chose course after 12th or diploma and the tradition of this course is from a long time.


         In Bachelor’s degree, the student gets to know the studies the subject in-depth and comprehensive. This course is available in every field such as Engineering, Paramedical, History, Arts, Finance, Science, etc. Those who complete this course are awarded a certificate of completion and this can get them a job or students can start their own start-up. They get the opportunity in entry-level positions or Executive depends upon the field.


 Following are the examples of Degree courses:


• Bachelor of Arts (BA) – Teachers, writers, counselors, lawyers, researchers

• Bachelor of Engineering (B.Tech/B.E): Engineers in various streams, Developers.

• Bachelor of Science (BSc) – chemists, physicists, biologists, mathematicians, etc.

• Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) – actors, dancers, artists, authors, writers

• Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) –application engineers, software developers

• Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) – entrepreneurs, managers, executives

• Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) – architects, interior designers, industrial designers, etc.


3.      Master’s Degrees:


This course can be enrolled after a bachelor’s degree, which can be in a specialization in a particular subject from your bachelor’s study. Exams like GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering), GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), etc. are to qualify for admission to a Master’s degree. As the name suggests this course is for a master in a particular subject.


Master’s degree further classifies into two types; one is academic and the other is professional. University which provides this course requires a minimum percentage or GPA to fulfill their criteria. This course shapes the student professionally and in a very disciplined manner towards the subject from which they can become a researcher and developer. 


• Academic Master’s degrees

Master of Arts

Master of Science


• Professional Master’s degrees

Master of Business Administration

Master of Education


Following are the examples of Master Degree courses:


• Master of Art (MA)

• Master of Science (MSC)

• Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

• Master of Business Administration (MBA)

• Master of Laws (LLM)


4.      Doctorate Degree:


This course is the highest kind of degree awarded by a university and it enclosed various types of degrees. A doctorate involves very in-depth research and maximum dedication from the candidate which will result in an expert in that selected subject. 


People who are already cleared bachelor’s degree or master’s degree can take an admission into this degree this eligibility depends on the course and university which student is enrolled into. This degree course is considered as more of a research-based program, where students understand the subject 


There are 4 general types of Doctorate Degree:


•       Professional Doctorate: This is a doctorate in which students do a doctorate-specific profession-oriented to the career opportunities.

•       Research Doctorate: Ph.D. kinds of degrees have come into this research-oriented type.

•       Higher Doctorate: Highly tiered degrees which basically focus on R & D of the specialization. This comes after a research doctorate.

•       Honorary Doctorate: When an individual makes a recognizable contribution to the society this degree university provides. These are not common and differ from the location.


What is the difference between Diploma and Degree in engineering? 


Polytechnic/Diploma engineering courses: If we take an example of Engineering side which one of the most demanding courses among all of us. Polytechnic courses come into the picture. Polytechnic courses are basically technical courses with much focused on job opportunities and practical knowledge of the subject.


 Due to increasing demand for these courses, many of the colleges started various diploma courses which are approved by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education)


Degree engineering courses: Degree in Engineering most of the time same as of Diploma courses but in a very in-depth manner so the time Degree takes is usually more than Diploma. The difference between diploma and degree courses is minimal in terms of names.


Following are the courses in Diploma and Degree:

Diploma and Degree in;

• Computer Science and Engineering • Civil Engineering

• Automobile Engineering • Electronics and Communication

• Electrical Engineering • Interior Decoration

• Fashion Engineering • Ceramic Engineering

• Art and Craft • Mechanical Engineering

• Chemical Engineering • Instrumentation and Control 

• IT Engineering • Electronics & Telecommunication 

• Aeronautical Engineering • Petroleum Engineering

• Aerospace Engineering • Mining Engineering

• Automobile Engineering • Genetic Engineering

• Biotechnology Engineering • Plastics Engineering

• Agricultural Engineering • Food Processing and 

• Dairy Technology and Engineering • Power Engineering

• Infrastructure Engineering • Production Engineering

• Metallurgy Engineering • Motorsport Engineering

• Environmental Engineering • Textile Engineering


What is the career difference between Diploma and Degree?


 Diploma courses can get you limited jobs and the pay scale organizations provide is lesser compare to the bachelor’s degree. Let’s see the career opportunities after these courses.


Career after polytechnic/diploma & Degree:


 There are many career options for Diploma qualification in the government and private sector, Following are some of those:


Government jobs for Polytechnic/Diploma & Degree:


• Railways

• Indian Army                              

• Electricity board

• GAIL – Gas Authority of India Limited

• ONGC – Oil & Natural Gas Corporation

• DRDO – Defence Research and Development Organization

• BHEL – Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited

• NTPC – National Thermal Power Corporation

• Public Work Departments


Private jobs for Polytechnic/Diploma & Degree:


• Construction firms: DLF, Jaypee Associated, GMR Infra, etc.

• Manufacturing companies: Tata motors, Apollo tires, etc.

• Technology companies: TCS, HCL, Wipro, etc.

• Electronics & communication: Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular, etc.

• Engineering services: Quest global, ARK Info solutions, 

• Pharmaceutical sector: Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Cipla, etc. 


Above is the list of the jobs for a diploma but not limited to, There are many opportunities ahead. Postgraduate diplomas bags the superior job to degree holders, the same goes for Master’s degrees and Doctorate degrees.


There is so much information apart from this many factors need to consider for career options, Hope after reading this you got a far better idea about the difference between Diploma and Degree.


Keep reading and exploring!

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