Categories: Career Management

Diploma vs Degree: Benefits & Differences

In today’s competitive world, the demand for higher education has become increasingly vital for individuals to carve successful careers. With a plethora of educational options available, prospective students often find themselves at crossroads when deciding on study options of pursuing diploma vs degree courses. In this article, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive comparison to equip you with the knowledge and preparation towards your educational pathway, shedding light on respective sections that include relevant skills, job opportunities, and higher education prospects in the various fields of study. 

What is a Diploma?

Before we delve into the comparison, it’s important to understand what a diploma programme entails. A diploma offers focused and specific skills training in a particular field. Full-time and part-time Diploma and International Foundational Diploma courses offered by MDIS empower individuals with the opportunity to pursue a specific course of their interest or aspire to embark on a career transition to gain practical skillsets that will be applicable at the workforce.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pursuing a Diploma

Every educational path comes with its set of pros and cons, and diploma programmes are no exception. Although diploma courses provide industry-specific skill development and allow for immediate entry into the job market, they offer limited career advancement opportunities. MDIS offers a fast-track diploma advancement programme designed to facilitate students into our degree courses. This initiative broadens the scope of professional vocations students can explore, providing them with a prospect to better prepare themselves for future endeavours.

What is a Degree?

Moving on, we will be exploring more on degree courses. Unlike Diploma courses, degree programmes offer a more comprehensive and in-depth study in a particular field presented by colleges or universities. Degree seekers gain a broader understanding of their chosen subject, making them well-rounded professionals in their respective fields.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Degree Course

Degree programmes have long been considered the traditional route to higher education and is often seen as a personal growth investment, which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is well documented that postgraduates are more likely to secure job opportunities and offered higher-paying positions. Nevertheless, the extended duration of study and the expenses associated with higher education have discouraged numerous working adults from enrolling in part-time degree courses.

However, on the formally rigid on-site class schedules (which used to be a show-stopper) and physical campus premises (which could be distal and limits class sizes), online and hybrid modules are turning the tides, making a large portion of academic learning to masses, accommodating the busy schedules of working professionals, and some even seeing to their preferences, conducted on campus and concurrently catering to those far and away.

Diploma vs. Degree: Job Opportunities and Higher Education Prospects

When it comes to the comparison of job opportunities between diploma vs degree holders, it’s important to understand that each can lead to unique career pathways. Diploma holders may find jobs in vocational and technical fields closely related to their area of studies. Some of these fields include healthcare management, hospitality, information technology and engineering. Graduates are often well equipped for entry level positions and may even find career advancement opportunities along with experience and vocational trainings.

While the key focus of a diploma programme is on foundation and practical skills, degree programmes are more comprehensive, sharing in-depth theoretical knowledge in the respective fields. Degree holders are exposed to a wider range of job opportunities available due to their extensive knowledge base, which leads to better prospects for higher paying positions and career growth. These fields offer professional jobs in business management, biomedical technology, artificial intelligence and media, culture and communication.

Diploma vs Degree: Employer’s Expectations

As covered, Diplomas and degrees are both academic credentials that signify a level of education, but they differ in various aspects, including the depth of study, duration, and recognition in the job market. Employers’ expectations can vary dependent on the particular job requirements and industry to which candidates are applying. Certain employers may highly regard practical experience and skills showcased through a diploma vs a degree, whereas others may give precedence to the comprehensive knowledge and critical thinking abilities that come with a degree.

Diploma vs. Degree: Full-time vs. Part-time Options

The option to choose between full-time or part-time study plays a vital role in the decision of prospective students, especially for those who are already working. Full-time students allocate a significant portion of their time to academic endeavours and may enrol in four to six courses per term. Being a full-time student can be an immersive experience, with access to campus facilities, activities, resources, and networking opportunities. On the other hand, part-time students have additional commitments and restricted time, resulting in them taking fewer courses and prolonging their educational journey.

Progression Pathways: A Viable Option

Let’s consider the International Foundation Diploma in Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Management programme as an example, which has a duration of seven months. The tuition fee for full-time local (Singapore) students is S$6,696.00. To qualify for admission, applicants must be aged 14 and above and meet one of the following entry requirements:

  • Atleast 1 GCE’O’ Level pass
  • NITEC/Higher NITEC Qualification
  • 30 years old and above, with 8 years of relevant work experience
  • At least 1 IGCSE Level pass

For those students who intend to advance to a related degree course, they have the option to pursue the Higher Diploma in Tourism, Hospitality, and Events Management programme, which spans over 10 months and incurs a tuition fee of S$8,424.00. Upon successful completion of this programme, they become eligible to obtain the Bachelor of Science (Honour) International Tourism and Hospitality Management (Top-Up) degree, which lasts for nine months and entails a tuition fee of S$15,422.40. The fast-track progression provides students with a flexible and modular approach to earning their degree. If a student wishes to take an intermediary break while progressing towards their degree, they have the option to do so without veering off the path to graduation.


Having addressed the fundamental benefits and differences, opting between a diploma vs a degree remains a pivotal moment in one’s educational journey and should be treated with utmost importance. By comparing the advantages of these crucial aspects, MDIS aims to provide individuals with the essential information to guide them in their educational pathway. Whether one chooses a diploma programme or enrols in a degree course, both paths offer distinct opportunities for personal and professional development. Ultimately, the correct decision hinges on individual goals, aspirations, and commitment to succeeding in their chosen field of study.

Muhd Erfan

With a passion for knowledge and a commitment to intellectual rigor, Erfan explores complex subjects with depth and clarity.

Published by
Muhd Erfan

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