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Diploma vs Degree - Which is better

Diploma vs Degree


Education is one of the major ways to expand your knowledge. There are multiple options across various streams to ensure you get the expertise in any particular field of study. Once you are done with schooling, you can either be a graduate with a degree or get a diploma in your chosen field or subject. Although these are different, the objective of a degree or a diploma is to equip you with the skills and qualifications required to improve your worth and make you a desirable candidate in the job market.

The choice between a diploma and a degree can be challenging and can come down to several factors. If you want to decide which one is better, between a diploma or a degree, let's understand the difference between a diploma and a degree.


  • A degree is an undergraduate/postgraduate qualification earned by a student after completing a course accredited through a university. Students can choose the electives from the science, commerce or arts stream and complete their degrees within the required framework. The final assessment is accomplished after the students clear the examinations and achieve the required aggregate.
  • A degree normally takes 3 to 5 years and the topics are spread through semesters. Each semester concludes with an examination. The aggregate scores heavily influence the overall weightage of the degree. With the bi-yearly/yearly examination, a degree is pursued under the purview of a college, which demands participation in extracurricular activities/events throughout the year.
  • Pursuing a degree is a full-time commitment, as the main objective of a degree is to train a student, both academically and culturally, for their professional lives ahead.


  • Associate Degree
  • Master’s Degree
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Doctorate Degree


  • A fully rounded education spread through the years.
  • Cultural exposure to fellow academics.
  • Academic assessment through regular examinations
  • Quantifiable academic performance


  • A full-time commitment
  • Rigid syllabus
  • Minimum percentage of campus attendance requirement
  • Competitive admission criteria


  • A diploma is a certificate issued by an institution after completing a focused subject or discipline. Although the word 'diploma' suggests informality, it carries the same weightage as a degree in the real world.
  • A diploma certificate course is suitable for individuals who wish to earn professional expertise in any vocation. It can be completed in a comparatively shorter time and doesn't entirely depend upon scores achieved at the end of the course.


  • Associate Diploma
  • Bachelor’s Diploma
  • Master’s Diploma
  • Doctorate Diploma


  • Flexible syllabus
  • Part-time commitment
  • Discipline focused study structure
  • Easy admission & affordable courses


  • Limited prospects
  • Comparatively less desirable positioning on resume
  • Missed out academic exposure
  • Structure-less study schedule

Diploma vs Degree: Salary & Future Prospects

The main objective of earning an educational qualification is to improve the knowledge skill set of the course, but the most practical reason is to land upon a high-paying job. Many professional courses and degrees promise placement and campus recruitment as one of the reasons why their approach should be pursued. The return on investment (ROI) is one of the key factors deciding whether to invest in a degree or a diploma.



  • The average salary range of a bachelor's degree holder is INR 3,00,000 - 6,00,000.
  • The diploma holders are desirable candidates for specific fields and positions of expertise.


  • The average salary range of a diploma holder is INR 2,20,000 - 4,00,000.
  • The recruitment chances of a degree holder are higher than that of a non-degree holder.

What Is The Difference Between Diploma And Degree?

It is essential to understand the critical differences between a degree and a diploma to make a decision. The pointers below explain them well : -


A degree can last up to 3 to 5 years, whereas most diplomas last from 3 months to 2 years.


Admission into the diploma course can be made in both half-yearly & yearly breaks, depending upon the institution’s policy, whereas enrollment for a degree happens on a very rigid and yearly timeline.


The usual eligibility of a degree is 10+2, whereas many diplomas can be pursued after the 10th standard.


The syllabus of a degree is spread through semesters and expansive, whereas a diploma's syllabus is topic-based and precise.


A degree is a full-time commitment, whereas the schedule for a diploma is somewhat corresponding and flexible.

COST : -

Degrees are more expensive than a diploma course. The cost of a degree can be somewhere between 3 lakhs to 10 lakhs, whereas a diploma is moderately priced and can be afforded by a larger population.


A degree can only be granted by a UGC-approved university or AICTE-approved private institutes. Any private institute or university can grant a diploma without any government/national affiliation.

JOBS : -

Degree holders have a higher ranking for hiring, as a society still considers degree holders the pinnacle of academia.


Degree holders are offered higher packages and perks compared to diploma holders.

Degree and Diploma, Which Is Better?

  • Choosing between a degree and a diploma is challenging. Both come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
  • A degree can take twice as long to complete and requires double the effort as a diploma. Because a degree offers an all-rounded study of the subject, while a diploma is an in-depth study of a particular topic or skill. Pursuing a degree can open many doors to a successful and bright future, as students are exposed to multiple career options at a time. But a diploma can make you an expert in a specific field and turn you into a job-ready professional.
  • So, what should be your pick? Well, it all comes down to your goals and the career path you are on.
  • A degree gives you off on a foundational course, and the campus experience of 3 to 5 years is formative to the development of young academics and professionals. In contrast, a diploma can give you the added edge and transform you into a professional ready individual for the industry.
  • A diploma trains you in an industry-specific skill set that can push your career forward, boast your resume, and make you an attractive candidate to hire.
  • A degree can add a title to your name, and it certainly offers more career and academic opportunities. But the long-term commitment and financial burden might not be what you want. A diploma is constricted and often not valued as much, but you can opt for it with a specific goal of earning a professional accreditation without spending a fortune.

Top Colleges Offering Both a Diploma and a Degree

Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar Bachelor of Technology Diploma in Engineering (Polytechnic) INR 2,00,000
Mansarovar Global University (MGU), Bhopal Bachelor of Engineering Post Graduate Diploma in Management INR 75,000 Per Annum
Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala Bachelor of Science Diploma in Organic Farming INR 8,000 Per Annum
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSU Baroda) Bachelor of Commerce Diploma in Mechanical Engineering INR 20,880 Per Annum
Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi Bachelor of Arts Diploma in Civil Engineering INR 26,910 Per Annum
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Delhi Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Diploma in Business Process Outsourcing, Finance, and Accounting INR 20,000 Per Annum

In Conclusion

The choice between a degree and a diploma is entirely a personal choice and depends on a lot of individual factors. From time availability to lifestyle preferences, the differences between diploma and degree stand out massively. The difference between a degree and a diploma doesn't stop at the course syllabus, it is also present in the overall training and education of the candidates. Diplomas were developed as an alternative to a degree, as it doesn't require a full-time commitment. And degrees remain important for students who wish to gain an all-around knowledge of their stream before stepping into the professional world.