Difference Between Diploma And Degree [Diploma vs Degree]

Many students are confused about the topic of diploma vs degree. Making a decision can be a bit overwhelming. Both degree and diploma have their advantages. Moreover, there are plenty of career opportunities in both. The degree and diploma courses are associated with bachelor’s, postgraduate, and Master’s levels.

If you are unsure which option to choose after your boards, this post will help you explore both options in depth!

Difference Between Diploma and Degree

What is a Diploma?

Many people are in a dilemma regarding finding the meaning of diploma!

A diploma is a short-term, in-depth study of a particular course, such as management, finance, accounting, language, etc. Diploma courses are primarily technical and skill-based. In addition, diploma-holder students become well aware of their field of study. However, this course is not equivalent to that of a degree.

In addition, this course lasts 1 to 2 years, and the minimum eligibility criteria are completing the 10th standard. Various educational institutions and even some colleges offer diploma programs.

The fees for this course are comparatively less than that of a degree course. There are two categories of diplomas broadly:

  • Graduate Diploma
  • Post graduate diploma

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Diploma

A diploma course is completed in a shorter period. Moreover, there are various fields in which a student to pursue a diploma, such as medicine, engineering, design, etc.

Advantages of a Diploma Course

  1. Diploma courses are cost-effective and save money.
  2. The admission process is not as tedious or multi-tier as an entrance exam such as JEE. Entrance to diploma courses is simple and straightforward.
  3. Subjects inside the curriculum focus only on the particular skill you opt for.
  4. Several internships in diploma programs help you gain industrial skills for career opportunities.
  5. The class schedule is often flexible and not strict as in degree courses.
  6. Diploma courses are for a short period.

Disadvantages of a Diploma Course

  1. A diploma holder’s salary package is usually less than a degree holder’s.
  2. The value of a diploma course is not regarded as high as that of a degree course.
  3. The job roles specifically focused on diploma degrees are limited in the industry.

What is a Degree?

A degree is a higher education qualification recognized universities or colleges offer students in a particular field.

There are various degrees for a student. The four major categories of degrees are shown below:

  • Bachelor’s degree: It is an undergraduate course. The time duration is four years.
  • Master’s degree: After completing the bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree is an excellent option. It’s a two-year postgraduate degree.
  • Doctorate degree: A doctorate is pursued after obtaining a master’s degree in a particular field. Moreover, this course takes 4-7 years to complete, and the student is awarded the Ph.D. degree.
  • Associate degree: a vocational degree that lasts for two years.

Majorly students go for a degree course due to the excellent career opportunities afterward.

Advantages and disadvantages of Degree

A degree course offers various advantages for a student. Here is a list.

Advantages of a Degree

  1. Excellent career opportunities with high-paying jobs in the long run.
  2. Development of critical thinking and analytical skills.
  3. A wider range of job opportunities and not just limited to the degree course.
  4. High-paying packages at entry-level.
  5. A degree course is highly preferred and valued.

Disadvantages of a degree

  1. One of the most expensive forms of education.
  2. The duration is longer, 4 years.
  3. The chances of admission into a reputed college or university such as IIT, NIT, IIIT, etc., are less due to tough entrance exams like JEE.

Diploma vs Degree: Head-to-Head Comparison

After understanding the basic difference between a diploma vs degree, look at the key highlights:

Criteria Diploma Degree
Eligibility High school High school / Graduation
Study duration 1 – 2 years 3 – 4 years
Cost of studying Low High
Knowledge Comparatively less High
Certificates offered by University/colleges/Institutions Universities/colleges
Job opportunities Less High
Salary Comparatively low High
Higher education Fewer chances for higher education and career advancement Opportunities for further education and career advancements like post-graduation or professional certifications
Flexibility Low High
Career focus More focused on a specific field or industry Wide-based and may offer opportunities to explore multiple fields or industries

As you can see, the difference between the diploma and degree table shows how both courses vary in terms of different factors.

Popular Diploma Courses

There are many diploma courses for a student to pursue after the 10th and 12th.

Here is a detailed list of both options.

Popular diploma courses after 10th

  1. Computer Engineering
  2. Electrical Engineering
  3. Chemical Engineering
  4. Metallurgical Engineering
  5. Civil Engineering
  6. Mining Engineering
  7. Mechanical Engineering
  8. Information Technology
  9. Automobile Engineering
  10. Fabrication Engineering
Eligibility Criteria Time Duration Fee Structure Top Institutions
Class 10th with a minimum of 50% marks 3 Years INR 6,000 to 1 Lac (Depending on the nature of the course and institute) IIT Delhi, IIT Roorkee, NIT Rourkela, ICT Mumbai, NIT Warangal, IIT Gandhinagar, College of Engineering Pune, LPU Jalandhar, University of Mumbai, Jamai Millia Islamia, IGNOU Delhi

Other Popular Diploma Courses After 10th

Here is the list of courses after 10th widely opted by thousands of students yearly.

Diploma Course Eligibility Time Duration Top Institutions Job Opportunities
Diploma in Agriculture Class 10th 2 Years Singhania University- Jhunjhunu,

Punjab Agricultural University- Ludhiana,

BHU Varanasi, IGNOU Delhi


Agri Marketing Associate

Farm Manager

Diploma in Big Data Analytics Class 10th 1 Year Indian School of Business Management
Diploma in Photography Class 10th 2-3 Years Morph Academy- Chandigarh


AAFT- Delhi

Le Mark School of Art- Mumbai

Photography studio, photography agency
Diploma in Digital Marketing Class 10th 1 Year Vidya Jyoti University Chandigarh,

AAFT University

Various posts in marketing and sales in digital marketing such as digital marketing sales executive, business executive, etc.
Diploma in Rural Health Care (DRHC) 1 Year Semester-Wise Ayush and Health Sciences University of Chhattisgarh

Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences

The Indira Gandhi Technological & Medical Sciences University

AURO University of Hospitality and Management

Emergency Nurses

Nurses-In Charge

Community health nurse

Work for State Governments or NGOs

Diploma in Nursing Care Assistant 2 Years Semester -Type Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences

The Indira Gandhi Technological & Medical Sciences University

King George’s Medical University

Emergency Nurse

Nurse in NGO or Government Hospitals

On-Call nurse

Diploma in Pathology Lab Assistant Diploma/Part-time 3-4 Months Lord Shiva College of Pharmacy- Sirsa

JIPMER- Puducherry,

SRM- Chennai

GGSIPU- New Delhi

Lab Technician

Popular Diploma Courses after 12th

After completing the 12th standard, students have two options: pursue a bachelor’s degree or take diploma courses. There are many courses after 12th, but here are the top diploma courses after 12th.

Top diploma courses after 12th science

Course Name Eligibility Time duration Colleges/ Institutions
Diploma in Computer engineering 12th with PCM 3 Years BPSMV Sonipat

DPG Polytechnic, Gurgaon

JMI New Delhi

Diploma in nutrition and dietetics 12th with a minimum aggregate of 45 to 55%. 1-3 years Christian Medical College, Vellore

The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Vadodara

AAFT University

Diploma in physiotherapy 12th with science (PCB) 2-3 years KGMU Lucknow

UPUMS Saifai

Avadh Institute of Medical Technologies, Lucknow

Top Diploma Courses after 12th Commerce

Course name Eligibility Duration Colleges/ Institutes
Diploma in Banking and Finance Minimum aggregate of 55-60% 1-year Swami Vivekanand University, Madhya Pradesh

MIT College of Management, Pune, Maharashtra

Greenway Institutes of Management Studies, Dehradun

Diploma in Financial Accounting Minimum aggregate of 50% 1 year Indira College of Commerce and ScienceTathawade, Pune

St. Xavier’s College KolkataPark Street, Kolkata

Amity University, Noida

Diploma in Business Management 1-3 years Symbiosis International University, Pune

WLCI School of Fashion, Pune

Lovely Professional University

Diploma in Advanced Accounting 4 years Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University

St. Xavier’s College KolkataPark Street, Kolkata

Indira College of Commerce and ScienceTathawade, Pune

Diploma in Hotel Management 1-3 years UEI Global Rohini, New Delhi

Allied Institute of Hotel Management and Culinary Arts – [AIHMCA], Panchkula

Amrapali Institute of Hotel Management, Haldwani

Top Diploma Courses after 12 Arts

Course name Eligibility Duration Colleges/ Institutes
Diploma in Event Management Minimum aggregate of 45-50% 1 year National Institute of Event Management, Mumbai

Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication Dwarka Delhi (AIMC)Dwarka, Delhi

y Institute of Event Management

Diploma in Fashion designing Minimum aggregate of 50% 6 months- 2 year National Institute of Fashion Technology – [NIFT], Chennai

JD Institute Of Fashion Technology, Hyderabad

JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Gurgaon

Diploma in Multimedia and Management Minimum aggregate of 50% 6 months – 1 year NIMS University, Jaipur

St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata

AAFT, Noida

Diploma in Tourism Studies 50-60% in class 12th 6 months – 2 years D.Y. Patil UniversityNavi Mumbai

Banaras Hindu University

Madras University

D.Ed 12th from a recognized board 1-2 years Swami Devi Dyal College of Education, Panchkula

University of Mumbai [MU]Fort, Mumbai

Amity University, Noida

Popular Degree Courses

Like diploma courses, numerous degree courses are available for students after completing 12th standard. Let’s cover them below:

1. Popular Degree Courses after 12th Science

Course Name Time Duration Eligibility Colleges/ Institutes
B.Tech/B.E (Bachelor of Technology/ Bachelor of Engineering) 4 years 12th standard (PCM) IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, NIT Rourkela, NIT Hamirpur
B.Arch (Bachelor of Architecture) 5 years 12th standard (PCM) Chandigarh College of Architecture, Chandigarh

Chitkara university, Rajpura

Amity University, Noida

BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications) 3 years 12th standard (PCM) Loyola College

SJC Bangalore – St. Joseph’s College

Christ University, Bangalore

B.Sc. – IT (Bachelor of Science) 3 years 12th standard (PCM) RV University – [RVU], Bangalore

Lady Shri Ram College for Women – [LSR], New Delhi

Hindu College, New Delhi

B.Pharma (Bachelor of Pharmacy) 4 years 12th standard (PCB) Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi

Panjab University – [PU], Chandigarh

Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research

2. Popular Degree Courses after 12th Commerce

Course Name Time Duration Eligibility Colleges/ Institutes
B.Com (Bachelor of Commerce) 3 years 12th standard SRCC, Hindi College, Kirori Mal, Christ University, Mithibai College of Arts
BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) 3 years 12th standard Loyola College, Christ University, Madras Christian College
BA (Hons.) in Economics 3 years 12th standard JMI New Delhi – Jamia Millia Islamia

MSU Baroda – Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

Christ University, Bangalore

DTU Delhi – Delhi Technological University

B.Com LL.B. (integrated course) 5 years 12th standard Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana

Manav Rachna University [MRU]

GD Goenka University

NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad

BBA LLB (integrated course) 5 years 12th standard NLSIU Bangalore – National Law School of India University

NLU Delhi – National Law University

Christ University, Bangalore.

3. Popular Degree Courses after 12th Arts

Course Name Time Duration Eligibility Colleges/ Institutes
BMS- Bachelor of Management Science 3 years 12th standard Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Jai Hind College, Madras Christian College
BFA- Bachelor of Fine Arts 4 years 12th standard Institute of Fine Arts, Chandigarh

University of Mumbai [MU]Fort, Mumbai

Amity University, Noida

BEM- Bachelor of Event Management 3 years 12th standard National Institute of event management, (NIEM), Bihar

National Academy of Media and Events, West Bengal

Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition, Hyderabad

BFD- Bachelor of Fashion Designing 3-4 years 12th standard NIFT Delhi – National Institute of Fashion Technology

NIFT Bangalore

NIMS University, Jaipur

BSW- Bachelor of Social Work 4-5 years 12th standard Madras Christian College – [MCC], Chennai

Magadh Mahila College, Patna

Stella Maris College Cathedral Road, Chennai

Factors to consider when choosing between a diploma and a degree

1. Difficulty

Students must understand the difficulty level of both diploma and degree courses before choosing.

Firstly, the difficulty level of the entrance exams is poles apart.

As the number of subjects is limited in the diploma courses, the questions can be repetitive. But, due to the wide range of topics in entrance exams for the degree courses, the chances of repetition are less or zero.

On the one hand, exams for degree courses are very tough and challenging. On the other hand, it is easier to get admission into diploma courses.

2. Time duration

Students must consider the time duration for both courses. Diploma courses wrap up in comparatively less time, mostly 1-3 years.

In contrast, degree courses end after four years. Therefore, if time matters to you, you must not ignore this factor.

3. Syllabus

The syllabus for both courses is different. Diploma courses offer expertise in one particular field to the students. Therefore, the syllabus is comparatively limited. At the same time, there is a comprehensive syllabus for degree courses. A degree course aims to provide knowledge to the students in various concepts. In addition, this expertise and skills are instrumental in future job opportunities for a degree holder.

4. Cost of the course

When it comes to diploma vs degree, finance becomes crucial. However, there are various scholarships for students but those who cannot achieve that need to be prepared to pay hefty fees.

Furthermore, both courses have a higher variation in course fees. Degree courses are costlier as compared to diploma courses.

5. Job opportunities

There are ample job opportunities for both degree and diploma holders. However, per statistics, a degree holder is preferred over a diploma holder. Subsequently, there are more job opportunities with high-paying packages for candidates with degrees. There are fewer job profiles specifically for diploma holders. Therefore, you must research well before applying for both courses.

Which is Better Degree or Diploma?

The diploma vs degree debate is a long one!

Everyone wants good job opportunities, and some wish to pursue higher education programs. Many students might wonder if four years is worth it when a program can be completed in a year or less! But a straightforward answer is that everything depends on the student’s career goals.

As both courses have advantages and disadvantages, aligning your requirements with the course provisions is crucial.

If you have no financial restraints, you can pursue a degree course. There are ample career opportunities in every industry, and the salary packages are also impressive.

But if you have financial restraints, you can opt for diploma courses. There are good opportunities, if not many. However, you can expect a great package within the due period.


Students often face the dilemma of opting for a degree or diploma course. Both have their own merits and demerits. But when it comes to diploma vs degree, you should consider various factors such as your area of interest, cost, syllabus, the difficulty of the entrance exam, job opportunities, etc.

All these factors help you reach the final solution.

In addition, we have provided information related to courses, time duration, eligibility, and more for a better understanding. We hope that this data helps you make an informed decision.

Good luck with all your future endeavors!

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is better: A diploma or a Degree?

We advise you to consider several factors, such as syllabus, time duration, course fees, difficulty level, etc., and then make an informed decision.

2. Is Diploma the same as a degree?

No. There are differences such as time duration of the course, eligibility, job opportunities, etc. Broadly, a diploma course lasts 1-3 years whereas a degree course lasts four years.

3. Can I get a job after a diploma?

Yes, various job profiles are available for diploma holders.

4. What types of careers can you pursue with a degree?

Students with a degree can enter many fields, such as IT, medicine, aeronautics, fashion, and interior.

5. What can I do after completing an online diploma program?

After an online diploma program, you can apply for various jobs according to your specialization. For instance, a diploma holder in the medical field can apply for nursing, assistance, lab technicians, etc.

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