Degree VS Diploma
It is being increasingly felt that both a degree and diploma should be given equal importance, writes Sonam Mathur
While society still holds a traditional degree in higher esteem over a diploma programme, times are changing and students have more options to choose from. Despite this conventional belief, some of the reputed institutes in the country, such as the IIMs and NID, are offering diploma programmes as well. According to Pradyumna Vyas, director, National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, “There is a social hierarchy when it comes to a degree vs diploma, which should be done away with. Both should be given equal weighting.” He adds that NID is vying for the status of centre of excellence, which will allow it to offer more variety in different level courses for students.
But this does not imply a change in the curriculum, he adds that a diploma should not be undermined because a well-designed diploma curriculum plays a key factor in developing the skill-sets of an individual and is a value addition to one’s qualification. Raj N Bakshi, director, The English and Foreign Languages University, Lucknow, says, “Whether a degree or a diploma, it’s always the curriculum, course design and the quality of education provided by an institute that matters the most. There are several parameters to define quality education, among which the three that I feel are most important include the syllabus, faculty and a wellequipped library. There are many universities, which confer a degree but lack these essentials.”
From the academic point of view, Swati Salunkhe, career counsellor, says, “In order to acquire a higher qualification like a Master’s degree, an MPhil or a PhD, it is essential to take up a degree course at the Bachelor’s level. But, as far as professional competence is concerned, whether you pursue a degree or a diploma, it doesn’t make a difference. What matters is the reputation of the institute, faculty, how good the course structure is, the infrastructure and the ability of the institute to provide quality education.”
She further explains, “Nowadays, students have the option to begin with a diploma and ease their way into a degree programme through a lateral entry, provided they secure first division grades. For example, a student with a diploma in computer engineering can get a lateral entry in the second year of a degree programme in computer engineering. But this depends on the reputation and recognition of the institute offering the diploma.”
Overseas education, especially in the UK and US, is expensive and, hence, availability of scholarships is an important consideration for students. Elaborating on the availability of these scholarships for degree and diploma programmes abroad, Karan Gupta, education consultant, informs that more funding is available for degree courses as compared to diploma courses abroad. Universities are not keen on funding students who apply for diploma courses as the courses are of shorter duration and more specialised.
As far as the value of an overseas diploma is concerned, employers usually prefer those who have studied degree courses, but if a student is keen to work in a specialised industry such as fashion or hospitality, a diploma may be preferred over a degree. As far as the job market is concerned, Nikhil Goyal, a second year student at IIM Lucknow, and points out that those certified by reputed institutes are well-accepted.
“There are many institutes across the country, which offer diploma programmes that are coveted and are brand names in themselves. So, at the end of the day, apart from competency levels of the individual, it is the institution’s For further news on degree and repute in the market diploma and click, visit on Courses myeducationtimes.com that matters.”