Advanced diplomas are fast becoming a popular choice in a range of study areas. Suppose you are looking for a postgraduate qualification or seeking to take your career to the next level with a solid foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge. In that case, an advanced diploma ticks all the boxes.
What is an Advanced Diploma?
An advanced diploma is a qualification that comprises learning materials and outcomes that are more advanced than that of a diploma or certificate qualification. Advanced diplomas are highly regarded by employers and are perfect for people who want to secure senior management or leadership positions in their future careers. In terms of the Australian Quality Framework (AQF), advanced diplomas are at level 6, just under a bachelor’s degree, at level 7. However, this means more practical and relevant skills compared to the exploration of theory and concepts you see in levels 7 and above.
Why pick an Advanced Diploma?
There are many reasons why more students are opting to study an advanced diploma over other qualifications. Here are the top five:
1. A quicker pathway
Advanced diploma course lengths are considerably shorter than most other qualifications of a comparable study level. By studying exactly the units you need and nothing of what you don’t, you can graduate job-ready and start working – and earning, in your dream career faster.
2. Competitive price points
When compared to similar courses, advanced diplomas are priced competitively and are, on average, at least three times cheaper than a bachelor’s degree and up to ten times cheaper than an MBA. The options vary by course, so it’s a good idea to speak with a course consultant or learning coach regarding your situation.
3. Highly practical content
The course content in advanced diplomas focuses on practical skills, including tutorials and case studies from the real world to ensure the most current and relevant learning. While theoretical material is also included, the core focus is on how the content applies to actual scenarios within your chosen industry. Postgraduate study often requires you to write research papers and essays which only provides you with half the picture.
Many advanced diploma course facilitators are currently working or have worked in the industry related to your area of study for several years. They have the experience to mentor their students and can help them develop the practical skills required for success in the course and beyond.
4. Flexible and stress-free
Advanced diplomas are an excellent choice for those looking for a high-calibre qualification without the stress of years and years of heavily-structured study.
If you’re planning to study alongside work or family commitments, an advanced diploma will allow you to complete the course in a way that suits you. You can complete the course part-time or have the flexibility to take a break from your study during a busy work period, picking it back up later.
5. Modern and relevant knowledge
Some comparable qualifications need to adhere to the strict requirements of the course, which often means that you’ll need to study units that may not interest you or are not aligned with your career goals. Regular consultation with industry bodies ensures advanced diplomas are a modern solution to our changing workplaces and employment markets by focusing on relevant, practical skills that you’ll start using from day one.
Advanced diplomas offer courses from a wide range of modern industries and aren’t limited to traditional sectors like many other course options.
How do Advanced Diplomas compare to other qualifications?
Traditionally, students have chosen to study a university qualification such as a graduate certificate, graduate diploma or master’s degree. These may be the right choice for some specific students, however, completing an advanced diploma will save you time and money in the long run while still providing a solid pathway to your future career.
A graduate certificate is a highly specialised qualification, usually completed as postgraduate study and are relatively short to complete. It focuses on a specific area and can build on prior knowledge gained from workplace learning or previous study. Advanced Diplomas are considered a complete qualification and do not usually require additional study such as a graduate certificate.
A graduate diploma is completed as a postgraduate qualification as the next step in a study pathway after completing a graduate certificate. It takes around twelve months to complete and builds on concepts learned during your graduate certificate and undergraduate courses. The advanced diploma is a solid alternative and provides students with a wider breadth of knowledge and access to essential and relevant practical skills.
Master’s degrees are highly specialised, well-known qualifications, completed at a university level, usually after an undergraduate degree or a graduate diploma. Master’s degrees are an AQF level 9, underneath a doctoral degree at level 10. Many students seek out a master’s degree due to the associated prestige and the assumption that qualification at this level will increase future employment and career opportunities.
While this course type is well suited to specific students and career paths, it isn’t always necessary to spend the time and money completing a course at this level. An advanced diploma is more than sufficient for many industries, giving you the technical skills you need to excel into senior roles now, and the transferable skills to open up more career paths and opportunities in your future.
Advanced Diplomas Offer a Head Start
When looking for postgraduate study options, there are many considerations. Depending on your career goals, budget and previous study, many options can suit you. Students usually decide that an advanced diploma is a perfect choice to complement their experience and provide a well-rounded qualification to achieve their career goals.
The advantages of completing an advanced diploma rather than other university options are that you’re in the workforce quicker, able to earn a good salary and gain valuable work experience before your peers, helping you to receive promotions or senior leadership opportunities down the track.