Why Choose A Diploma Over Degrees


With so many adult education courses on offer, it can be confronting to select your next career move. It’s important to carefully consider the benefits of diploma courses. This way, you can decide what matches your ambition, rather than just taking the expected route. If your goal is to enter a new role with good prospects where you’re good at what you do and feel valued, then a diploma may be better suited than a university degree.

So, why should you study a diploma instead of a degree?

1. A diploma gives you practical, transferable skills

There can be a significant gap between university and gaining a job in the real world. This is for a few reasons.

  • Degrees centre largely around theory rather than practice, sometimes with a placement or practical subject tacked on the end in an attempt to bridge the gap.
  • By focusing on lecture-style mass education rather than active tutoring, students are encouraged to focus on their progress and little else.
  • When faced with the realities of working in a team-oriented workforce, the leap can be jarring.
  • Universities process far more students than there are jobs available for that level, resulting in graduates being dumbfounded when they find themselves with a scroll of paper but no connections, interviews or leads.
  • Jobs value experience as highly (or more highly) than education. Without practical experience, graduates may struggle to secure their first job.

2. A diploma offers increased flexibility

Student life can be extremely costly. With university fees deregulated, degrees can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take years to complete. Additionally, the full-time workload can compromise working hours and capacity. By contrast, diplomas can often be studied flexibly or online to fit around your working commitments. This empowers you to make a more fluid career transition with a lower risk of unemployment.

Without gaps in your resume, combined with the demonstrated desire to learn, diplomas are a wise career move that you can discuss at your next interview. Without the rigid entry prerequisites of degrees, diplomas offer students the opportunity to prove their potential and can often start at any point throughout the year, rather than allowing semester intakes only.

3. You can spend less time studying and more time advancing your career

The biggest benefit when you choose a diploma over a degree – particularly in later life – is that diplomas can be completed in a fraction of the time it takes to study a degree. With the pressures of a mortgage or rent, utilities, cost of living and not wanting life to pass you by, most students value the boost that diplomas can bring to their career with minimal time invested. Put simply – you can start earning more, earlier.

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4. A diploma offers solid career prospects

The driving force behind most student registrations is the promise of a fulfilling career. Generally speaking, the more educated you are, the greater your possibilities will be. Even if you have no thoughts of leaving your current role, studying can propel you forward – bringing fresh ideas and renewed energy to your career. It also offers the opportunity to make a shift, try your hand at a new industry or make new contacts down the track. Whatever your career trajectory looks like, a diploma is a robust investment.

5. Diplomas increase your earning potential

The benefits of a diploma extend much further than your immediate future. Unlike high school, your further education is a choice you make for yourself. It’s not compulsory, there are infinite pathways, and you can impact the how, what, when and how hard you study. Rather than relying on teachers to set assignments, you learn to rely on yourself, which is a defining moment. It fosters an ability to use initiative, be autonomous, and make decisions – all of which will stand you in good stead for life.

With increased investment in yourself comes increased potential worth to an organisation. By combining theory, practice and on-the-job knowledge, you’ll be the preferred candidate to take on top-level positions, mentor others, and manage a team. Showing employers that you value yourself and your abilities demonstrates self-awareness and a deeper understanding of how you could best work with a team and propel the organisation forward. It also communicates you’re willing to take on further training and development, so there’s no limit to how valuable you could truly be.

Having both generic and more specialised skills means that employers have to outsource less frequently, can rely on you for more autonomous tasks, and can pass on your learning to others through training and partnerships. Once you’ve accrued new skills, it’s essential to communicate your value and not settle for anything you’re less than satisfied with.

Additionally, research shows that the median full-time income for a VET graduate is $56,000. Meanwhile, the median graduate salary for students completing a bachelor’s degree is actually less at $54,000.

6. Studying through VET opens your mind and opens doors

Whatever course you choose, there is one fundamental aspect that all education has in common: you will learn something new. In an age where almost anything is answered by a quick internet search, knowledge may not seem to have the power it once did. But when it comes to your career, diversifying your knowledge areas, refining your skills, and becoming better at studying are all traits that will significantly improve with further learning. Your study may snowball when you find that by studying one subject, you’ve opened your horizons to another career field, found a new passion, been able to meet new friends or pursue further study. The world is your oyster with further education under your belt.

After all, there’s no such thing as being too qualified, only overqualified for the job at hand.

Finally, it’s important to remember that while our parents may have kept the same job throughout their lifetime, today’s job market is increasingly diversified. Constantly developing technology creates new jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago. A diploma demonstrates to employers that you’re committed to staying abreast of how your industry is moving forward. After all, jobs today barely resemble those of 20 years ago and on-the-job learning only goes so far. Advancing your knowledge at reputable institutions ensures that you stay up-to-date with technology, best practices, and new research informing your industry. You’ll be able to bring new ideas and new and more efficient processes learned from your course and apply them in your workplace.

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