Everything you need to know
When looking to take the next step in your career or begin further study, two popular choices to undertake are an advanced diploma or a bachelor’s degree. They provide a comprehensive qualification focused on your chosen industry.
However, before you commit to a course, it’s important to consider your options properly. If you haven’t considered an advanced diploma previously, read on to see if it could be the perfect match for you.
What is an advanced diploma?
An advanced diploma is a qualification that comprises learning materials and outcomes that are (as the name suggests) more advanced than that of a diploma or certificate qualification. It’s a course that is often comparable to University bachelor’s degrees and is highly regarded for those looking at securing senior management or leadership positions in their future career.
Advanced diploma vs degree
A lot of people ask: is an advanced diploma the same as a bachelor’s degree? While the two share some similarities, they are separate qualifications. Compared to a bachelor’s degree, an advanced diploma focuses on job-specific practical skills and can usually be completed in a shorter period.
The Australian Qualifications Framework assigns qualifications to different levels based on the difficulty to achieve them, and the skills received. For reference, an advanced diploma is a level 6, with a bachelor’s degree sitting slightly above at level 7.
Why do an advanced diploma?
Advanced diplomas are a popular choice for students looking for a degree that is highly aligned with their career goals.
Focus on practical skills
Advanced diplomas have a strong focus on practical skills. While theoretical material is also included, the focus is centred on how it applies to actual scenarios within your chosen industry. Because of this, many students find the course material of an advanced diploma more engaging and interesting than that of traditional bachelor’s degrees. Many advanced diploma course facilitators have worked or are working in the industry you’re studying. Therefore, they understand what practical skills are needed for success in the course and beyond.
For those looking to get straight into the job market following graduation, an advanced diploma is an excellent choice that employers highly regard. Many hiring managers prefer candidates who have completed Advanced Diplomas over degrees, as they recognise the highly applicable skills learnt during the course. In fact, it is sometimes the case that candidates who complete bachelor’s degrees need up to twelve months in a new role to learn the practical nature of the job, as their qualifications often focus on theoretical skills alone.
Advanced diplomas also encourage critical thinking, problem solving and analysis which are beneficial skills in any industry.
Value for money
Advanced diplomas are priced very competitively and are, on average, at least three times cheaper than a bachelor’s degree. A range of government support such as subsidies and student loans are also available for students undertaking an advanced diploma. This differs by course, so it’s a good idea to research what is available alongside the other details of your course.
Accessible and flexible
Advanced diplomas are an excellent choice for those looking for a high-calibre qualification without worrying about entry requirements. There are no interviews, portfolios or bridging courses to complete, therefore, you can start studying and begin your career faster.
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 have the flexibility to finish the course part-time or take a break from study during a busy work period and then pick it back up again later in the year.
Is an advanced diploma a waste of time?
While traditional bachelor’s degrees may have been the default option for those looking at further study options in the past, this is no longer the case. Many students are now taking control of their future careers by understanding the benefits of alternative qualifications, such as an advanced diploma.
There are misconceptions around diploma qualifications, with some people thinking they are purely a stepping stone to completing further study. However, this is not the case with an advanced diploma as it can be carried out as a complete qualification, allowing you to graduate job-ready.
With a strong focus on practical skills, advanced diplomas are a modern solution to our changing employment market, empowering students with the knowledge they need to succeed in their future careers. Advanced diplomas offer courses from a wide range of industries and aren’t limited to traditional industries like some degrees can be.
A fast track to career success
For most students, completing an advanced diploma is an excellent way to set themselves up for a rewarding, long-term career without the need to pay significant fees for a bachelor’s degree or commit multiple years to full-time study. The College for Adult Learning offers advanced diploma qualifications in a large selection of industries, making it easy to find the perfect course for you.