Traditionally, the foundation of a professional career is a four-year graduation course. But in this rapidly moving digital era, a four-year long degree course may not be every one’s primary choice. If you are someone who wants to reach your quicker, don’t worry, there are additional routes you can take when considering a new career.

Let’s first understand the difference between a Degree, Diploma and Certificate courses. 

Time is the main differentiation between – Degree, Diploma and Certificate courses. A Degree course can take anywhere from two to four years or longer while a Certificate programs often take months instead of years. Diploma programs have a more in-depth course structure compared to a certificate, but they are more like a certificate than a degree.

Degree Course

  • Traditional way of education
  • Wide range of courses
  • Takes 2 or more years
  • Often required by employers

Certificate Course

  • Required for special skill set and training
  • Generally completed in under a year
  • Can obtain the skills necessary for a career without years schooling


  • In-depth hands-on experience in a specific field
  • Takes longer than a certificate, but completed under a year
  • Cost-effective if you want to enter a career and your field doesn’t require a degree

Which is best – Degree, Certificate or Diploma?

Well, the best type of course depends on what you want. A degree programme takes longer to complete whereas a certificate course can help you get a skill set in a particular area. A Diploma is more in-depth than a certificate and can take a little longer to earn, but still usually less than a year. Hence, if you are looking for in-depth knowledge in a relatively short span of time, a diploma programme would be a more suitable choice. Diploma courses are cost-effective and mostly have flexible classes. Also, diploma courses usually come with internships or externships opportunities, so you can gain practical experience and also network for future job opportunities.

In the News