Difference Between Diploma and Degree

Are you confused to choose a diploma or degree after your high school. Check out for the detailed information about the differences between a diploma and degree.

TCM Staff

24th August 2020

Earning both these degree courses is tough as they might take a long time to complete. These are differentiated into two types of certifications which provide a separate level of recognition.

A degree is a long-term program provided by the university, which takes 3-4 years. Whereas the diploma is a short-term program given by educational organizations and takes just 1-2 years for completion. Generally, both the courses are done after completion of high school. People with degrees get more important because of the education system.

Difference between Degree and Diploma





Takes a shorter period of time, 3-4 years

Long-term course


Taken after clearing high school examination

A degree can also be completed after diploma


Focussed on theoretical knowledge

Focussed on practical knowledge

Conducted by

Community colleges, and Universities


Admission Fee

College fees are lesser when compared to degree

Admission fee is more




Pay Scale






Knowledge depth

Comparatively less


What are the Pre-requisites of a Degree?

The requirement depends upon the subject you choose. You require 180 credits to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Definitions of Degrees

A certificate given to a student by the recognized university/college for the successful completion of his/her studies in a stream at a particular level is known as Degree. The student can pursue the degree courses after passing the higher secondary examination.

  1. Associate’s Degree

  2. Bachelor’s Degree

  3. Master’s Degree

  4. Doctorate Degree

Associate Degree

These programs are vocational degrees that train the students precisely. It’s a 2- year degree program. An associate degree is a program taken at the high school level (the initial stage after secondary school).

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degree is a standard undergraduate education, generally, it takes 4-years but sometimes they can just take only 3 years to complete. You will get good knowledge and also practical experience in your field because many of these programs have internships.

Admission into a bachelor's degree program is passing of second-year school/12 pass also known as high school. For example, B. Com (H) is a 3-year degree program that teaches students subjects like accountancy, economics, and business studies; BTech is a 4-year degree program that teaches subjects like physics, chemistry, and math. Examples: BSc, BTech, BCom, BVoc, BBM, BBA, and many more.

Master’s Degree

Master's degree is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by colleges/universities usually done after the completion of a bachelor’s degree and it takes 2 years to earn.

You need to earn 36 to 54-semester credits (or 60 to 90 quarter-credits) to complete this master’s degree. Specializations include Ms, MSc, MBA, MPhil, MA, etc.,

Doctorate Degree

A doctorate degree is a higher-level education done after the master’s degree. This is for Ph.D. students; Doctor of Medicine (MD), the Doctor of Education (EdD), and the Juris Doctor (JD).

Read More About: Associate degree vs Bachelor's degree

Degree Vs Diploma - Branch

Students generally get confused with these terms, so we are providing the names of the courses which can be helpful for you to choose your desired program for the future.

Degree Subjects

Diploma Subjects

B.Sc./ B.E./ B. Tech / M.Sc./ M.E./ M. Tech in Biotech

Diploma in Biotech

B. E/ B. Tech/ M.E./ M. Tech (Automotive Engineering)

Diploma in Automotive Engineering

Bachelors/ Masters in Fine Arts

Diploma in Drawing/ Singing/ Acting etc

Bachelors or Masters in Mass Comm & (or) Journalism

Diploma in Photography/ Acting/ Cinematography/ Journalism etc.

Bachelors/ Masters in Arts (English/ Spanish/ etc)

Diploma in Literature (English/ Spanish etc.)

B. Com/ M. Com

Diploma in Commerce


Diploma in Business Studies/ Administration

Advantages of Degree

  • A degree is a long duration course where you can gain more knowledge in a specific field. Also, a student can take further higher education in degree.

  • More importance is given to degree holders during the recruitment time.

  • Better opportunities for students holding any degree with the highest pay and can have future career options.

  • Many job benefits such as retirement, insurance, and travel.

What is a Diploma?

The diploma is a certificate, given to a student by the college for pursuing a specific course of study successfully. Admissions to a diploma are done either on yearly or half-yearly.

What are the requirements for a Diploma?

  • You should get at least a minimum of 40% for your native Language

  • You should obtain at least 40% for three other subjects excluding Life Orientation

  • You have to pass 6 out of 7 subjects

Types of Courses in Diploma

  1. Graduation Diploma

  2. Postgraduate Diploma

Graduate Diploma:- It is done after the undergraduate level.

Postgraduate Diploma:- An education that is pursued after the bachelor’s degree course.

Some of the courses include DCA, PGDCA, PGUDPL, PDGM, and others.

Read About: Graduate vs Undergraduate

Career After Diploma

  • Mechanical Engineer

  • Mechanical Design Engineer

  • Piping Designer

  • Electrical Design Engineer

  • Assistant Engineer

  • Security/Support Staff at airports

  • Project Managers

  • Lab Assistant

Read More: 

What is a graduate degree

What is an undergraduate degree

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