As a career counselor, I often get asked which holds more value and should be pursued. Is a degree more valuable or a diploma? While most options of diplomas seem very enticing, monetarily better, and time effective, degrees do have their benefits.
Below I have answered some of the frequently asked questions to help you decide the course of your life.
Should a person go for a degree or diploma?
The answer is a degree.
Degree: Bachelors (2 yrs. or 4 yrs.)
Diploma: Skill-based educational training
Certification: Proof of completion of prerequisites
Most diplomas and certifications being offered by institutes are their own versions and are not recognized/accredited by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
This means that HEC will not verify those and therefore these will be useless if you wish to apply abroad or continue working in the country.
Certifications like Chartered Accountancy (CA) are regulated by their own regulatory body (ICAP), and HEC does verify them as well. However, for certain countries like New Zealand, you still need a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification.
Computer courses and programs etc. might be called diploma or certification but to know their credibility you need to check whether HEC acknowledges them or not (do not ask and rely on the institute alone, confirm with the HEC directly).
I would always recommend a degree program since it is more beneficial in the long run and holistic relative to a diploma. A diploma along with a degree can also be a good combination. Consider the degree as your foundation and the diploma as an additional enhancement; if you keep trying to enrich a barren land without basic resources, you are not really making any significant contributions.
Universities across Pakistan are now offering very unique and diverse degree programs with the option of foreign scholarships.
You can also check the HEC website and Fulbright for more details about this topic.