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Degree vs Diploma

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Degree vs Diploma

This question is asked many the times, and yet students still remain unclear of what they shall choose – Degree or Diploma – when the time comes. Degree and Diploma are two courses offered whose common denominator is technical education, yet these courses are entirely different. Both degree and diploma are recognitions conferred to a person on the successful completion of an educational course.

What is a degree?

A degree is a course for a duration of 3 to 4 years and is theoretical in approach or academic-centric. B.Tech is a 4-year degree course that teaches subjects like physics, chemistry, and maths, and includes the subject one plans to major in like Mechanical Engineering, CSE etc.

But the question is, who can infer a degree? Only a university can grant a degree. Any university approved by UGC can grant a degree, or a college that is AICTE backed but associated with a UGC certified university can infer a degree.
For example, There are many AICTE approved private colleges under Delhi University, but after the completion of the course the student does not get a degree from the institute, he gets a degree of the university, in this case from Delhi University.

Curriculum in a degree course

The curriculum of a degree course is planned so that the focus remains only on academic and is less practical. The main function is to give an overview of all subjects.

What is a Diploma?

A diploma course is a short term course (usually 1 to 2 years in duration) that focuses on training a person in a particular field and can be used as a base for lateral entry in better technical institutions.

Who can confer a diploma?

An institute, a polytechnic or even a university can offer a diploma course. There is no need for the institute or the university to be UGC or AICTE approved. This makes it clear that diploma is often considered less valuable than a degree or Btech.


The course is designed in a way such that the person gets basic theoretical knowledge about the course, apart from the extensive practical training needed in the job industry. For this purpose, a lot of diploma courses have on-the-job training and apprenticeship and focus more on practical exams. For example, a diploma in Mechanical involves subjects centered on programming languages and computer hardware only.

Many students who go for diploma often opt for dropping out after they complete their HSC exams and take lateral entry into some good educational institutions since a diploma from a polytechnic often hits hard behind a BYech degree.

Chose and weigh your options wisely on the availability of time, money and resources and make the best of whatever you have! Best of luck.

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