Diploma or Certificate: Which one is for you?

Want to study but don’t know where to start? We’ll help you with Career decisions.

Building a successful career is a challenging task that often requires more than just obtaining a university degree. In many cases, it takes the dedication of personal time and effort, as well as continuous training and education. However, in recent years you can observe many people that are after a change in their career, as there are vocations with greater potential. If you have just started thinking about your future, need a professional change, or want a career boost then you can take advantage of two other options: certificates and diplomas. Both diplomas and certificates are offered by the Canadian education systems and might be the solution you are looking for.

In this article, we are going to explain what is a diploma and what is a certificate in Canada, and which one would be ideal for your specific case.

Short-term and specific fields? TRY A CERTIFICATE

A certificate is obtained by students who have attended a short college program that doesn’t exceed two semesters. This one-year education program focuses on courses of a particular subject. For this reason, a certificate is desirable by those who seek to enhance their career prospects. Along with the courses, the student that has been awarded a certificate has also completed field training, thus gaining valuable experience. However, this type of program doesn’t offer a general overview of the field. 

At Create Career College, we offer Certificates in Accounting and Hospitality Management – both with 32 weeks duration

Advantages of Obtaining a Certificate

Digging a little deeper into the potential of a certificate, let’s take a closer look at its advantages:

  • A certificate is a short-term program. Its duration varies between 8 and 12 months.
  • It enables you to maintain a flexible schedule, thus allowing you to work and study at the same time.
  • Certificate programs have easier admission processes, as there is no waiting list. The closing dates for the applications are also closer to the beginning of the courses, allowing you to start immediately.
  • Certificate programs focus on a specific field. This way, you can branch out of your existing job, or you can gain more credibility.

Disadvantages of the Certificate

Nevertheless, certificates also have their drawbacks:

  • A certificate program can limit you, as its focus is a specific field.
  • If you want to enhance your knowledge even in the field of your certification, you might need to attend another program.

Long-term and a wide perspective? TRY A DIPLOMA

Diplomas, just like certificates, are short-term education programs. The students interested in obtaining a diploma are required to study at a community college or technical school for at least four semesters, which equals two years. A diploma offers more in-depth knowledge than a certificate and for this reason, it lasts a little longer. Therefore, diplomas are ideal for people who wish to make a drastic change in their career path. Diplomas also offer courses along with field training, so that you can get valuable practical experience and training. Diplomas are exceptionally good when you are chasing a technical career, like Accounting, Business Administration, Health Care, Hospitality Management, etc.

Advantages of Obtaining a Diploma

In more detail, the most important advantages of a diploma are the following:

  • They are short-term programs and so can offer you a new career option within a short amount of time.
  • Diplomas are much more affordable than regular university degrees.
  • This kind of program offers a broader understanding of the chosen field compared to a certificate.
  • They have much less workload for the students, making it ideal for those who are also working at the same time.
  • The courses of a diploma will give you all the skills that you will need for the specific job of your choice.
  • The admission process is simple, as there are not many prerequisites. 
  • Diplomas offer a clear career option much quicker than a university degree, especially for technical vocations.

Disadvantages of the Diploma

On the other hand, diplomas have their own disadvantages. Those are:

  • The students of diploma programs don’t get general education courses. For this reason, they might not be able to grasp the theoretical basis of their practice.

What is the Difference Between a Certificate and a Diploma?

From all the above, it has become apparent that both certificates and diplomas can become a career boost. Their main difference is the skills and the degree of understanding of the field you have chosen. While a certificate is obtained quicker than a diploma, it only offers you a specific set of skills. For this reason, a certificate is great for those seeking to enhance their resume and take another step in their career. Diplomas, however, offer a broader perspective of the field, making it a good choice for those seeking a new career.

Which Will Be Best for You?

All in all, the type of program that you will choose to enroll is up to you. Before making the final decision, consider the following things:

  • How quickly do you want a career change? Even though both of those programs are short-term and allow you to work at the same time, a certificate takes significantly less time to be completed.
  • The field of your choice. If you are interested in a more technical field, then a diploma would be the right choice for you. If, on the other hand, you want to acquire a new skill for your resume, then a certificate would be the better option.

Your decision depends on a great degree in the career goals that you have set. Review them carefully and decide whether you are going to attend a certificate or a diploma program in Canada.

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