Certificate vs Diploma
Certificates and diplomas are qualifications that are awarded by educational institutions and other training schools to those who pass their courses. There is a thin dividing line between a certificate and a diploma, and many tend to use them interchangeably which is wrong. This article will highlight the features of both diplomas and a certificate to enable a student to choose either that suits his requirements and helps him in furthering his career.
If we go by dictionary, a diploma is a document issued by an educational institution (a college or a University) certifying that the candidate has successfully completed a particular course of study and has earned the diploma. In comparison, a certificate is a document awarded to a person upon completion of a course of study not leading to a diploma. Well, this definition doesn’t make any headway into differences, isn’t it?
Certificate programs are typically specialized in a particular skill set or area and do not provide a broad overview of a field of study. Certificates are a good source of career advancement for anyone who has a degree and work experience in the field. Let us say if you are into accountancy and have bachelor’s degree with relevant work experience in the field, and want to add a feather in your cap, you can do a short course in forensic accounting and get the certificate to further your career and have many more options for yourself. Certificate builds upon your qualification and helps you in your work area.
Diploma courses are more in depth and of longer duration. Though less in value than a degree, they provide more knowledge and are also accorded more value by prospective employers than certificates. Diplomas can even help a person change his profession. If you are in a profession you are disillusioned with, and do not have the time to do a regular degree course, a diploma course might do the trick for you. Usually students completing their 10th class examinations are awarded high school diplomas. However, adults who for some reason could not pass their high school exam can later in life complete it to get General Education Development diploma that is regarded equivalent to high school diploma.
Situation becomes confusing when some educational institutions name their certification programs as diplomas. As such it is prudent to make sure about the value of the course in the field before perusing it.
• Diplomas and certificates are awarded by educational institutions to students who complete a course of study. These documents certify that the candidate has successfully completed the course.
• Certificates are issued by an institution in all domains including academics whereas diplomas are awarded only by educational institutions.
• Diplomas provide more in depth knowledge of a field of study and are of longer duration than certificates and certificates are specialization in a particular skill set.