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Difference Between Diploma and Associate Degree

graduate-hatDiploma vs Associate Degree

A Diploma is one type of certification, and an Associate degree is another type. Diploma and Associates degree, as the name specifies, are different in many aspects. There is no confusion between the two, as the difference is very specific.

A Diploma can be said to be a document awarded to a student after completion of a course. On the other hand, an Associate degree is a title conferred on a student when he completes a college study. Diploma is usually given in vocational or professional courses, like designing, pharmacy and engineering.

High schools, trade colleges and professional schools confer Diploma certificates. On the other hand, community colleges and universities award the Associates degree.

With an Associates degree, a student has to study many things outside his major, like basic English, history, humanities and mathematics. On the other hand, a Diploma focuses mainly on the specific skills of a student. This means that a student who pursues an Associate degree has to study more broadly when compared to a student who takes a Diploma course, where it is mainly subject centric.

A student may take one or two years to get a Diploma. On the contrary, an Associate degree is strictly two years.

Unlike the Diplomas, one can transfer the Associate degree credits to a Bachelor’s degree. An Associate degree can be said to be a stepping-stone to a higher education.

It can also be seen that an Associate degree is more valued than a Diploma. In the job scene, a candidate with an Associate degree has more chances, and will earn more than a candidate with a Diploma. For example, a nurse with a Diploma will be paid less than a nurse who has an Associate degree.

Summary:

1. A Diploma can be said to be a document awarded to a student after completion of a course. On the other hand, an Associate degree is a title conferred on a student when he completes a college study.

2. A student who pursues an Associate degree has to study more broadly when compared to a student who takes a Diploma course, where it is subject centric.

3. A Diploma is usually given in vocational or professional courses, like designing, pharmacy and engineering.

4. An Associate degree is more valued than a Diploma. An Associate degree can be said to be a stepping-stone to a higher education.

5. A candidate with an Associate degree has more chances, and will earn more than a candidate with a Diploma.


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6 Comments

  1. With a College Diploma, depending on the college & if it is accredited or not you can transfer most credits to earning a degree.

  2. I am holding an advanced diploma in Business studies from the institute of Business Studies and a 2yrs Diploma in Business studies. Is their online Bachelor degree which is recognised?

    Yours,

  3. In Singapore, a polytechnic diploma is a highly valued document – even more than an A level full cert holder. And a polytechnic diploma (not private diploma), the standards are VERY high and the course is 3 years long and encompasses typically more than 30 modules per course. Yes it is true that its geared and centered towards a specific area of study – however we also have to do minors in areas like economics, finance, maths, science etc.

    If at all the associate degree is comparable with a full cert A level, it is definitely NOT more valued than a polytechnic diploma – pay is definitely less and roles would only be very generic roles like admin assistant at a office for the associate degree holder.

    As for the transfer of credits to university, a diploma holder from a polytechnic in Singapore can enter either 2nd or 3rd year of degree programmes in MANY countries including Singapore and Australia. This is so because in Singapore, polytechnic students cover 1st and 2nd year modules completely and are only able to graduate once they complete them and pass them – which essentially puts them ahead of A level graduates who start from year 1 regardless if they have 10 As or 20 As.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Cheerz!

  4. A candidate with an Associate degree has more chances, and will earn more than a candidate with a Diploma.

    I dont get the WILL earn more part. I have my diploma and am making more than a buddy who has his associates.

    Its all about who you know not what you know!!!

  5. Very useful !!!!

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