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University, Online Course or Diploma

Just a few years ago, the traditional way of changing or starting a career was by obtaining a three or four-year degree. With technology and current events, this view no longer applies. There are now more flexible and affordable ways of starting a career or getting that certification that you want.

Many of us now wonder what form of the certificate we should actually go for. You may begin to question whether a University, Diploma, or Online Course is the best for you.

You may have to consider your options based on your own preference.




Is a University Degree what you need?


Of course, we all know a university degree is a qualification you get upon successful completion of a course of study in a college or university.

It is an advanced education option you may opt to expand your career opportunities. After picking a course area to major in, you also have to complete some required general courses relevant to your field of study.

Depending on the course you choose to major in, you will generally need about four years to complete your full-time study (oops).


Why considering a degree


A university or college degree prepares you for a career path. Also, one of the advantages is that some employers may require that you possess a university degree. Clearly, this is necessary for professions like doctors or nurses.

You get to become an 'expert'. Over the course of three or four years, you get to study a wide range of specialist areas in your chosen course. The years gained in doing these grants you the knowledge you may need then job-hunting or starting your own business.

The degree earned would no doubt, in addition, give you the time to gain work experience.


Why a degree might not be right


A university degree in many instances is not such a glamorous thing after all. There are a handful of reasons why you may turn your face away from opting for a college or university degree. We have them here:

Too encompassing. A big disadvantage of a university degree is that you are only going to obtain a general knowledge. What you may need sometimes is a specific study in a particular area to acquire a particular technical or practical skill. Sadly, a basic university degree may not offer you that.

Too Time-Consuming. It is hard to imagine you as the tech-savvy person balancing a full time job with studying for a degree. A university degree will demand a big commitment to academic study from you. You will have to dedicate at least four years of your lief - give or take - to this.

Complex Schedules. Study schedules for a degree can be so frustrating that you'd be so consumed in it and have no time for anything else. If you're the type that has other pressing matters to attend to, you may have a rethink.

Debts! Debts! Debts! As student loan debts continue to be on the rise and have hit an unbelievable £100 Billion in 2018 a university degree may not be what you need if you're looking for a cost-effective certificate and don't want to run into student debts while doing so.

University Degree is a Cliché (?) What the world needs most is in-demand technicians like plumbers, general contractors, health and fitness trainers, and the likes. A university degree may not offer you the technical skills you require to master these.


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What about diploma courses?


Now, a diploma – like a college or a university degree – is a certificate issued by an educational institution on the successful completion of a particular course of study.

While it may sound alike, a diploma, unlike a degree, offers specific teaching for learning and practising the skills you require.

For instance, if your career path is to become a personal fitness trainer, you may be better suited to get a diploma or an online course than a university degree. A university degree will only offer you general certification in sports medicine or something related. On the other hand, a diploma or online course will give you the valuable specific skills you need in considerably lesser time and cost.

A Diploma is particularly great if you have a degree and are thinking of switching careers or getting an advanced certification. With a diploma, you have the opportunity to get the required skills for another career without going back to the university to obtain another degree.


Advantages of a diploma

The following are some of the reasons why you might consider getting a Diploma:

Swift Career Change. A diploma is advantageous if you want to make a career change within a short period of time without wanting to get a degree.

Time and Cost Convenient. Diploma programmes are highly time-effective and perfect for you if you want to spend less time and money. Depending on the programme, a diploma may be completed in under a year. With focused classes and practical skills, a diploma is a good option if you want to be trained and qualified for a particular business or trade. Since a diploma is not a full-time college degree, you won’t have to spend such a ridiculously high fee obtaining it. Saving money and choosing to go for a Diploma instead of a degree may seem like a good idea in some circumstances.

Less Hassle. Imagine all the requirements (for instance, educational qualifications) and other enrolment procedures necessary for degree programmes. A diploma doesn’t have much of these and yet you still get a certification.

Flexible schedules. For considerable reasons, classes are flexible and tailored to suit working professionals. The content of coursework in diploma courses also focuses on skills development relevant to your field.


Disadvantages of a diploma

It is just a diploma – and not a degree. Since it is not a full-fledged course, what you may get is just a limited knowledge in scope as a result of specialisation.

This means that it’s very difficult to specialise from there, without getting another certification or professional experience. Compared to a university degree, that gives you a more general overview of a broad topic, with a diploma you become specialised into one area.


How about online courses?


Earning an education is no longer as traditional as it used to be. While it can be a great experience, it is not for everyone – or for all courses. The internet has made courses accessible right in the comfort of one’s homes. Taking online courses is fast becoming a trend.

This is particularly appealing to tech-savvy persons who require a higher degree of certification. Unsurprisingly, most campus-based colleges now offer some online courses and programmes specifically tailored to meet the needs of busy people.

Online Certificate courses are offered in various disciplines, from business and education to arts and sciences. You may require this if you want to undergo career training in a field that doesn’t necessarily require a degree.

As mentioned earlier, if you want to follow your dream and – for instance – be a fitness or health coach, online courses might just be right for you.



Advantages of online courses

The following are some of the reasons why you could consider going for an online course:

Save Excess Fees. An online course is usually not as expensive as a traditional degree or a diploma. Don’t forget you also get to save on learning materials and expenses.

Speciality. An online course is an awesome option for you if you want to focus on a specific area of interest or skill – unlike in a university degree where you get fed a whole lot of additional things you might not need.

Flexible and Convenient. An online course is perfect for you if you’re the type with a busy schedule. It typically offers a shorter and more focused curriculum than university or diploma programmes. Unlike a degree or a diploma, online courses allow you to complete your coursework in less time. The crown of it is that you get to set your own timing and study at your own pace!

Financially feasible. Since you’d be learning for a considerable lesser time, online courses usually cost you less fortune to acquire.


Disadvantages of online courses

Online courses are the new cool that one can hardly find a flipside to it!

Well, maybe, the only other side to it is that while there are a wide variety of courses or certifications to take online, not every course or discipline can be learned online. Take becoming a neurosurgeon for instance.

Perhaps it is for this reason that many sites offering online courses also have a physical location for the teaching of practical knowledge.

Conclusion

Varieties of advanced education can now be completed in lesser time. Questions as to whether a four-year degree course is even worth it when there are better options are now in the mainstream.

You may have to consider your chosen path based on the tips we have given you. If you’re the type with a busy schedule looking to get further certification or change of career fields as quickly as you can, you may have to opt for certifications that are the best choice for you.