Advancements in technology have changed the way businesses and industries now work. More and more companies and organizations in every industry are investing in smart technology such as automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to take over repetitive tasks and high-level calculations.
As automation becomes the norm, the need for human employees in these roles decreases, leaving more and more people at risk of becoming unemployed. However, there is a way to respond to the digitalization and automation of labour: upskilling. You can futureproof your career – or, as an employer, those of your employees – by investing in the skills that no AI or robot can perform. These soft skills and technical skills enable you to step into the future working with, rather than against, the technology that is becoming pervasive in our society.
And that is where professional diplomas come in.
What is a Professional Diploma?
Serving as an alternative to an academic degree, a professional diploma certifies an individual for specific skills or for a particular job. People who study for a professional diploma undergo months of training through lectures, tutorials, research projects, or modules.
Professional diplomas vary by type, geographic location, and even school. Some professional diplomas focus on the development of professional skills. In contrast, others act as a stepping stone to acquiring a professional certification after getting an academic degree.
Professional Diploma vs. Bachelor’s Degree: What’s the difference?
Some people confuse a professional diploma and a bachelor’s degree. However, there are a few differences between the two.
- Level of education. A bachelor’s degree has a higher level of education than a professional diploma.
- Type. A professional diploma is given to someone who completes a course, while a bachelor’s degree is awarded to an individual who completed studies in a college or university.
- Duration. A course for a professional diploma is shorter than for a bachelor’s degree. Diploma courses usually take months, or one to two years, while a bachelor’s degree typically requires three to four years of a college education.
- Scope. Courses for professional diplomas focus on developing specific skill sets. On the other hand, courses for a bachelor’s degree cover a broader area, including subjects outside the specialization of the individual.
- Further education. A person who obtained a professional diploma cannot pursue further education such as a master’s or doctor’s degree purely on the basis of the diploma, whereas someone holding a bachelor’s degree would have these options.
6 Benefits of obtaining a Professional Diploma
For decades, a university degree has been held up as the gold standard in education. But in today’s world, the professional diploma is arguably more applicable and more relevant across the board. Not convinced? Let’s look at the benefits one-by-one.
Professional diploma courses offer flexibility
Individuals who undertake courses for a professional diploma have fewer subjects than those studying for an academic degree. This means they can choose the course that specifically addresses the skills they want to develop, without spending time (and money!) on parts of a course that they’ll never use. Professional diploma courses usually offer flexible studying hours and options such as online learning, which means they are more accessible to current employees without needing to interrupt their work.
Professional diplomas broaden your skillset
As we mentioned before, upskilling is the mainstay of future-proofing a career. The skills developed in the four corners of a university are not enough in today’s ever-competitive labour market – and they certainly won’t be enough for tomorrow’s automated world. Employers need their staff to have soft skills and technical skills that will make them indispensable in the coming decades. Professional diplomas develop these skills through their combination of modules, assessments, research and reflection, increasing the employee’s experience and abilities.
Professional diplomas support your career choice
Employers nowadays support employees who are furthering their studies, knowing that those additional skills will benefit their business. By looking at the trends in your specific industry, you will be able to identify which skills will best support your future role within that same industry or company. Being proactive proves to your boss that you are interested and keen on expanding your knowledge and consolidating your career.
Professional diplomas allow exploration of career options
Unlike university degrees, professional diplomas are usually accessible to all, regardless of their academic background. This means you can branch out from the career decision you made in your teens, to develop new skills that could move your career in a new direction, and increase your chances of getting into different industries. This gives you variety in your future career choices, further protecting your career path in years to come.
Professional diplomas are up to date
With the rate at which technology is changing, a bachelor’s degree hardly makes sense. After all, what you learn in the first semester will be completely out of date by the time you graduate. Because of their short duration and sharp skills focus, professional diplomas offer the most up to date way to learn, and keep your technical skills ahead of the curve.
Professional diplomas are less costly
One of the main reasons people do not undertake a bachelor’s degree is the high tuition fees. People who cannot afford university from their own pockets tend to rely on scholarships and grants from the government or organizations. However, a professional diploma course is less expensive than an academic degree, and therefore more accessible.
There are a lot of advantages to obtaining a professional diploma. As well as the sense of fulfilment and accomplishment from completing the course, each diploma broadens your skillset and contributes to the stability of your career in the future. They also tell your current boss or future employer a lot about your capability of performing tasks and finishing them with flying colours!
Where Can You Obtain a Professional Diploma?
There are various methods to obtain a professional diploma, including:
- Vocational schools
Advancement in technology has also opened new methods of accessing professional diplomas courses. Nowadays, accredited professional diploma courses are available from online learning platforms. These platforms allow you to learn from experts in the field, confident that the training you are receiving is relevant and up to date with industry standards.
Learn From the Best
One excellent online learning platform for your professional diploma courses is Learnful. This online learning platform offers university-validated professional diplomas in all aspects of business, management, programming and development. Whether you are looking to upskill into a new area, refresh your skills to stay ahead of the competition, or provide training to bring your workforce up to speed on new tech, Learnful has globally recognised, relevant programs you can depend on. Check out Learnful’s professional diplomas to decide the next steps on your path.