Degree, Diploma or Higher Certificate – Which is Best?


cape town distance learningFor parents wondering which distance learning qualification in Cape Town is best, the choice of degree, diploma and Higher Certificate can seem confusing at times. While a degree can be very valuable, it is by no means the only option that students have when deciding what sort of qualification to choose.

The short answer to the question on which is best comes down to deciding what is right for your child’s specific dreams, plans and area of focus. For instance, a degree may be the only route for someone in finance to prepare for an MBA in Cape Town. Likewise, a Higher Certificate may be ideal for someone wanting to specialise in an area such as HR, retail or real estate. To help your child decide, it is best to take a look at what they aim to do with their qualification.

Choosing the Right Distance Learning Qualification in Cape Town

Even a year-long qualification can add a great deal of value. Helping your child choose the distance learning qualification in Cape Town that is right for their needs can be daunting, but the following tips may help simplify the decision a bit.

  • Choose a degree… if aiming to specialise in a competitive field that will require a higher level of education. In order to obtain an MBA someday, your child will need to start with an undergrad degree that provides the right foundation for this path. In the world of finance, too, honours and masters qualifications may often be required, which means that a degree is mandatory. When deciding on whether this qualification is right, your child should think about where they would like to be in the next five years. Knowing and understanding the typical career path and educational requirements of their chosen profession will help to make the final call on whether a degree course in Cape Town is the right move.
  • Choose a diploma… if aiming to work within a broader industry. Some industries do not require a higher level of qualification, and as such, a diploma is able to provide the foundation to enter the career. These courses are a bit shorter than degrees, but are still comprehensive and well-structured. Diploma courses in Cape Town include areas such as financial management, which offer a solid overview into the field. There are many career opportunities for both degree and diploma holders and a diploma is a valuable tool for anyone wanting to enter the working world.
  • Choose a Higher Certificate… if aiming to gain specific skills in certain areas, study further after school or develop a basic introduction to any given career field. These year-long courses provide insight into very specific subjects rather than a broader range of subjects. For example, a Higher Certificate in Health Care Management focuses specifically on the health care services management niche, equipping students with a greater understanding in this niche. Higher Certificate courses in Cape Town can be useful for those who want to specialise in a certain field, but they can also be good for those who want an introduction into a field before pursuing a longer qualification.

By evaluating their goals and dreams, it will become a lot easier for school leavers to decide on a qualification. Speak to your child about where they see themselves and help them make a decision that is based on carefully planning rather than impulse or pressure. To find out more about choosing a distance learning qualification in Cape Town, contact REGENT today and let us help you and your child pave the way for a brighter future.

Higher Certificate versus Diploma versus Degree… Help!


Undergraduates may often feel a little confused by all of the qualification options available… higher certificates, diplomas and degrees are just some of the undergraduate courses in South Africa. How do you know which one to choose?

undergraduate degree

Some may assume that these qualifications are all much the same as far as career growth is concerned. And, while it is certainly true that any of these qualifications will help your career, there are a few differences that make each one unique to your overall goals, previous experience or education and chosen career path. Someone choosing a qualification in marketing may not have the same goals as someone aiming for an MBA, for instance. Knowing the differences (and application) for each type of course can go a long way in helping you get onto the right path for your career.

How Do Higher Certificates Work?

Higher certificates are obtained over one year. Often, this is a skills based qualification, which means that a lot of focus is put into how skills are applied. There is a focus on achieving a set of skills required to perform within the chosen field, and the qualification is typically industry orientated. You will receive a basic introduction along with practical techniques that help you gain entry into your chosen field. This type of course can be completed with minimal requirements that may include matric exemption or equivalent, and could include courses such as a Higher Certificate in Islamic Finance & Banking or a Higher Certificate in Marketing Management.

How Do Diplomas Work?

Diplomas are obtained over a three year period. This qualification is a lot like a degree, but often focuses on career-centric or vocational training with a great deal of practical experience included within the course. Typically, in-depth and specialisation of skills is included along with practical work experience. Entry requirements often include matric with exemption or an equivalent. Diplomas could include courses such as a Diploma in Financial Management.

How Do Degrees Work?

Degrees take three or more years to complete. Bachelor degrees are obtained at undergrad level, while honours and masters are obtained at postgrad level. Critical thinking is balanced with practical application, with courses often giving a rounded overview of the subject. In some fields, a BA is essential in order to pursue further qualification. For example, students wanting to complete honours or masters first need to complete a bachelor’s degree. Some examples of degree courses in South Africa include Bachelor of Administration and Bachelor of Commerce (BCom).

Choosing which qualification is right for you comes down to what you plan to do with your qualification. If you want to enter into the field of marketing, you may find that a higher certificate gives you the right start to begin your career. If you have chosen a field such as accounting or business administration, a relevant degree is likely to be your best choice. The best way to decide is to your research when choosing a career, so that you know what potential employers require.

Keen to learn more about undergraduate courses at REGENT Business School? Contact us today with any questions you may have, and we will do whatever we can to assist.