Are a Degree and a Diploma the Same?

which qualification is bestIf you have ever wondered whether a degree and a diploma are the same (or close enough that the difference is minimal), you are not alone. Many school leavers and future students ask the same question when it comes to choosing a qualification for further study. In South Africa, both diplomas and degrees are recognised qualifications that will enhance your CV and help in your chosen career path, but each of these qualifications has specific differences that make them unique.

Getting a Degree in Cape Town

When you think of studying for a degree in Cape Town, or anywhere else, for that matter, you might be thinking of a bachelor, masters or even a doctoral degree. While this qualification certainly opens up plenty of doors than a diploma or higher certificate, some students may find that a specialised diploma offers more value than a general degree.

Some of the characteristics and advantages of degrees include:

  • Takes four years or more to complete, depending on the level. A bachelor’s degree takes three to four years, a master’s degree takes a further two years after earning a bachelor’s, and a doctoral typically takes several years beyond a master’s degree.
  • Often provides a generalised specialisation within certain fields. For example, a BCom (Bachelor of Commerce) degree focuses on a range of subjects without the greater area of commerce, such as economics, business studies, accounting, marketing, commercial law and various other modules.
  • In the workplace, applicants with degrees to their name may receive a better pay grade than one with a diploma or higher certificate. In some fields, degrees are a pre-requisite.

Getting a Diploma in Cape Town

As valuable as a degree can be, achieving a diploma in Cape Town can also offer a number of benefits for your career. This qualification is similar to a certificate, and is often awarded through community colleges or vocational schools. Many businesses accept diplomas just as they do other qualifications, especially in fields that require skilled applicants. This is because diplomas focus on one area without the broader education that is typically included within a degree.

Some characteristics and advantages of diplomas include:

  • Diplomas typically come in the form of two to three year courses that extensively cover a certain skill area. For instance, a Diploma in Financial Management deals exclusively with subjects relating to the management of finance in the business and government sectors, with modules designed to provide an extensive understanding of related topics.
  • Admission requirements for diploma courses can be more accessible compared to admission for degrees.
  • Depending on your chosen career, a diploma can have just as much value as any other type of qualification. If you are specialising in a field, what matters is that you have qualifications that provide value to prospective employers. For those interested in the world of finance, Islamic Banking and other specialised fields, a diploma will be an excellent way to enter your career of choice.

Ultimately, only you can decide which is best for your own personal goals. But when you compare them, you will soon see that difference between degrees and diplomas. To learn more about choosing a distance learning qualification at our Cape Town campus, contact REGENT today on +27 (21) 671-7005 or

5 Reasons to Consider a Career in Islamic Finance

higher certificate in islamic financeAn alternative to traditional finance, Islamic Finance is growing at a rapid rate. Current estimates put the market at a value of over $1.1 trillion. Along with a rapid growth rate, a growing need for professionals in the field and the demand for ethical financing, it goes without saying that this field offers plenty of opportunity.

The REGENT Higher Certificate in Islamic Finance, Banking and Law is an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to consider a career in this field. This one year course caters to both Muslim and Non-Muslim students who have an interest in the field, offering a comprehensive overview of practices, principles and comparison of Sharia and secular laws. The course provides students with unique management skills and knowledge, along with a wide range of career opportunities in South Africa and abroad.

Top Reasons to Pursue a Career in Islamic Finance

What are some of the benefits offered by Islamic Banking and Finance qualifications? Top advantages include the following:

  1. Deeper knowledge and understanding of this field of finance. Students will learn extensively about financial laws as applied to Islamic beliefs and laws. This will allow the ability to apply general as well as Islamic financial concepts within the world of corporate banking and business.
  2.  Increased ability to critically evaluate market behaviour within the scope of Islamic banks. From performance to organisation behaviour, students will begin to understand the effects that trends have on the market.
  3. Career opportunities all over the world. Both Muslim and Non-Muslim students will have the benefit of a constantly growing, evolving field that is ripe with opportunities. Banks, corporate businesses and financial institutions are just some of the places seeking qualified experts in this field.
  4. Full awareness and understanding of products offered within this sector. Students will be equipped to recognise the wide products offered by the industry with the help of a Higher Certificate. This serves as a good introduction to those new to the field.

As the world continues to grow and change, new ways of doing business also continue to change. Islamic Banking may not be new, but it certainly offers a modern, exciting and highly rewarding alternative to traditional finance.

Interested in learning more about our Islamic Finance certificate? Speak to REGENT Business School for details!

How Financial Management Courses Help You Succeed

Whether you are considering a diploma or executive qualification, financial management courses are an excellent investment for anyone who wants to succeed in the management of finances within the business or public sector.

For those who lack the time and resources to study full-time at a university or college, distance learning offers an excellent way to study while working or raising children. At Regent Business School, we offer a comprehensive two year Diploma in Financial Management course that covers all aspects of finances – budgeting, cash-flow, cost analysis, statements, asset register, business investment, asset management and even mergers and acquisitions.

We also offer selected short and executive courses within this field, which equip employees with a greater understanding in order to manage finances effectively.

financial management course

Top Reasons to Consider Financial Management Courses

If you want to grow your career through financial management long distance courses, there are many benefits offered by this field. Some of the biggest reasons to consider this field as a diploma or short course include the following:

  • Career Variety

This qualification offers a diversity of career opportunities across private and public sectors. Some of the career paths that you could consider include accounting, economics, financial analysis, investment banking, real estate and entrepreneurship. Self-starters who are planning to start their own businesses will benefit greatly by learning how to manage the financial side of the business, but those wanting to grow within their current company will be able to increase their chance of promotion as well. Personal financial managers have the benefit of working for themselves, in a role that is always in high demand.

  • Good Salary

Finance jobs are often paid well – at entry level and management level. As this is a skilled role that requires a high level of strategic thinking as well as a solid understanding of math, taxes, finances and investment markets, workers within this field are always in high demand. Depending on the area you decide to branch out into within finance, this means the chance to enjoy excellent compensation. Entry level roles may not earn quite as much, but the overall earning potential is within the higher spectrum compared to many other administrative or management positions.

  • Career Growth

In today’s competitive world, there is a great demand for qualified professionals in fields such as finance. This means that career growth opportunities can be excellent in this field, depending on the area of specialisation. Those wanting to start a business or work independently will be able to consider outsourcing their services to many types of business, and companies of almost any size. Those employed within financial institutes, large businesses and public office will be able to work up the proverbial ladder, with plenty of potential for growth.

 Of course, like any other career choice, the world of finance is not without its share of challenges. If you succeed at logic and strategy, have a solid aptitude towards maths and numbers and you love the thought of a fast-paced career with plenty of opportunity for growth, then pursuing financial management courses through a trusted distance learning school can be an excellent move.