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.

Do You Work in the Medical Sector? Boost Your Career with Healthcare Services Management


A Healthcare Services Management qualification can be an excellent way for those in the medical sector to gain critical skill in the management side of healthcare. Designed for healthcare practitioners and professionals in related fields, this qualification is ideal for any medical specialist who is interested in a management career in the private or public sector.

South Africa has a shortage of highly trained healthcare management professionals, making this a field that offers many opportunities locally. Internationally, this career is equally sought-after. Healthcare Services Management professionals work in a number of settings, such as:

  • Private and state hospitals
  • Physician, therapist and practitioner offices
  • Clinics as well as specialised medical and mental health facilities
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Managed-care facilities
  • Health insurance companies

healthcare services management

Why Study Healthcare Services Management?

The REGENT Higher Certificate in Healthcare Services Management offers a year-long distance learning qualification that caters to both newcomers to the field as well as experienced medical professionals who are seeking to explore the management aspect of healthcare. For school leavers, this course will provide initial training within the management field. For healthcare professionals such as nurses, doctors, therapists and related experts, formal management training will be provided to increase competencies.

Some of the benefits that will be provided to students pursuing this career include the following:

  • The chance to develop a working knowledge and understanding of the healthcare services environment.
  • The ability to apply economic principles in the allocation of resources for various healthcare facilities and services.
  • The ability to apply management principles such as finance, general management and Human Resources within the broader management of healthcare.
  • The ability to contribute to the management of healthcare facilities.
  • The ability to understand, track, evaluate and implement quality improvement within the health services field.
  • A greater understanding on planning, policy setting, monitoring, assessment and implementation.

Thanks to distance learning facilities such as REGENT Business School, achieving a qualification in this field is possible for those already working in the field. To learn more about the Healthcare Services Management course at REGENT, contact us today.

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.

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 capetown@regent.ac.za.

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!

What Benefits Are Offered by a Higher Certificate?


higher certificateHigher Certificates are an excellent way to increase your skill level within a certain field, and can be pursued through a good distance learning institute. Essentially, these one year courses can be done by anyone who has a national senior certificate and meets basic admission requirements. Students who want to change careers, those who wish to get an introduction into a specific field or those with specific career interests can all consider this qualification.

Qualifications offered by Regent Business School include the following:

Reasons to Consider Distance Learning Higher Certificates

What exactly makes Higher Learning Certificates valuable to your career growth however; and what benefits can you enjoy when studying through distance learning schools? Some of the main advantages to studying further through a certificate of higher learning include the following:

  1. Employability and growth potential. Employees who have further training and qualifications are typically more likely to be employed than those without. While obviously many other things are also taken into consideration, such as general aptitude for the role, experience and overall skill, qualifications give you a competitive edge. Specialising in a certain field helps you get a deeper understanding that can enhance your on the job experience, making you more of an asset to companies and more likely to get ahead.
  1. Higher salary potential. Likewise, employees who have qualifications on their resumes can expect a higher salary level compared to those who have limited training. Once again, this is not always the case – experience should never be overlooked or underestimated. But having specific training within your chosen career, as well as the experience needed to get a holistic understanding, will definitely put you in a higher earning bracket.
  1. Personal growth and development. Studying further can also give you a great deal of self-fulfilment. Learning and expanding your skills give you greater confidence, a higher level of self-worth and a greater ability to expand your perspective. As an added benefit, when studied through a distance education school, you will be able to pursue your studies part-time, while keeping your current job.

Studying further is the best way to maintain key skills within your chosen career, while also giving yourself a distinct advantage in the competitive career marketplace. From a community perspective, skilled, trained people give back to the economy and help to uplift those around them as well. With that in mind, Higher Certification undergraduate courses are the best way to grow, learn and thrive – whatever your chosen path may be.