Should you study a foundation or a diploma programme?
The dilemma of having to choose between these 2 different degree pre-requisites have plagued the minds of thousands of students. After all, both are great in their own ways, which makes choosing one over the other a difficult decision.
But there’s a reason why there are 4 times more students enrolling in diploma courses compared to foundation programmes. Here are the reasons why pursuing a diploma is a good bet!
#1. You will possess a higher qualification
Despite the fact that you can pursue either a diploma or a foundation after SPM, they are not equal levels of qualification.
In fact, a diploma is a higher qualification than a foundation course. This is because a diploma usually takes 2-3 years to complete and is often considered equivalent to the first year of a university degree. Meanwhile, a foundation course is a 1-year programme that’s one level lower than a diploma.
Since diplomas have a longer study duration, you’ll ultimately be learning way more subjects compared to a foundation course, which is curated to only teach you the fundamentals of your chosen degree. This is why a diploma certificate can be used as a stand-alone credential whereas a foundation qualification is usually only used as an entry requirement for a degree.
#2. You will be equipped with practical, industry-relevant skills
When you study a diploma, not only will you learn the essential theoretical knowledge, but you’ll also develop a plethora of practical skills needed to succeed in your chosen field.
For instance, a student studying a Diploma in Business Management will learn the fundamentals of business and management along with other industry-relevant skills such as entrepreneurship, decision-making and public speaking.
Moreover, diplomas place a greater emphasis on practical and continuous assessment through presentations, projects and quizzes. In fact, you could have up to 70% of your grade determined through continuous assessment compared to only 50% in a foundation course.
Finally, most diploma programmes have an internship component as part of the course to allow you to gain work experience. So, be prepared to get your hands dirty!
#3. You’ll be more prepared for your degree
If you decide to pursue your degree after your diploma, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re likely to be fast-tracked directly to Year 2 of your degree. This, of course, depends on your results and if your chosen degree is related to your diploma studies.
However, don’t be worried about missing out the first year — you’ll actually be more prepared than most of your buddies who studied a foundation course. As a diploma graduate, you’re still at an advantage as you would have attended classes teaching you industrial knowledge and other practical skills.
#4. Your course will be covered by PTPTN
Do you require financial aid to pursue your higher education? If that’s the case, then you should be aware that pre-university courses (e.g. A-Level, Australian Matriculation), as well as most foundation courses, are not eligible for PTPTN loan. Sad, but true.
This is why many students opt for a diploma instead. It is a great choice if you’re unable to secure a scholarship because PTPTN will still have your back! As the cost of living increases by the day, having the support of PTPTN can help relieve your parents’ financial burden while you’re studying. Besides, there’s no need to worry since you only have to pay back the loan once you’ve completed your studies.
#5. You can enter the workforce early
Don’t see yourself taking the long academic route of getting a degree? Or perhaps you would like to earn some big bucks and gain some work experience before settling into a degree. Well, a diploma programme can act as a safety net for you!
Many companies accept diploma graduates for entry-level jobs (oh yes!), especially smaller companies who are urgently in need of specific skills. So, with the practical skills that you gain from studying a diploma, you’ll be job-ready once you graduate. On top of that, a diploma course is usually tied with an internship. So, with a bit of luck, the company you interned for may even accept you as a full-time employee if your work is impressive.
With so many added advantages of pursuing a diploma, there’s no surprise why more and more students are choosing to study a diploma over a foundation course. However, keep in mind that your choice should be based on what field you’re planning to pursue and if you’re in need of all the benefits a diploma can offer.
Ready to kickstart your diploma? INTEC offers various diploma programmes such as Diploma in Business Management, Diploma in Accounting, Diploma in Islamic Finance and Diploma in Public Management and Governance.
4 Reasons You Should Pick INTEC’s Diploma Courses