Certificate of Graduation vs. Diploma: What's the Difference?

Understanding the Basics

With that in mind, it is important to differentiate between a certificate of completion or a high school graduation certificate, and a diploma. Not to mention that even though credit-based degrees and degree requires of work, but they are also on different levels of the educational achievement scales.

Defining a Diploma

Diploma — this is the written anticipation of the graduated high schools, vocational junior colleges and are often used with undergraduate degrees. That shows he has completed all of the academic parts of the program, which often involves a mix of coursework, exams and, in some cases, practical or fieldwork activities. For example, in the United States, a person must have a high school diploma to be accepted into a postsecondary institution, or to apply for most jobs.

Certificate of Graduation Exploration

The non-degree qualification is also backed up by a certificate of graduation, which is usually an accolade for certain notable achievements or the completion of a certain sector of education but does not equate an entire full degree program. For example, some institutions grant certificates of completion after finishing a single course or sequence of courses on a particular subject, but not an entire degree or diploma.

Duration and Depth of Study

These two credentials often vary most greatly in scope and depth of study:

Diplomas are vocational with a longer course (beetween 1–4 years — depending upon the level of diploma and the subject taken) and their main purpose is to prepare a student for a career.
Certificates can be completed in a few weeks to several months and concentrate on specific skills or broader information domains.
Educational and Career repercussions

The consequences for your career and future education are different as well:

Degrees tend to be more extensive and are necessary for many professional positions (and for advancement in post secondary education) while diplomas are of a shorter duration and only make up part of the time that a degree would.
Certificates generally improve skills in a particular subject matter and they are additional credentials which can be used in conjunction with ones education from earlier time to increase their employability or specialization in specific fields.
Choosing the Right Path

Should you take a diploma or a certificate? The answer depends on your career goals, your educational requirements and the amount of time you have to devote to your studies. While diplomas tend to provide a more comprehensive education, certificates are better for people who need targeted information quickly, or who already have some qualifications in their chosen career.


The good news is that if you need to choose between a diploma or a certificate of graduation, you need to give you objectives inside the enterprise you are going to and be clear, which is the most critical thing. Both are valuable and can be the deciding or even differentiating factor between you and the next in line at the big interview or, as sad as it is to imagine worst case scenarios, funeral.

Read more about these paths and which one suits you the best for thr over all career at certificate of graduation vs diploma. It is extremely helpful if you are looking for a guide to assist you in making the right decision for your education.

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