News & Events

Vertical Sidebar

International students’ study choices: degree, diploma or certificate program?

International students in EduCo’s study destinations have a choice whether to pursue their degree programs or opt for the shorter certificate or diploma programs. This all depends on their study and career goals. It is best for students to be able to differentiate one from the other.
In Canada, for instance, Acsenda School of Management focuses more on degree and diploma programs while Arbutus College, as a vocational institution, offers certificate and diploma programs.
Degree, diploma and certificate programs all differ in the time it takes to study as well as the credits that students have to complete prior to graduation. Their academic achievements are also suitable to specific fields or industries. A number of companies in Canada are hiring graduates based on their skills, aptitude as well as academic foundation, thus students need to consider their own goals, prepare for the long haul and complete their studies.

Degree program

A degree program differs from certificate and diploma programs in that it often requires students to take general education courses as a foundation for core/major subjects and takes from three to four years to complete 120 to 123 credits. For instance, students are required to take general subjects such as English, business communication, university writing and academic essay, college business mathematics and statistics, management information systems, managerial skills, operations management, philosophy, arts and history as well as prerequisite units leading to their chosen degree program.
At Acsenda, degree programs such as the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Hospitality Management (BHM) are offered as four-year undergraduate degrees designed to prepare students to learn managerial skills, build business expertise and adapt to the currently changing global job landscape. BBA has five program concentrations and students can choose from the following: (1) International Business Management, (2) Human Resources Management, (3) Marketing Management, (4) Accounting and (5) General Business Management.

Diploma program

A diploma program normally takes less time than the degree program and could run anywhere from six months to 32 months. Diplomas are often awarded through vocational or technical schools. At Arbutus College, for instance, the Co-op Professional Diploma in Hospitality Management takes 32 months to complete while a Diploma in Hospitality Management only takes six months. Arbutus offers academic programs in Hospitality Management, Business Management, Marketing, International Trade and Translation, among others.
Aside from the academic programs, Arbutus offers co-op programs or a combination of academic and practicum which guarantees actual work experience and application of concepts learned in the classroom.

Certificate program

A certificate is earned by a student after taking a series of courses in a particular subject. This can be done in two to six months depending on the specialisation. For instance, students of Arbutus College can complete a Foundations Certificate in Business Management in two months, a Certificate in Business Management in three months, a Business Management Honours Certificate in four months or both  Practicum Certificate in Business Management and Hospitality and Business Skills Practicum in six months.
Students often earn certificates to get a step ahead in the professional field of their interest. Certificates may be offered in similar programs leading to degrees. Acsenda accepts credit transfers from students who complete certificate programs from Arbutus College and wish to proceed to a bachelor’s degree.
There are also graduate certificates either taken alone or alongside a graduate degree program. In some programs, students may use their elective to fulfill a certificate in order to make them more desirable to a prospective employer.