EVERY grade 12 student faces another battle after getting a matric pass.

While many jump into the job market, others seek to study further and get a qualification before looking for employment. The two directions lie between diplomas or degrees. But which is better?

SunEducation spoke to people studying for degrees and diplomas. What they said was that both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

“A diploma is understood to offers more practical application while degrees offer a more theoretical understanding of a subject.

“Diplomas have an immediate but specific value in the workplace. The knowledge that degrees provide often generates extra value for employers.

“Another factor is that diplomas are mostly more affordable and take less time to earn than degrees,” said Bongiwe Mhlongo, a film and TV diploma student at University of Joburg.

Mangale Mnagala, a third-year accounting student at UJ, said: “I understand that there is no real difference between degrees and diplomas. We go to the same lectures and take the same exams. The difference is that people who study for diplomas do not earn credits but students studying for degrees do.

“And companies that are hiring still favour degrees over diplomas.”

Zenkosi Cingo, a second-year Bachelor of Arts UJ student, said: “We have to challenge ourselves so that we can understand what we are taught. A diploma or degree is only worth as much as the person who uses the knowledge and skills.

Education expert David Modise said: “A diploma focuses on practical learning.

Diplomas can be earned full or part-time but most are offered over three years.

Industry training varies from programme to programme but mostly it is six months to a year.”

“A degree focuses on an academic approach to a subject such as law, pharmacy or architecture.

“Degree programmes are offered on a full-time or part-time basis and are offered over three to four years, depending on the type of degree programme.

“Certain degrees also need extra industry training which is taught in about six to eight weeks.”