Diploma vs Degree. What’s the difference and why do we care?

We understand that choosing the right course can be really confusing. Not only do you have to contend with different providers offering different courses, but on a broader level you might be faced with the odd tricky question. Should I study a vocational qualification—like a Diploma level qualification—or should I go to uni and study a degree? Tough one isn’t it?

You’re in luck because a bundle of research has been done on that very subject. Interestingly, we’re seeing the pros stacking up in favour of vocational education, in both private and public sectors. We’ve been speaking in favour of vocational training for many years. So it’s nice to see a bunch of official studies and media reports coming to the fore to back up what we’ve been saying (and seeing) for ages. Read on for a few of our favourite statistical excerpts.

Vocational results are outperforming university results

Solid VET job outcome figures show that VET is clearly outperforming University when it comes to graduates finding jobs. An average 78% of VET grads find work straight after graduating. While only 68% of bachelor degree grads found work four months after completing their course.

Too many jobs remain unfilled because there aren’t enough people with the practical, real-world skills which companies need. Two-thirds of tomorrow’s jobs will not need a four-year degree.


In Australia, government data shows 9 out of the ten occupations predicted to have the greatest jobs growth over the next five years can be entered into through vocational education and training programs.

Vocational grad wages are exceeding university grad wages

VET graduates earn wages comparable to, if not exceeding, that of university graduates. The median full-time income for a VET graduate is $56,000. The median graduate salary for students completing a Bachelor’s degree of $54,000.

What about event management training?

Yes, good news for vocational education on the whole, but what does that mean for event management training specifically? Here’s a simple table that make some clear comparisons between a diploma level event management qualification vs an event management degree:

table comparing diploma details vs degree details

Diploma vs Degree – Comparison Table

Yes, you read it right. The table, plus the above study findings show us that: 

if you study event management at uni, you will likely spend three to four times more and take at least twice as much time to gain a qualification that offers you the similar or worse job prospects than if you were to study an event management Diploma!


Why do we care?

So we’ve outlined the differences to you, but as we’ve alluded to in the title of this blog, why do we care?? We care because we see a stream of students come to our college from uni who shouldn’t have been there in the first place. They are often disillusioned, in debt and have had no practical or relevant training and are either unemployable or lack the confidence to apply for specific event roles.

If anything, this blog post is to urge you to do your research about which course you’re going to study. There are more choices out there than you may think.

The following media report articles and reports go into more detail about general comparisons between vocational and higher ed qualifications. Definitely worth a read if you’re confused about which path to take. You might be surprised by the findings!




We hope you found this blog, Diploma vs Degree. What’s the difference and why do we care? informative. At College of Event Management we offer a range of specialised online event courses. Contact us for more information about the right course to equip you with the knowledge and practical experience to work as an event professional. 

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