Degree or Diploma in Canada: Which is the best fit for you?

Degree or Diploma in Canada

Most students these days dream of pursuing their higher studies from a foreign country. Apart from providing the educational opportunity, there is an added benefit of finding work there and building your career in the best way possible. As you plan your higher studies, the confusion of choosing between a degree or a diploma in Canada is quite natural. Many students and their parents might assume that a degree is much superior to a diploma; however, in the modern world that might not always be true. The one that you should choose over the other may depend on several factors including their industry value and the course fees that are associated with them. Well, before we delve into which one you should opt for, let us first understand the difference between a degree and a diploma in this article.

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A diploma in Canada, mostly a Postgraduate Diploma, is a 1–2-year program. Diplomas also offer opportunities to the candidates to combine two one-year courses and choose a specialization in their field of interest. If you want to pursue a PG Diploma program in Canada, you must obtain certain grades, which may vary from one college to the other. You must work on industry projects, which are going to be a part of the course. The fees charged with the diploma courses are lesser than degrees in Canada. Once you complete the diploma from a Canadian college or university, you can make around $30,000 to 60,000 CAD in a year, depending on the industry.


Degree courses in Canada come with a tenure of 3-4 years, depending upon the province and whether the program is general or has a specialization. There are three types of degrees: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s Degree, and Doctoral. If you want to pursue a Bachelors, you need to complete a secondary school program. It is the requirement for admission to an undergraduate degree. A Masters Degree program takes around 2 years, and you need to complete your Bachelors Degree for it. In some of the circumstances, students were even allowed to complete their honors baccalaureate program and enrol in a doctoral program. You need to know that degree courses cost more than diploma programs.

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Which one is better, a diploma or degree from Canada?

Canada is one of the world’s leaders in educational opportunities and a country with a bustling economy. It also has one of the most diverse and accepting cultures where one can easily settle down in the future. As you decide to study abroad, confusion often arises about whether to pursue a degree program or a diploma program. And to pursue your education in Canada, the confusion even becomes bigger since you may not be familiar with the country’s economic environment and education system. For both diploma and degree programs, there are many options in Canada. Further opportunities that you will get after completing the program, depend much on the kind of program that you choose. 

Let’s discuss and try to find out which option can be a better choice.

1. Duration

If you are opting for a PG diploma in Canada, the duration will of course be lesser than a Masters degree program. PG diplomas are mostly 1-year programs or can be 2 years as well. Masters degree program is around 2 years, and may even extend to 3 years for some specific courses.

2. Cost

The fees charged for PG diploma courses are lesser than Masters degree programs.  For example, if you have to pay approximately $20,000 CAD per year for a PG diploma program, you will be required to pay approximately $30,000 CAD per year for a Masters degree program.

3. Career prospects

In most of the cases, a candidate with a degree is given more preference as compared to a candidate who has completed a diploma program. Also, the structure of a degree program covers a wider range when it comes to career opportunities, while for a PG diploma program, the career opportunities are more specific to the field.

4. Post-study work visa

Doing a one-year PG diploma course enables you to get one year of work visa while pursuing two years of Masters degree enables you to get three years of work visa. A longer work visa can translate into getting more time to search for the right job and getting more time to establish yourself professionally.

5. Offered by

PG diploma programs are offered by community colleges and some universities, while Masters degree programs are offered by universities. Masters degree program also includes a combination of course work as well as research.

Although doing a PG diploma or Masters degree from Canada is totally your choice; however, a degree will fetch you better opportunities. You also get the scope of pursuing a doctoral once you do a Masters degree. Last but not the least, it also adds more years to your post-study work visa.

Important Resources About Canada:

How do I get a degree from Canada at a lesser cost?

Educational prospects in Canada are a great way to take the first step towards eventual immigration to Canada as well as applying for jobs there. If you want to pursue a degree from Canada, while you want it at a lesser cost, you can consider upGrad Abroad. You will not only be able to get your degree but also do not have to spend much. However, before we discuss the degree that you can get, let us first know what upGrad is.

What is upGrad?

upGrad is one of the premier providers of online higher education specializing in courses that are very much in demand in the respective industries. It also provides technological solutions to some of the most premier educational institutions in the world so that they can seamlessly manage their curriculum online. upGrad also has a service that especially deals with the educational opportunities present in countries such as Germany, Canada, Australia, and the USA from where the students in India can pursue their education. The courses are priced in a way that the students can save a lot of money by completing a part of the course from India and then moving abroad to the campus from where they can finish the rest of their course. One of the key benefits that it gets the students is that many of the upGrad Abroad courses also offer 1 to 3 years of a work visa after the completion of their course which the students can use to start their career from abroad and reap the many benefits of having international exposure.

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BBA from Canada

upGrad offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). It is a 4-year course in which for the first two years, the candidates will study online with Chandigarh University. The rest of the two years will be done by them on campus at Yorkville University, Canada. The tuition fees for the 1st year of the course are INR 2,52,000 (inclusive of taxes), and for the 2nd year, the candidates have to pay INR 1,52,000 (inclusive of taxes). The tuition fees for the 3rd and 4th years are $15,000 CAD per annum. As the living cost in Canada, the candidates would require approximately $12,000 CAD.

The eligibility criteria for enrolling in the BBA program with Chandigarh University include class 12 pass out in 2020 or 2021, and the candidates need to score 50% marks equivalent in board exams. The eligibility criteria for the program from campus in Yorkville University include successfully completing the 2nd Year of Bachelor of Business Administration from Chandigarh University with an aggregate of 50% marks.

The other benefits that you get include:

1. You are eligible for a transfer to on-campus programs in a leading Canadian University

2. There is in-built TOFEL/IELTS/PTE training along with study abroad modules so that Canada’s study requirements can be met.

3. You can save around INR 25L+ as compared to a 4-year on-campus degree in a Canadian university.

4. You can attend regular live classes along with small group coaching sessions

5. End-to-end support from upGrad Abroad for application, counseling, and visa application.

6. You can clear your doubts in the weekly doubt clearing sessions which are available all days between 9 AM – 9 PM IST

7. You can get Post Study Work Visa opportunities for up to 3 years which are accessed by graduates of standard Canadian degrees.

We hope that this information can help you make up your mind about whether pursuing a degree or a diploma in Canada will be a good idea for you. Once you have made this decision you can check upGrad Abroad website to plan the rest of your process and easily manage your admission into a Canadian university at a fraction of the total cost if you decide to pursue the entire course there. You also get the specialized guidance at every step of the way about the right decisions to take and that can be an invaluable help if you are planning your degree or diploma course from Canada.

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