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Difference between a graduate diploma and diploma in accounting

29 November 2016

So, you’ve been wanting to take the next step in your accounting career and gain knowledge that can complement your experience and previous study. You’ve come across a Diploma, then a Graduate Diploma – surely they can’t be too different, right?

Their names suggest similarities, but these two qualifications are in fact worlds apart in terms of what they can bring to your career. For accountants, attaining the right information about your potential study options is critical to assisting you with your progression and success in the field.

We’ve outlined the key differences between a Diploma and Graduate Diploma, so you can make an informed career decision.

Higher academic standing

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) provides a clear line of differentiation in the way academic standing is identified for both a Diploma and a Graduate Diploma. A Diploma is considered a Level 5 qualification, whereas a Graduate Diploma sits at Level 8. This means that the Graduate Diploma is a considerably more advanced qualification, incorporating high-level theoretical concepts and knowledge. In addition, level 8 qualifications often lead to more senior, highly-skilled employment opportunities and pathways to further study.

Build on your previous study or work experience

A Diploma is ideal for those aspiring to take the leap into accounting, but don’t have an undergraduate degree or relevant work experience to enable entry into the field. It prepares you for accounting work with a necessary grounding in skills and knowledge. Where a Graduate Diploma differs is in its delivery and content, offering holistic development of your existing and extensive accounting skills. It can also further enhance your knowledge of business and strategic concepts used at senior management.

Pathway to CPA or Masters degree

As previously mentioned, Graduate Diplomas are classified as a Level 8 AQF qualification, providing more of an advanced knowledge base than that of a Diploma. The knowledge gained from a Graduate Diploma is often a prerequisite and the ideal pathway into further postgraduate study. A Graduate Diploma in Accounting can feed directly into a Masters degree, even into the CPA program. So, whether you wanted to continue your study in accounting or climb up the corporate ladder with broader business knowledge, a graduate diploma qualification can give you the necessary backing.

A postgraduate qualification, such as a Graduate Diploma in Accounting, can really set you apart from other accountants and add another element to your professional experience. It can significantly increase the chances of career progression while giving you an alternate pathway into the CPA or a Masters program.

Discover more about SCU Online’s postgraduate courses and how you can use it the progress into the next step of your career.

Call one of our Student Enrolment Advisors on 1300 589 882.