Professional Qualification vs. Academic/Vocational Degree


Tue, 08/02/2022 - 14:31

International students have long argued over which degree is better- a professional degree or an academic/ vocational degree. It can be unclear what each term exactly means if a university degree confers professional degrees have the greatest salary. As we examine the variations between the possibilities and oversee a confrontation between them, we’re here to support you. It’s time to determine who prevails in the conflict between academic/ vocational degrees and professional degrees.


What is a professional degree?

A professional qualification is a designation that you can obtain by completing additional career training. They are typically for a certain business or profession. For example, an accountant will have to finish a professional course to become a chartered accountant. Some professions, including being a lawyer, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or surgeon, require professional training. A professional degree may help you land a competitive job or join a professional group or association in other career domains, where it is optional.

Candidates may complete lecture courses as well as academic/ vocational or on-the-job training to get a professional qualification. They may take a test to demonstrate their understanding of the program’s conclusion. These programs’ lengths and criteria can change depending on the type of qualification and the chosen professional field. These programs typically take one to five years to finish.

Many employers recognize certain professional qualifications as being equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate. Whereas some of these qualifications, often require candidates to go through extensive training and pass challenging exams. Some companies might want you to have several years of relevant work experience.

Some examples of professional degrees include:

  • Architecture
  • Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Pharmacy
  • Law
  • Veterinary medicine

What is an academic/vocational degree?

Academic/Vocational degrees provide practical learning programs that are related to any particular employment roles or industry sectors. These courses are made to help students learn in a hands-on manner about a particular job sector, giving them the skills, they need to begin working, advance in their careers, or continue their studies.

Although a broader variety of academic/ vocational qualifications are offered by colleges and through apprenticeships, some vocations qualifications, such BTECs, and Cambridge Technical Qualifications and offered in schools. If a student is taking one or more A levels together with a BTEC in school, they may combine the two studies.

Through an academic/vocational degree, you can choose for employment or can go for higher education. Like level A, Some Level 3 vocational qualifications such as BTECs earn UCAS requires higher qualification.

Some examples of academic/ vocational degrees include:

  • Information technology
  • Computer science
  • Natural science
  • Business
  • Languages
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • Mathematics


Benefits of Professional Qualification.

Professional qualifications benefit students in a lot of ways. Some of the benefits of the professional qualification include:

Expand your skills: By pursuing a professional qualification a student can improve your existing skills and gain new ones that are in demand in your field. You can develop new job-related skills, expand your knowledge of job profiles and gain more experience. Even if you might already feel comfortable with your current abilities, getting a professional degree behind you will boost your confidence.

Better job opportunities: Choosing a professional qualification can help you to advance your career since it is an eligibility requirement for many senior roles and job positions that traditionally pay more salary.

Competitive career advantage: Although some job profiles do not require a professional qualification, you can still gain a competitive advantage as employers may find you better qualified for the position than other candidates.

Increasing salary: Gaining more skills, knowledge, and experience through a professional degree can make you eligible to get a better job designation and will enhance your earning potential.

More work satisfaction: Professional degrees can lead you to better career opportunities. you can choose the work of your interest that will also provide you a sense of accomplishment.

Benefits of academic/vocational qualification

Academic/ vocational qualifications provide the specific needs of employers and job sectors, which means that you will develop the skills and knowledge employers value, enabling you to become an effective employee and helping the organization to succeed. Below mentioned some benefits that academic/professional qualifications provide.

Helps students develop practical skills: The academic/ vocational program’s main aim is to provide students with more knowledge on the hard skills that their chosen profession requires. Some programs also award professional qualifications and accreditations, many of which are equal to a Bachelor’s or even a Master’s degree. Vocational courses provide important means of elaborating the practical knowledge of theoretical ideas. For example; knowing all the beauty and makeup tips are one thing but applying them to real life is a great skill to have.

Increased employment opportunities: You will gain skills and knowledge that the employer values. This will increase the chance of finding a job. You will gain work experience which will be great for you to add to your CV.

More affordable: Budget is the most important aspect a student looks after when choosing a course. Hence those students who are most keen to minimize their spending are likelier to find suitable options in the academic/ vocational courses.

Develop transferable skills: Many are set up to enable students to develop transferrable skills in teamwork, managing people, and time management, which are crucial for making a career. 


Why are professional qualifications important?

Following are some reasons for which you should prefer a professional qualification:

  • If you are interested to work in medicine, management, engineering, law, and other fields then you must pursue professional courses.
  • It will help you get professional recognition in your area of work.
  • It will enable you to obtain memberships from professional bodies or organizations.
  • It will help you to showcase to potential employers that you have the specialist knowledge for a position, which will enable you to get more work opportunities in various companies.
  • It will guide you to participate in continuing professional development and update and develop your skills, abilities, and knowledge.

Why are academic/ vocational qualifications important?

Academic/ vocational qualifications are important because of the following reasons:

  • Academic/ Vocational qualifications offer training for specific skills and jobs.
  • You can have vocational training along with or outside the formal education system.
  • You can enhance your skills for a high-paying job or occupation almost immediately and perform well in your job.
  • You can earn a certification from an independent organization by undergoing vocational training, which certifies your skills, giving you an advantageous position over informally trained candidates.
  • Because of its direct and clear utility, students frequently participate more enthusiastically than in formal education.
  • It provides a learning opportunity to those people who have missed an opportunity to have formal education or are unsure about whether they should enroll in school.
  • It gives you a chance to choose the skills you want to master and change careers almost whenever you want.
  • In order to stop population migration to big cities, it provides employment opportunities in rural areas and small towns as well.
  • The bulk of vocational skills are universal in nature and qualify you for employment abroad as well.
  • It offers the industry a highly desirable skilled labor force.


Job Profiles

Some of the job profiles that require professional qualifications are mentioned below:

  • Lawyer
  • Certified public accountant
  • Primary care physician
  • Surgeon
  • Medical doctor
  • Architect
  • Pharmacist
  • Veterinarian

Some of the job profiles that require academic/vocational qualifications are mentioned below:

  • Nursing aides.
  • Certified nursing assistants.
  • Licensed practical nurses.
  • Vocational nurses.
  • Registered nurses.
  • Medical tech. nicians.

Major differences between professional and academic/ vocational degrees.

Keep in mind the important considerations when comparing professional and academic/ vocational degrees:

  • Professional degrees are educational qualifications.
  • Professional degrees are more research-oriented and focus on a specific field of study whereas academic/ vocational degrees offer training for a specific role.
  • Academic/vocational degrees can usually be applied to a variety of different careers.
  • There are certain professions that require professional degrees to be entered.
  • Academic/Vocational degrees can be applied in various subjects and career situations because they are not focused on specialized professional vocations or positions.
  • The completion of professional degrees typically takes longer than that of academic/ vocational degrees.
  • Additional eligibility requirements for professional degrees may include trainee programs, bar exams, and licensing tests.
  • A professional bachelor’s degree has more value than a normal bachelor’s degree

What type of degree should you prefer?

There are various key factors that you must consider while choosing a career for yourself. These factors include:

  • Your interests and goals
  • Your skill set and abilities
  • Your finances
  • Your career objectives
  • Your Personality

The choice mostly depends on whether you have a clear idea of what type of profession you would like to enter, and what career progression you would like to achieve. It also depends on whether you are more practically minded or prefer conducting research and challenging theory.

It’s possible that you will require some time to settle in or locate a subject matter or area of specialization that you’re interested in; in this situation, a college degree is an ideal option. A professional degree is the best for you if you are committed to a specific job path and are certain it’s what you want.