5 unconventional diploma courses that can lead to high-paying jobs

diploma in computer science
Is a diploma enough to secure a high-paying job? Source: Andrew H. Walker / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images/AFP

If you have a passion for computer science, we have got good news for you.

With a diploma in computer science, you can now secure a high-paying job without spending four years in university or paying high tuition fees

Diploma in computer science vs degree in computer science

Let’s start with the core differences between a diploma and a degree.

A diploma is a short-term course typically completed over a year or two, whereas a degree can take up to three to four years.

While there is a common misconception that a diploma can’t secure you a job, the truth is the complete opposite. 

Diploma courses – especially those in high demand like a diploma in computer science – can actually help accelerate your path towards a good job even better than a degree. 

This is due to several reasons, but mainly because a diploma is structured in such a way that focuses on the necessary skills required to thrive in a specific field. 

Choosing the route gives you the professional and vocational training to get a headstart in your career, where you will be able to gain work experience sooner and work your way up. 

The curriculum of a diploma course emphasises more on practical knowledge too. This lets you meet industry requirements and thus have more career options once you graduate.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you to pursue a diploma, then this might.

Tuition fees for diplomas are much lower than degrees. 

For example, a diploma in computer science in the US ranges between US$555 and USD$26,495, while the cost of pursuing a degree can go up to US$99,417

As a diploma is completed in a shorter time, you’ll need to spend less on rent, transport, books and other living costs too.

If you’re interested in pursuing a diploma that will lead to a high-paying job, here are five unconventional diploma courses to consider:

Five unconventional diploma courses that can lead to high-paying jobs:

diploma in computer science

A diploma in computer science can set you up to be a developer, cyber security analyst, data scientist, and more. Source: Maria Giulia Trombini/AFP

1. Diploma in Computer Science 

Considered one of the highest-paid professions in the US, computer scientists earn an average of USD$93,278 per year

A computer scientist is one of the most in-demand occupations in the US, and this growth is expected to increase by 21% by 2031.

This makes a diploma in computer science very profitable for those who wish to pursue a career in the field of computers and software. 

Computer science graduates will have many job opportunities available in the public and private sectors. 

But to succeed in this field, you must have skills in computer programming languages, systems, and algorithms — which a diploma in computer science equips you with. 

Ready to kickstart a career in this field? Here are some of the best universities to pursue a diploma in computer science: 

  • Diploma of Computer Science at Edith Cowan College, Australia
  • Diploma in Computer Science at the University of Regina, Canada
  • Associate in Science in Computer Science at Community College of Philadelphia, the US

2. Diploma in Business Studies 

This diploma often covers areas such as marketing, finance, administration, economics and accountancy. 

Having knowledge and skills in these areas can set you up to become a business administrator, which in the US commands an annual salary of around US$56,928

Below are some common roles in this field you can land wit a four-year degree in business:

  • Human resources
  • Management consultant 
  • Social media manager 
  • Marketing executive 
  • Financial analyst 

Here are some universities that offer diploma courses in this field:

  • Diploma of Business, Monash College, Australia
  • Diploma in Business Management, London School of Business and Research, UK
  • Diploma in
  • Business Administration Co-op, Toronto School of Management, Canada
diploma in computer science

The need for nurses is on the rise and is expected to increase in the next decade. Source: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/AFP

3. Diploma in Nursing 

If working in a fast-paced environment and helping people is your passion then nursing is the perfect course for you. 

Not only does pursuing a diploma in nursing lead to a high-paying job of USD92,686 annually, but those in the field are also guaranteed to find employment. 

In the US, the need for nurses is on the rise, with about 203,200 openings every year. The employment of nurses is expected to grow by 6% by 2031

This rise in the need for nurses can be seen in Australia as well. The Health Workforce Australia (HWA) predicts that by 2025 the country will face a shortage of 100,000 nurses and more than 123,000 by 2030

With a diploma in nursing, you can apply for various roles such as clinical nurse specialist, community nurse, child care specialist, private nurse, social worker and many more. 

The best institutions to pursue this diploma include: 

4. Diploma in Digital Marketing 

A career as a digital marketer can lead to success and high pay. In the US, they earn around US$61,643 per year

A diploma in digital marketing sets you up with technical skills such as data analytics, graphic and web design, consumer behavioural studies, content creation, search engine optimisation and more. 

With this know-how, you can become a digital marketer or specialise in fields like data analysis, SEO, content management and consumer behaviour patterns. 

Looking to pursue this in-demand diploma? Check out these universities around the world offering it: 

5. Diploma in Information Technology 

This diploma will train you in fundamental skills such as mainframe development, solutions architecture, system development, computer application and many more necessary for a career in this field. 

All of this will qualify you for jobs such as web developer, computer system analyst, IT project manager and computer scientist.

With organisations, big and small, adopting technology, you’ll likely never be short of job opportunities.

You can pursue a diploma in information technology at the following universities: 

diploma in computer science

A diploma in computer science can open the doors to a vast number of career opportunities. Source: Jason Redmond/AFP

Frequently asked questions about diplomas

1. Is a bachelor’s degree the same as a diploma?

Though commonly mistaken, a degree and a diploma are not the same. They provide different levels of qualification.

A degree is a higher level of qualification than a diploma. However, both can lead to employment once completed. 

2. What’s next after a diploma?

After completing your diploma, you will have several options on what to do next. These options include: 

  • Furthering your education: You can choose to enrol in a degree programme and further your education that will also increase your career prospects
  • Begin working: You can look for entry-level jobs based on your field of study and begin working and gaining work experience to build your career
  • Specialisation: You can choose to specialise in a specific area within your field of study to become an expert 
  • Entrepreneurship: You can consider starting your own business and going down the path of self-employment 

3. What is the benefit of a diploma?

Besides being shorter and more affordable, there are many other benefits of doing a diploma. 

One of the main reasons is that diploma courses put a strong emphasis on hands-on skills, which is extremely useful when entering the workforce. 

These days the need for employees with vocational skills is increasing. As such, diploma courses are beneficial as they equip individuals with the necessary skills. 

4. How long is a diploma course?

Compared to a degree, a diploma is much shorter, and many can be completed between one to two years. 

However, the length of a diploma course depends on the chosen field of study and the country you are studying in.  

5. Can I work after a diploma?

Yes, you can work after completing your diploma course. Many companies accept diploma graduates for entry-level jobs.

Once you graduate, you can choose to kickstart your career by immediately starting working.