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Why SPM Students are choosing Diplomas Over Degrees

Sep 5, 2023

Do you prefer to learn by doing rather than attending lectures? Do you want to enter the working world as soon as you can? Are you concerned you may not have enough funds to study a bachelor’s degree? Do you lack the required SPM credits for a pre-U programme? Your answer could be a diploma after SPM.


Just completed SPM? Before you decide on a pre-U programme like A-levels, STPM or foundation courses, you might want to give diploma programmes a second thought. Here’s why:

1. The entry requirements are less rigid

The general entry requirements for a diploma is a pass with three credits in SPM (with the exception of a medical assistant or physiotherapy diploma which requires five credits). Some diplomas may have additional requirements.

2. Diplomas cost less

Let’s face it. Not everyone has the means to fork out funds for a bachelor’s degree. To acquire a bachelor’s degree, the pathway after SPM involves a pre-u qualification (50 credit hours) followed by 3-4 years of bachelor degree study (120 credit hours).

In comparison, a diploma takes 2 to 2.5 years (min 90 credit hours) right after SPM. Diplomas cost way less than what a degree programme would – the course fees for a diploma programme ranges from RM20,000 – 40,000, with many courses falling in the range of RM25,000 – 35,000.

3. Diplomas make you ready for the job market

Unlike pre-university programmes that focus more on rigorous academic study, diploma programmes are designed to equip students with the necessary skills required to meet the job requirements in a particular industry. The curriculum often includes lots of hands-on work that allows you to practise these skills. You’ll be able to enter the workforce within your target industry right after you graduate.

4. You’ll love it if you like practical work

As mentioned in the previous point, a diploma prepares you with the specific skills that you need in a target industry. Whether you choose graphic design, culinary arts, automotive technology or medical imaging, you would have completed plenty of practical training in the core area of your study by the time you graduate.

If you like more hands-on work and practical experience, you’ll enjoy the curriculum of a diploma course which is usually 60% academic and 40% practical.

5. You complete your studies sooner

If you choose the pre-U route after SPM followed by a bachelor’s degree, you’d take about 5-6 years to graduate. In contrast, a diploma generally takes 3 years, allowing you to enter the job market and begin earning sooner.

6. Your learning options are flexible

There’s probably no other study route that offers the flexibility of a diploma. Here are some awesome advantages.


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