As a senior secondary school student planning for higher education, you can attend either a University or a Polytechnic. Although other options like Colleges of Education and vocational schools exist, they do not offer the range that universities or polytechnics do.
A Polytechnic student is awarded a Higher National Diploma (HND) after graduation, while a University graduate is awarded a Bachelor’s Degree (BSc, B.A, B.Eng, B.Agric, etc.). To date, there have been arguments over the superiority between both degrees.
In this article, TertFinder guides students through the pros and cons of HND and BSc certificates.
The pros and cons of a Higher National Diploma (HND).
● Hands-On Experience
Due to the extensive exposure to practical and technical applications of theoretical principles, HND holders have more experience and applied knowledge in their fields. Before an HND is awarded to a student, they must have passed through practical training within and outside the four walls of a lecture room.
Compared to a university degree, the cost of acquiring an HND is less. It is preferred by many because it is affordable for its quality.
At the expense of an extended academic session, polytechnics offer part-time programs to students who can only be available for lectures on the weekend. The part-time option is practical if you are concurrently engaged in other important activities while schooling.
● Workplace Dichotomy
Some employers demand university degrees as the minimum requirement for work. Many others pay HND holders less, while counterparts with a BSc degree earn much more. However, this gap is slowly being bridged by the evolution of workplace structure and the recognition that Diploma holders have the required practical knowledge to be efficient workers.
It typically takes longer for a Polytechnic student to complete their education with the necessary professional qualifications to join a labor force than it takes a University student. A Polytechnic student will spend two years acquiring an Ordinary National Diploma (OND), one year on Industrial Training (IT), another two years getting a Higher National Diploma (HND), and a year or two acquiring a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) if demanded by their employer. In contrast, a University student will be qualified enough to join a workforce after four to five years of education.
The pros and cons of a Bachelor’s Degree BSc
● Wide List of Courses
A University typically has more courses than a Polytechnic, especially science and medical-related courses. Additionally, University courses are more academically and theoretically specialized than Polytechnic courses, focusing on technical and practical education.
● State-of-the-art Facilities
Universities are more funded than Polytechnics; hence, they boast ultramodern learning facilities, well-equipped laboratories, learning materials, and related equipment. Even the largest library in Africa is in a University! Universities also pay their teaching staff more, so there is a surplus of trained and proficient tutors. Providing these amenities is the sine qua non of effective academic improvement.
A BSc holder is accorded various fellowships and scholarship opportunities to further their education or take their career to the next level. Some scholarships cater not only to a student’s tuition but also to their personal needs. A BSc is an access card on many occasions to such opportunities.
● Technical Deficiency
Due to the nature of university learning and its focus on academic theory, many of its students lack the required technical know-how to be effective in their chosen fields. Many have to take on hands-on training in the form of Internships or proceed to further their education via a Master’s Degree (MSc) or a Ph.D., which comes at an extra educational cost.
If you liked this article, check out Difference Between Universities and Polytechnics