HomeEducationWhat Is the Difference Between Higher Education and Vocational Education?

What Is the Difference Between Higher Education and Vocational Education?

As evolution may have it, education has been expanding and transforming. In such times, students who are on the verge of choosing a career path need to be very particular about their tertiary education. Vocational Education and Higher Education are two major types of bifurcations here. Let us take a look at what they are and how they are different.

Higher Education

Higher education or Academic education is the traditional degree-based education system. Its aim is to make the student learn a particular stream of study. It covers the theoretical part extensively and gives students an in-depth understanding. It is usually pursued after passing out class 12 and gives you degrees of Graduation, Post Graduation, and Ph.D. (in that order).

Eg. B.Sc,, M.Phil, etc.

Vocational Education

Vocational education is about imparting a student with skills to make him/her ready for a particular job or profession. It is more practical and hands-on and involves less theoretical study.

Eg. Beautician, Content Writer, Musician, etc.

Difference between them in terms of:

(A) Eligibility

For higher education, a student needs to complete his class 12 exam with requisite stream and score marks that the college would accept. That would get him into an undergraduate course. Further masters or doctorate need passing of the preceding degrees.

Vocational training can be done if the student has practical capabilities suited for the vocation. For example: knowing language for a writer, interest in fashion for a designer, etc. A class 12 passing certificate may or may not be relevant.

(B) Fee

Higher education is mostly costlier than vocational training. But it largely depends upon the course of study chosen and the college/university where you choose to study.

(C) Duration of Course

Graduation can take 3-4 years to complete and with further education, it can take you 1-3 years more.

Vocational education on the other hand varies a lot depending upon the type of study. You can take an educational certificate course of a few weeks or a diploma that may take a couple of years.

 (D) Employment Opportunities

In certain professions, it is mandatory to have a higher education degree, such as a doctor, teacher, or engineer.

Vocational training is enough for certain professions where you are required to deal as an expert in a certain vocation. For e.g. learning to paint.

There are yet other professions where a higher education degree is a basic need. But vocational training can be an add-on benefit that increases employability. Eg. A marketing manager with an MBA degree can learn digital marketing skills to improve customer outreach.

(E) Suitable For

A higher education degree is suitable for people who like in-depth knowledge and who like studying in a classroom environment. It is imperative for people pursuing professions like chartered accountancy, lawyer, doctor, etc.

The vocational study is more suitable for people who are looking for quick employment, as it trains people for jobs. It is also suitable for people looking to re-join work or transition into a new profession that requires skill. It is also very suitable for people who are short of time and resources to study at a college but can learn at flexible times.

 (F) Earnings

A college degree is an investment for the future and you learn practical skills on the job over time. With time, you are likely to earn more.

Vocational training on the other hand is dependent upon your skill level. You can start earning early and develop a lot of knowledge along the way.

The way to choose between Higher Education and Vocational Education is to determine your career goals and then studying as per your interests and plans. Some universities and educational institutions offer both Higher Education as well as Vocational Education. MM(DU) is one such campus where you can enroll for the top courses like BBA, MBA, LLB and also choose from a  range of vocational courses as well. You can check more details about the courses offered at



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