on May 12th, 2023

While an Advanced Diploma in engineering provides a solid foundation, a Bachelor’s degree can open up even more career and academic opportunities. We tell you why this is.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in engineering, you might wonder whether an Advanced Diploma (AD) is enough to help you succeed. While an associate’s degree can provide a solid foundation in the basics of engineering, many professionals argue that obtaining a Bachelor’s degree (BA) is essential for long-term success.

First and foremost, a Bachelor’s Degree provides a more comprehensive education in the field of engineering. While an Advanced Diploma can provide a solid introduction to the field, it may not be enough to fully prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the profession.

Read on to find out why you should pursue a Bachelor’s degree after an Advanced Diploma in engineering.

Hurdles of Obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree

A female engineer balancing work and study responsibilities.

Obtaining an Advanced Diploma in engineering is a great accomplishment that opens up a world of opportunities. However, many students wonder if they should pursue a Bachelor’s after obtaining an Advanced Diploma or Diploma. While there are many factors to consider, including financial, personal, and professional goals, there are several reasons why obtaining a Bachelor’s degree is worth the investment.

From her experience, Indumathi V, the Deputy Dean of the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT), said that while there are reasons that students do not pursue a Bachelor’s after their Advanced Diploma or Diploma, there are also ways they could overcome these obstacles.

According to the Deputy Dean, the most common reasons are often time and commitment issues and financial constraints. Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree requires a significant time commitment, often spanning two to three years. “Some students may be hesitant to invest more time in their education, especially if they want to enter the workforce sooner or have personal commitments,” she said.

Meanwhile, the cost of a Bachelor’s degree can also be a significant obstacle for many students. Indumathi V said tuition fees, the potential need for additional resources, and living expenses might make it difficult for some individuals to continue their education immediately after completing an Advanced Diploma.

A third hurdle students encounter is career opportunities; students who have completed an Advanced Diploma may find attractive industry roles, which could lead them to prioritize gaining work experience over pursuing further education. Indumathi V said they may believe they can advance their career without obtaining a Bachelor’s degree.

Lack of clarity or interest may also prove problematic as some students may need a clear career path or a specific interest in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. “They may feel content with the skills and knowledge acquired through their Advanced Diploma and choose not to continue their education in a specific field,” she noted.

4 Reasons You Need a Bachelor’s

To overcome some of these obstacles, the EIT Deputy Dean recommends the following four advantages for students to consider:

  1. Flexible Learning Options: Institutions like EIT offer flexible learning options, such as part-time or online programs, to accommodate students’ work or personal commitments. This allows them to balance their education with other responsibilities.
  2. Financial Aid and Scholarships: Seeking financial support, such as scholarships, grants, or bursaries, can help alleviate the financial burden.
  3. Articulation Agreements/Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): Utilizing articulation agreements between Advanced Diploma and Bachelor’s degree programs can provide a clear pathway for students to continue their education seamlessly. This can include credit transfers and recognition of prior learning.
  4. Career Advancement Opportunities: Students can actively participate in their career planning and seek to understand the benefits of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree and how additional education can open doors to higher-level positions, increased earning potential, and specialized roles.

In addition to the aforementioned points provided by Indumathi V, there are great incentives to complete a Bachelor’s after your Advanced Diploma. Here are the four primary motivators for you to consider pursuing a degree:

  1. Enhanced Employability: In Australia, engineering is considered a highly competitive field, and having a Bachelor’s degree can significantly affect employability. A survey conducted by Graduate Careers Australia found that engineering graduates with a Bachelor’s degree had an employment rate of 89.8%, compared to 73.6% for those with an associate’s degree. This statistic demonstrates that employers value the more extensive education a Bachelor’s degree provides, which can make candidates more competitive in the job market.
  2. Greater Earning Potential: A Bachelor’s degree in engineering can lead to higher earnings over a career. According to PayScale, the average salary for an engineer with a Bachelor’s degree in Australia is around AUD 86,000 per year, compared to around AUD 64,000 per year for those with an associate’s degree. Globally, a survey by the Institute of Engineering and Technology found that engineering graduates with a Bachelor’s degree earn around 20% more than those with an associate’s degree.
  3. Access To More Advanced Roles: A Bachelor’s degree in engineering can provide access to more advanced roles with greater responsibility and a higher level of autonomy. Engineering graduates with a Bachelor’s degree are often sought after for leadership and management positions. Furthermore, a report by the Australian Government’s Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business indicates that engineering occupations that require a Bachelor’s degree are projected to have higher growth rates over the next five years.
  4. Pathway To Further Education: Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in engineering after an AD can provide a pathway to further education and advanced career opportunities. Bachelor’s degree graduates in engineering can progress to postgraduate studies, such as a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. Advanced qualifications can lead to greater specialization in areas such as renewable energy, biomedical engineering, or robotics, leading to new job opportunities and higher earnings.

In summary, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in engineering after an Advanced Diploma can lead to improved employability, more significant earning potential, access to more advanced roles, and a pathway to further education and specialization.

The EIT Deputy Dean highlighted the importance of career guidance for students as a driver for them to consider pursuing a Bachelor’s degree after their Associate’s Degree. “The Engineering Institute of Technology offers career guidance and support to its students. The institution understands the importance of providing quality education and equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their chosen careers,” said Indumathi V.

Career guidance is vital as it helps students identify potential career paths and the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed and build professional networks to help them secure employment and advance in their careers.

Over and above offering job placement support to on-campus bachelor and master students, EIT also offers students opportunities to connect with industry experts, attend networking events, and engage with peers worldwide.

Consider Your Online Study Options

Many resources are available to help make the process more manageable. Many universities offer online or hybrid programs that allow students to complete coursework at their own pace or from remote locations. Some of the benefits of EIT’s online courses, compared to on-campus learning, include:

  1. Convenience and Flexibility: Online courses offer the flexibility to study at one’s own pace and from any location with an internet connection. This eliminates the need for commuting and allows students to create a schedule that suits their needs.
  2. Access to Global Expertise: Online courses provide access to instructors and experts worldwide, enabling students to learn from industry professionals and renowned academics who may not be available in their local area. However, EIT’s on-campus students have access to this as well!
  3. Diverse Learning Environment: Online courses attract students from various geographic locations and professional backgrounds. This diversity enriches discussions and perspectives, providing a more comprehensive learning experience.
Completing an advanced diploma offers fantastic job opportunities.

It’s important to note that while online courses offer numerous benefits, they may not suit everyone’s learning preferences. Some individuals may thrive in a traditional on-campus environment with face-to-face interactions. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider personal learning styles and preferences when choosing between online and on-campus education,” noted Indumathi V.

Advantages of Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree From EIT

Completing an Advanced Diploma in engineering offers numerous opportunities and is an impressive achievement. One notable advantage is the possibility of receiving credit for prior learning when pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. Credit applications are assessed individually, taking into account relevant qualifications and components. Upon receiving a Letter of Offer, applicants can submit a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) application, with a small fee for the assessment.

Those who have completed an EIT Advanced Diploma can benefit from an automatic credit transfer to one of EIT’s bachelor’s courses. Additional RPL applications are also accepted. This credit recognition policy serves multiple purposes, such as approving credit based on prior learning that meets entry requirements and course objectives. It allows students to progress through the program accelerated, potentially reducing the time required to obtain the qualification. Moreover, recognized prior learning enables students to transfer between courses and sometimes even reduces the total fee for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree.

Completing the 52884WA Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering Technology is a stepping stone towards pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering). Students who completed a relevant advanced diploma with EIT can get articulation into their Bachelor’s degree. Several units studied in the advanced diploma program align with the bachelor’s program, allowing for direct credit allocation. For example, a graduate of 52884WA Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering Technology progressing to Online Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) can expect to get credit for three to five units studied prior.

It is important to note that course structures and accreditations are subject to change, potentially affecting the specific units eligible for credit transfer. Nevertheless, this recognition of prior learning provides a valuable advantage, facilitating a smoother transition and potentially shortening the overall duration of the program.

In conclusion, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree after completing an Advanced Diploma or Diploma in engineering offers accelerated progression, reduced time to qualification, and potential cost savings. By leveraging the credit recognition policy, individuals can seamlessly build upon their Advanced Diploma and establish a strong foundation for success in the field of engineering.

For more information about EIT’s online courses, click here: https://www.eit.edu.au/courses/

REFERENCES

New data reveals sunny outlook for engineering graduates’ job prospects
Graduate Careers Australia
Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Annual Report 2018-19

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