Matrics should be knowledgeable about the type of degree they want to pursue.

As high school matriculants are about to embark on their journey towards higher education, it is important for them to grasp the distinction between academic and professional degrees.

Understanding the difference between these qualifications is important in making informed decisions about future career paths. It is also important to acknowledge that both degrees have their own benefits and advantages.

Professional Degrees

Professional degrees are focused on specific training for specific fields, occupation or skills.

Degrees like medicine, law, engineering, or education that may require internships and or training are examples of professional degrees.

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Career alignment

Professional degrees are technical-based and typically named after the occupation.

If you pursue a Bachelor of Architecture, upon finishing it you become an Architect. If you study Accounting, when you finish the Bachelor of Accounting degree, you become an Accountant.


Some of the pros of a professional degree include competitive advantage, where if you apply for a job not requiring a professional degree, you would be considered first over the other candidates who may not have it.

Another advantage is earning an enhanced income. Your earnings increase with the amount of experience and expertise you have.

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Academic Degrees

Academic Degrees in contrast are more focused on the broader range of subjects.

Faculties like humanities, sciences, or social sciences, often emphasise research and theoretical knowledge.

Career alignment

Academic degrees tend to be research-based and conversely do not refer to the direct occupations inside an organisation.

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Strategic Communication can cover a broad range of occupations like being a journalist, public relations specialist, or social media manager.


An academic degree will equip you with a scholarly foundation.

“An academic degree will expose you to a wide range of subjects and knowledge, with the potential to specialise,” says James Smurthwaite an author on Hotcourses Abroad.

Scholarly degrees can be used as a stepping stone to a professional degree.

Employment opportunities and career advancement

Professional degrees usually lead to more specialised careers where graduates are in demand for their specific expertise.

On the contrary, academic degrees open doors to a wider range of career options, including (but not limited to) research, teaching or pursuing further academic qualifications.


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