The Differences of Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering

Basically, in learning experience I like to refer its growth in terms of the knowledge, skills and attitude (KSA) that were gained during the process. The three parameters are qualitative in nature and normally the measurement would involve some pre-defined scales or ratios.

As a matter of fact, I came to conclusion that the certification of a person after studying and experiencing the different levels of academic and skills qualifications would achieve some amount of skills and knowledge as the following diagram would suggest:


Generally, the knowledge should be proportionate with the skills. The more skills obtained, the more knowledge is gained. However, as a formal education might suggest, sometimes this skills wouldn’t be developed sufficiently when the degree-certification orientation is highlighted. Hence suggesting that people who are learning for the level of Certificate would be exposed to more skills-content-based learning modules in comparison to the level of a Doctor of Philosophy which enhanced more on the knowledge behind the gist of the study instead of the skills.

In addition, I believe that ideally, attitude should be in exponent to the skills and knowledge. The more skilful a person is the more knowledge he should sought. Though practically this is hard to find in our society. The best attitude is when there is a balanced amount of knowledge and skills in a person and perhaps can be found from a person who had experienced the learning concepts from the certificate level to the doctorate degree.

As a reference, the above diagram is adapted from the diagram of Malaysian Occupational and Skills Qualification Framework (MOSQF) that was introduced by the Department of Skills Development, Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia as the following figure is showing:

source: National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS), Department of Skills Development (JPK), Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia.

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