Md Shadman Shakib Alvy is currently working as an animator at 10 Minute School. He has also worked as a freelancer at Upwork and Fiverr and has earned the ‘Rising Talent’ badge and Level One Seller respectively in both workplaces. He has experience of working as a motion graphics artist at Apeiro, a marketing agency based in Charlottetown, Canada.
Alvy didn't study general education, rather he opted for a diploma degree.
A diploma degree is provided by polytechnics and technical schools and colleges. The diploma programme in Nursing and Engineering lasts four years.
There has been a long-standing stereotype in our country that a diploma degree is not suitable for decent jobs. A good number of people consider this degree for people who are not very qualified in academics or for people who didn't get a chance in the mainstream education system. However, this is not true, to say the least. The diploma programme focuses mostly on technical and skill-based learning rather than theoretical which is usually taught in general education. There are plenty of opportunities that lie ahead of a diploma student. It ranges from a government job to the private sector to owning start-ups or businesses.
There are plenty of government jobs for diploma engineers where they can apply for junior engineer or assistant engineer posts. If accepted, they will be hired as second class ranked officers. Based on skills and experiences, the salary ranges from Tk 30-40 thousand and sometimes can go up to Tk 50 thousand as well. As the country is getting more industrialised, more and more factories are being established by governments. To operate these factories efficiently, it needs skilled human resources. As diploma students are provided skill-based education, these factories can be workplaces for them.
Private sectors are also hiring diploma students nowadays. Though the salary is low compared to the government jobs, it is a great opportunity for diploma students as it comes with fewer requirements. As a result, students can also apply for these jobs and gain experience that will be beneficial for them in future.
Institutions that provide diploma education also hire current and former students. Aforementioned Shadman studied Computer Technology at Daffodil Polytechnic Institute and worked at one of Daffodil's institutes. It is an opportunity for students to work where they study as it will be a comfortable and learning ground for them.
Diploma students are focused on developing skills more than theoretical knowledge. It gives them an upper hand in terms of participating in a company's operations with a more hands-on approach. It requires a great deal of effort and proper knowledge and skill to establish one's business or startup. Diploma students can take this opportunity to be self-employed. For example, they can start teaching people the skills they have learnt during their course period.
Now, how can a diploma student prepare him/herself for jobs?
Shadman gives some valuable tips for the current and recently passed students. The first thing he recommends is skill development. In his opinion, most of the students only practice for passing exams. He believes being skilled in various skills can be a good help to a diploma student in securing a better job and career.
Shaman also believes that learning the skills as early as possible is the right thing to do. "I recommend it to start as early as possible. Perhaps, the first or second year can be an ideal time to start as there will be relatively less academic pressure," advises Shadman. People may not get high-salary jobs right away after graduating with a diploma degree because it is hardly the case for generic degrees. However, this can be the stepping stone to a brighter future. He stressed believing in oneself and being open to criticism and knowledge.
Diploma students are no less than the others. In fact, they are the ones who end up with the most hands-on experience which most undergraduate students long for the most. Moreover, pursuing diploma courses give students flexibility and the inclusion of practical application helps them to be better adaptive to work-life practices. They get the opportunity to learn more industry-relevant skills. So, if you are looking to dive straight to the brass tacks and get hands-on experience at a much more affordable path, getting a diploma degree can be the way to go.
The writer is a first-year BBA student at IBA, Dhaka University.