A diploma course in engineering involves classes on fundamental engineering concepts. It is a professional course, planned in such a way that students may still take up jobs in the field of engineering once they earn their diplomas. Some students are not able to get admission for Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) or Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) programmes, which is why they enroll themselves in a Diploma of Engineering course, because it can allow them to transfer into the second year of the B.Tech. or B.E. course. This approach is also referred to as the 'backdoor to engineering degree' approach. This, in effect, means the student may not have to take the eleventh and twelfth class exams. So, instead of the last two years of school and four years of the degree engineering course (a total of six years), the same qualification is achieved in the same amount of time with three years of a diploma course and three years of the degree course after the direct transfer.
Diploma courses can be of a yearly or semester pattern. Most yearly pattern courses have a duration of three years. The diploma programmes that follow a semester pattern have a planned duration of four years, with three years of study and one year for an industrial internship. Engineering diploma courses can be divided into two types depending upon the basic entrance qualification required. In the post-Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) diploma course, students with a basic SSC qualification can be accepted into the course. In the post-Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) diploma course, the minimum qualification for entrance is an HSC pass certificate. A postgraduate diploma can be opted for after attaining the diploma degree, if not a B.E., B.Tech. or a job.
The minimum qualification required for admission into a diploma course is passing of the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC)/tenth standard/equivalent examination, with at least 35 percent in science and maths subjects.The state boards of technical education of most of the states in India conduct entrance tests for admission to the diploma programmes offered by various polytechnics in the state.
A student who has attained the diploma is usually eligible to enter B.Tech./B.E. programmes in the second year under a lateral entry scheme. This fast-track admission is possible only after writing the LET, the Lateral Entry Test. If you do well on this test, you can apply to B.Tech./B.E. programmes.
The course content of the diploma programme and of the B.Tech./B.E. programme is very similar, but the level of syllabus content is higher in the latter. However, diploma students may have an advantage, since they are likely to already have solid knowledge of the fundamentals of the course over regular B.Tech./B.E. students who directly enter after their twelfth grade.
A few of the popular diploma programmes in engineering are:
1. Diploma in Automobile Engineering
2. Diploma in Computer Science & Engineering
3. Diploma in Electronics and Communication Engineering (DETCE)
4. Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (DME)
5. Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering
6. Diploma in Information Science
7. Diploma in Civil Engineering (DCE)
8. Diploma in Electrical Engineering (DEE)
9. Diploma in Metallurgical Engineering
10.Diploma in Electronic Instrumentation & Control Engineering
Some colleges (or polytechnics) that offer the three-year diploma programme in different streams of engineering are listed below: