If you’ve ever thought about taking the GED exams instead of earning your high school diploma, you might want to reconsider. In a market where the jobs that require the least amount of education are quickly being automated and eliminated, all you have to do is spend a day running errands around town to see the results of technology and automation. You pay at the pump and don’t ever have to encounter a cashier. At Sam’s Club, you watch a robot swivel to avoid your cart as it washes the floors! No one has to check you out at the grocery store because you can do it through an app or at the self-checkout.
Beyond the grocery store and gas station, factories are increasingly run by machines with specialty engineers, programmers, and coders working to keep things moving smoothly. Uber is testing self-driving cars on the roads in San Francisco and Pittsburgh. And “Flippy” the burger-cooking robot has been working at CaliBurger in Pasadena, California, for about four years now with more being used in additional places like Seattle. Since 2015, Best Buy has been trying out robots who can retrieve small items after customers order it via a touch screen.
Most people know about Amazon’s fulfillment robots who grab items for orders instead of human beings doing that job. Targets in some locations have been trying out stock-checking robots since 2016, yet another job that used to be done by human employees, and Walmart uses drones in some locations to do check stock in their warehouses. Lowes and Macy’s have tried out customer service robots, and in China and Japan, robots have been filling the roles once held by lower-paid customer service workers and stockers for some time now. Restaurants around the globe have been trying out robots instead of servers, and if you’ve ever paid you bill through a tablet located at your table, you can see the start of the movement to replace servers, too.
So what’s all this about and how does it relate to getting your GED or high school diploma? Finishing high school – even as an adult – is one thing you can do to help make sure your future is more secure. A high school diploma provides you with enhanced prospects for the future, better prepares you for college, and answers some unasked questions about what you can and cannot do.
Enhanced Prospects for the Future
Options when you hold a GED instead of a high school diploma are more limited. Some fast food restaurants require their store and general managers to hold a high school diploma to earn those promotions. They’ll let you work the line and act as a shift lead, but they won’t promote you to higher management, and that’s true of many management positions. Many maintenance and repair positions require a high school diploma as well, while joining the military is harder when you have a GED versus a high school diploma. In fact, a Tier 1 candidate has a high school diploma or college credits, while a Tier 2 candidate has their GED and will be passed over for a Tier 1 candidate. Some branches of the military have so many candidates that recruiters won’t even consider someone without their diploma.
On top of limits for promotions and specialized roles, some colleges require a high school diploma for enrollment. Either that, or they’ll accept you with your GED, but they’ll require that you take some non-credit bearing courses to make sure you’re ready for college classes. These basic math, English, and study skills classes cost you money, but don’t earn you even a single credit toward your degree. In the end, you’d be better off getting your high school diploma instead of spending the average $926 per course for each of the remedial courses they require.
Better Preparation for College
Another reason to earn your high school diploma is that according to the Census Bureau, less than 5% of people who earn their GED finish their college education. So, sure, you can attend college after earning your GED, but because a high school diploma does a better job preparing you for college, you have a much greater chance at finishing a two-year or four-year program. This is a discouraging statistic, and while there are those people who defy the odds, those who don’t are left with a mound of student debt and no degree to show for it. But why is it harder to succeed in college with a GED versus a high school diploma?
High School exposes you to a variety of subject areas, helping your brain make important connections between content and teaching you how to be a better problem solver, how to better manage your time, and how to see the world through a broader perspective. Having to juggle multiple assignments at once simulates the college environment at some level, so it’s not shocking when you start your college classes. A high school diploma provides you with a broad base of information to build on when you start college. Because the GED prepares you for a series of tests instead of for future learning, oftentimes, individuals who attend college after taking their GED don’t have the foundation to study for a solid career path.
Answers to Unasked Questions
The trick is that maybe you are the type of person who could take and pass the GED and defy the odds related to the GED and success in college. That’s great! But then you have another hurdle to overcome. GED holders are sometimes viewed differently than individuals who finished a high school diploma, even if the person finished high school as an adult.
You might be thinking, “But that’s not fair!” Fair or not, GEDs are perceived differently, in part, because it looks like the student “gave up.” We all know that’s not always the case! For certain, family, health, finances and other life choices can impact teens while they’re in high school. However, we’re not talking about what your individual story is. We’re talking about the perception others might have when considering a candidate who finished high school versus someone who earned their GED.
So what do you do if you’ve already dropped out? Give yourself a break and do something great for yourself and your future! One good choice is to find an online high school program that aligns with your needs. Northgate Academy is offers faith-based, accredited online high school programs for high school aged students and adults. You can earn your high school diploma through our self-paced programs, on your own time, in your own home. Depending on how many credits you’ve already earned in the past, you could be done in a few months!
If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out our faith-based programs online. Still have questions? Feel free to send us a text at 763-412-4701 or call us at 800-339-7132. Our academic support team will be happy to answer your questions or help guide you to the best program for you or your child.