There seems to be a prevailing thought in modern American culture that it is impossible to be successful in the workforce or in life if you don’t have a college degree. But with 13 MILLION unclaimed jobs on the market, many of which only require a GED or high school diploma, many of which pay as much or more than positions for college graduates, it may be time to reconsider this idea.
A recent study issued by the Center of Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase & Co. says that the marketplace is flooded with “good jobs” for people who hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. Part of this is to do with the fact that many of the older generation now leaving the workforce were only educated through the high school level so there is a need for young people to fill these roles. Another reason is that Covid has meant people have left the workforce in droves and so the competition for jobs has forced employers to consider candidates who may be less educated but could easily be trained.
The researchers in this particular study defined “good job” as any that pays more than $35,000 per year. This may not seem like much, but another factor to consider is the fact that many of these positions come with the type of benefits like insurance and 401Ks that were historically reserved for much higher paying positions.
How to get a high school diploma
To prepare for these jobs that are now available in abundance, you need to make sure that you actually do receive a high school diploma. The requirements for graduation from high school vary from state to state and depending on whether you attend public or private high school there can be even bigger differences.
Most high schools require around 25 credits to be granted a high school diploma that generally consist of some English, Science, Math and Social Studies. Most secondary schools also require that students complete some additional courses like foreign language, art, physical education among others. A passing grade is anything above a 70, so in order to get credit for each of the classes in high school students must get an average higher than a 70 in order to get a high school diploma.
Another additional requirement for a high school diploma in some states is a standardized test to prove that you have the knowledge necessary to be done with high school. The test is different in each state, but for the most part these types of examinations span several years and students are given multiple attempts to pass before they reach the age of eighteen.
One problem with obtaining a high school diploma, if you want one but haven’t gotten it yet, is that there are age restrictions in most states for going to high school. Barring any educational difficulties or special needs, most states require that student’s finish high school by the time they are 21 years old. If you have already exceeded that age, or would by the time it takes to complete all of the coursework you need then getting a high school diploma is not an option, and instead you will need to pursue high school equivalency or the GED instead.
How to get a GED
The GED is a series of tests whose purpose is to prove that you have learned enough during your time in high school or your life and work experience to be the equivalent of a high school diploma. In order to qualify for a GED, testers must take four different tests. You can take the tests all in one testing session or the exams can be split up over several different days depending on the preference of the tester. In order to pass the GED, you must get above 70% on each of the four core subject areas of Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Math. Once you have passed each of these tests you will receive a GED certificate in the mail so that you can prove to yourself and future employers that you completed the high school diploma equivalency.
The cost for the GED test can range from $60 to almost twice that. There are testing locations, like some public libraries, that provide the GED free of charge on specific dates. You may also need to factor in the cost of preparatory classes or books to the overall cost of the GED, depending on what you learned in high school or how long it has been since you were a student.
There may be an easier way than finishing high school or working your way through the GED to get a high school diploma. Check out all of the options we have available at ValidGrad for high school diplomas. There are many ways you can customize your degree of GED certification so that it looks exactly the way you want.
Though there is a prevailing thought that the only way you can be successful in this country is through extensive education, there are in fact many high-quality jobs available now that need filling. Take the time to get your high school diploma and you could be well on your way to a career that pays well but also offers benefits and stability.