It’s common for parents, employers and students to have questions about the differences between a traditional high school diploma and a General Educational Development (GED®) diploma. The primary difference is the former is obtained by graduating high school, and the latter by passing a test that displays high school knowledge equivalency. In terms of employment opportunities however, the differences are more notable. A person choosing between a traditional educational experience and earning their GED should have a full understanding of what’s at stake before deciding. Plus, with today’s virtual learning opportunities, there are more options available than ever before. Here’s a deeper look into the advantage of earning a traditional diploma and the option of virtual learning.
What Is a GED?
GED tests are designed for individuals age 16 and older who haven’t completed their high school diploma and aren’t currently enrolled in high school. The test has four subjects – social studies, math, science and reasoning through language arts (RLA). A passing mark means that person has performed at a rate comparable or higher than 60 percent of high school seniors. It’s for this reason roughly 96 percent of U.S. employers recognize GEDs as a high school equivalent.1 A person may choose the GED path for many reasons, including:
- Starting a family
- Financial hardship
- Entering the job market before graduating
- School wasn’t right for them
Many students who have concerns about the above reasons are not limited to receiving a GED with the continued growth of virtual learning programs, such as iSchool Virtual Academy of Texas℠.
Those considering a GED often have questions about how it might affect their employment opportunities. Many education experts agree having a GED is better than nothing at all, especially if you’ve already dropped out and are no longer eligible to earn your high school diploma. However, data shows those who earn their high school diploma go on to earn their bachelor’s degree at a much higher rate and tend to earn a higher monthly income than those with a GED.2
Though an estimated 98 percent of colleges and universities recognize GEDs, students who plan on attending college may want to consider how a high school diploma can make their path easier.3 For example, high school students are offered countless scholarship opportunities – some worth up to $50,000 – throughout their four-year high school career that GED testing cannot provide.
Although a GED is equal to a high school diploma in terms of knowledge, there is an unfortunate stigma attached to earning a GED. For many people, including immigrants, people with special needs or those who had to earn a living for their family at a young age, a GED is an opportunity for them to continue their education and work toward a brighter future.
Virtual Learning as an Option
For those considering between a GED or a tradition high school experience, it is important to note that a lot has changed in the public education space in the last 30 years. It is becoming more popular than ever for students and adults to enroll in a virtual learning program. Online learning provides flexibility in scheduling your classes and allows students to cover course material at a pace that suits their individual needs. Students often also have access to an actual instructor and additional tutoring, which helps enhance the overall educational experience.
Earn Your High School Diploma With iSchool Virtual Academy of Texas
Earning your high school diploma is recommended by most education and employment experts. However, it’s more common for today’s students to require an alternative to the traditional diploma route for many reasons. At iSchool Virtual Academy, highly-motivated students in grades 3–12 are provided with a quality online education where they interact with other students and teachers daily. For more information or to enroll for the 2018–19 school year, visit us online or call 888-729-0622.