Is It Better To Finish High School Or Take The GED Exam?
By Winnie Custodio
Taking the GED test and obtaining a GED credential is a prudent option for adults who dropped out of high school. The GED tests, when taken altogether can be accomplished in 7.5 hours. If you achieve good scores, you can avail of various opportunities when it comes to your academic and career undertakings, such as being hired at a better-paying job, getting a promotion or going to college. It may sound appealing, but there are advantages and disadvantages to consider when opting to obtain a GED diploma vs. a high school diploma.
A GED diploma is deemed to be an equivalent of a secondary school diploma. Passing the GED test and acquiring a GED credential means that you have the same skills set of a high school student. However, there are different requirements and different results pertaining to getting a GED diploma and a high school diploma.
Know The Pros and Cons
It is apparently faster to get a GED diploma. You do so after passing a test that covers the 4 subject areas of Science, Math, Social Studies and Reasoning Through Language Arts. On the other hand, working for your secondary education diploma lets you go through valuable life experiences. The GED test may be taken by adults aged 17 years old and above who have dropped out of college, and it is ideal for those who are past the age of high school learning. Going to high school prepares students for college education and a high school diploma is accepted in both the US as well as abroad.
The disadvantages of taking the GED are that it tends to be a difficult exam and its corresponding credential may not be accepted by schools and companies abroad. That of a studying in secondary school is that it takes a long time to complete- 4 years to be exact.
Who Is A Better Candidate For The GED Test?
The average age of GED test takers is 26- mostly individuals who have been out of school for 10 years or so. They may be embarrassed to go to school to finish their secondary education or might have work and family obligations already. For high school students who are at least 16 years old, taking the GED test may be an alternative route to pulling it through until their graduation.
The better recourse, nonetheless, is to finish high school. Unless situations that are extreme are forcing a student to leave high school, it makes more sense to achieve a high school diploma. If caught in a quandary of either finishing high school or taking the GED, it is a smart decision to talk with a school counsellor first.
Think Wisely Before Making A Decision
Thus, if one has the capability and the means to finish high school, it is wise to do so. Attending and finishing high school provides a student with helpful life and hands-on experiences that aid in their healthier social development, too. In the same manner, although a GED credential is considered as an equivalent of a high school diploma, employers would still prefer hiring an applicant that holds the latter.
These are the benefits and the downsides of the GED certificate vs a high school diploma. Think wisely and seek sensible advice before deciding which option to take.
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It Just Doesn't Work That Way
By Bob Roth
Too many students wait until they enter their senior year or may even graduate before they start giving much thought to their job search. That strategy doesn't impress the employers with the most desirable jobs.
Students who ignore the needs, wants and expectations of the best employers in their fields of interest will not be rewarded with impressive job offers.
It just doesn't work that way!
When disappointed students ask successful students about the secrets to their success, they don't like the answers. The most successful students:
1. Identify a clear goal (target)
2. Select a major and minor that supports the goal
3. Do their best in the classroom
4. Research and understand target employer expectations
5. Develop a multi-year plan with progressive steps
6. Gain job-related experience through campus and work activities
7. Cultivate references from professors and employers
8. Build a list of significant and job-related accomplishments
9. Are prepared to provide examples and tell interesting stories
All of this should be understood by students before they finish the second year of college. Knowing where they want to go is good. However, it is the follow-through during the junior and senior years that will determine their level of success in their target job market.
The most successful students understand that great jobs are not won or lost during interviews. Job offers are earned during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of college in the classroom, campus activities and work experience.
Wise students actively pursue and fight for the jobs they want most.
Less disciplined students settle for the jobs they are offered.
If you compare the list that follows to the list above, it should be clear which group of students will end up with job offers from the employers that pay well and have career potential.
The least successful students:
1. Have no clear goal or target
2. Cannot be sure their major and minor will be supportive
3. Do not excel in the classroom, campus activities or at work
4. Don't know what employers expect of them
5. Have no plan to follow
6. Participate in work and activities unrelated to the jobs they seek
7. Make no effort to cultivate impressive references
8. Have few accomplishments that will impress employers
9. Develop no examples and stories to use during interviews
Students who follow the first list will have more and better employment choices and opportunities than students who follow the second list. That should be obvious.
Clear thinking and hard work are not ingrained in every student. Some students never recognize that they have to compete for good jobs and therefore fail to embrace the job search preparation activities that help to ensure employment success. They think that employers will be chasing them no matter what they do. Unfortunately for them, it just doesn't work that way.
Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including: OMG, The Things I Learned In College, A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Search Preparation System for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market.