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Pros and Cons of Getting a GED

For the purposes of this article, I will assume that the alternative to a GED is a high school diploma. I think we will all agree that there are no cons to getting a GED if the alternative is nothing at all. Just to clarify for those that don’t know, a GED or General Educational Development, is a degree obtained upon the passing of an aptitude test designed to measure knowledge essential to any high school graduate.

Pros to getting a GED

1. Master of your own lifestyle

While the majority of people in this country subscribe to a system of public education, the government dictates that any individual may choose his/her own path as long as the end is in sync with those of public education. In other words, you may be home schooled just as long as you acquire the same basic knowledge as other students attending public school. For many, this can be a blessing, as they may find public education to be somewhat tedious and lacking.

2. Unforeseen circumstances

Life can sometimes throw you curve balls. Many people make plans to finish high school and attend college, but never do so because of a certain event in their life that prompted their dropping out. Certainly, we all know of someone who knew of someone who got pregnant at a young age. A GED gives these individuals a second chance. They allow these otherwise high-school graduates to resurrect their plans for a successful future.

3. Get on par

A high school degree is often times the minimum requirement for entry level jobs. Other times, it may be required for a pay raise. In either case, a GED allows you to get on par with the rest of the work force. Some employers will even pay for you to get your GED.

Cons to getting a GED

1. Why not a high school diploma?

This is the question that many employers will ask when looking at your resume. Even though it is technically supposed to be equivalent to a high school degree, many call the GED a “Good Enough Degree”, ranking its credibility often below that of a high school education. Although both are sufficient for most entry level positions, many higher-paying jobs will show preference for a high school degree rather than a GED.

2. Getting into college

GEDs usually have no problem getting you into a community college. You might, however, have some trouble convincing Harvard to let you in. Because your GED score is only a number, more selective four-year institutions will have a hard time attempting to evaluate your application. If you’re going to get a GED, chances are good that you will end up attending community college.

3. Missed life experience

High school can be an important stage in all of our lives. Whether you basked in the glory of popularity or crawled out barely alive, high school is responsible for many parts of us that will never change. In forgoing the high school experience, you will deprive yourself of a priceless opportunity for growth and self-exploration.

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