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High School Diploma or Equivalency Test

Which Matters Most to Employers?

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“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
–Malcolm X

Graduating or earning your high school diploma is big deal in American culture. In fact, early withdrawal from high school isn’t conclusive to your education or work prospects. Second chance programs, like getting a GED certificate, are designed to help you earn education credentials. Without it, you limit career options and make less money. But is getting your high school diploma a better “passport” to employment than a GED? The curriculum is equal, but not all employers agree.

The term “GED” in Indiana is irrelevant

Indiana’s GED program was traded for the TASC (test assessing secondary completion) test. The GED is not just a test administered by the state, but a company that changed the test and increased its testing cost. The TASC costs less and offers more. It covers language writing, reading, social studies, math, and science, along with a focus on job training, career prep and skill building. The TASC is accepted by employers, recruiters, and government agencies throughout the nation. Eligibility includes:

  • Minimum age is 18; restrictions apply for 16 and 17
  • Must be an Indiana resident and
  • Must not have an existing diploma

Do equivalency tests meet employer expectations?

It depends on the employer.

According to NPR, “In Today’s Economy, How far can a GED Take You?” adults over 18 with equivalency certificates are apparently viewed by employers as less favorable because it shows a lack of tenacity and perseverance for academic growth for professional careers. Growing stigmas associated with equivalency certificates include:

  • Bypassing standardized testing
  • Lack of commitment and
  • Taking shortcuts in lieu of a four-year diploma

It goes without saying that by choosing to further your education, you lower your chances of being unemployed in some career paths. Recipients of the TASC or any equivalency test will increase your salary by 40 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Taking small steps towards furthering your educations can lead to big leaps in preparing for your future.

The trick of the trade

School isn’t ideal for everyone. If it was, we wouldn’t need second chance programs. Some careers only require an equivalency certificate as a standard for hiring. For example, electricians, plumbers, and mechanic are trade career options. Although these positions aren’t always viewed as the most glamorous jobs, consider the mechanic. A mechanic can make as much as 70K a year, with no education past high school.

Not all shortcuts imply taking the easy way out, at Achieve virtual we offer dual credit programs, so you can earn college credits and high school credits simultaneously. Courses are online and accessible anywhere the internet is available. Virtual learning provides students with a variety of innovative learning materials and resources along with personalized schedules that allow you to work at your own pace. Everyone deserves a second chance to improve their quality of life and you can make that happen with one decision…call us today!

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