Do You Really Need a High School Diploma?

Posted on July 26 2012

Is a high school diploma really necessary to make it in life?

Well, not really. But it sure can open a lot of doors. There are others who have been blessed enough to make it even without a high school diploma. And their stories are great examples of how a combination of hard work and a few lucky breaks can help. But for every success story of those who made it sans a high school diploma, how many people are struggling to even make ends meet?

In today’s highly competitive environment, it pays to be equipped for the challenges of life. And part of being equipped is getting a high school diploma. Let’s face it, having an education is equated with being knowledgeable and skilled. And that is what most companies are on the lookout for.

Here are some reasons why graduating from high school is a great idea:

Work opportunities. You can settle for a minimum wage job or you can set your eyes on more attractive pay rates for jobs that require more skill and expertise. Statistics have consistently shown that high school dropouts have suffered from a high unemployment rate. Those who have yet to earn the requisite high school credits will be dismayed to know that companies hiring for entry level jobs prefer high school graduates to those who are not. A diploma is a good indication that you are someone who has the skills and perseverance to complete something.

High unemployment rates and stiff competition. A diploma will help increase the chances of getting that interview, where your prospective employers can get to know you, your story and what you have got to offer. Sadly, with the sheer number of people applying for a job, prospective employers may already screen out those who don’t look as qualified. Without that foot in the door, how can you hope to make it to the final interview?

Income. Following the above two reasons would be the fact that since you are more employable, you are more able to choose higher-paying jobs. Based on the US Department of Commerce’s research, non-high school graduates form a considerable percentage of the lowest-earning demographic in the country, with just around $20,000 annual earnings. In addition, statistics from a study by Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children done in 2008 indicate that those who did not graduate high school have twice the likelihood of living in poverty as compared to high school graduates.

Pathway towards college and more career opportunities. There are some colleges and universities who will allow the GED to stand for the high school diploma but notably, all colleges accept students who have graduated from high school – whether by conventional means or through online education. Without this entry into college, you will have a harder time getting into the next step in the career of your choice.

Personal growth and satisfaction. Based on information from the Education Commission, high school graduates are less likely to go on welfare, to get involved in criminal activities and be plagued by more lifestyle-related health problems. In addition, knowing that you are more competitive and have more opportunities to improve your future prospects provides you with that feeling of satisfaction that no amount of money can buy.

You may think that since you missed out on the “high school diploma” train some years back, you will just have to forget about these benefits. The good news is… you don’t have to! There are a number of ways for you to earn that high school diploma. Aside from taking the General Equivalency Diploma (GED), you can also look into an online high school education.

The American Academy provides a quality and accredited online high school program to those who are keen on finishing their high school degree with a great opportunity.