GED vs. High School Diploma: What’s the Difference?

About 20 million people have earned a GED since its creation. You may have heard the term and want to know what is a GED? After all, many high schools offer the choice between a GED and a high school diploma.

Both of these options will help set you up for the path ahead of you outside of high school. However, both of these options are quite different. They require different rules and regulations to receive.

Not to mention that employers have distinct preferences. If you want to know the difference between these education options, continue reading our article.

What Is a GED?

To start, GED stands for the General Education Program. Its primary purpose is to help out students who may not want to wait for high school graduation.

Therefore, it is a supplement for students who want to leave high school early. Many people who get GEDs often work full-time and help support a family.

Due to those responsibilities, they cannot stay in high school. However, some people simply do not wish to finish school and decide to drop out early. When that happens, they may take the GED test and leave school.

The requirements for a GED are as follows:

  • Must be 16 years of age or older
  • Must not be in high school
  • Must not have a diploma
  • Must pass the exam

Once you meet all of the qualifications, you can receive your GED. Even if you are not in high school anymore, you can still take the exam. That is beneficial for students who dropped out without earning neither a GED nor a diploma.

High School Diploma

A high school diploma is a certificate that shows you completed all four years of high school. It showcases you put in the work and received passing grades.

In most states, you must regularly attend high school, pass all of your required classes, and pass any exams like the SAT or ACT. Once you accomplish those, you will get to join in on a graduation ceremony. At that ceremony, you will get a high school diploma.

 What Can You Do With a GED?

If you need to decide between a diploma and GED, you will need to know what you can do with them. These days, many employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. That means you might use your GED upon hiring.

Some of the main jobs you can get with a GED are:

  • Receptionist
  • Teller
  • Customer representative
  • Information clerks
  • Bill collectors

That is in no way an exhaustive list. You can find countless jobs with a GED. These days, you might even be able to get the same kinds of jobs as you would with a high school diploma.

And the good news is you can still go to college with a GED. About 90% of GED students graduate from college. So, if you want to pursue higher education that option is in your future.

What Is a GED? More Answers and Tips 

As you can tell, several things differ between a GED and a High School diploma. Both can help you with a future career. However, you must understand the differences.

That way, you can make an informed decision. Remember, a GED is not the equivalent of a high school diploma. Many employers may require one or the other. So, choose wisely between the two.

We hope this article helps answer the question, “What is a GED?”. If you want to learn more about this topic, continue reading our blog. We have many more posts about the GED and how to obtain one.

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