Due to an illness in my family when I was younger, I wasn’t able to finish high school. But I recently got my GED! I’m excited, but I’m afraid I still may not get as many job opportunities as I would if I had graduated with a high school diploma. Is my GED enough?
Dear, Good Enough,
Congratulations on receiving your GED certificate! As you know, it takes effort to complete the General Educational Development testing, but there may still be some stigma associated with a GED over a traditional high school diploma. Comedian Chris Rock jokes that GED stand for “good enough diploma.” But is a GED good enough to get you a job?
The answer is: it depends. You will obviously not be qualified for a job as a rocket scientist or brain surgeon, but for some entry-level positions, having your GED will show that you did, eventually, finish what you started. For yours truly, a candidate who completes his or her GED represents character traits like ambition, resilience, and just plain turning lemons into lemonade.
Most employers – approximately 96 percent, according to the GED Testing Service – accept GED certification as a valid educational credential for employment. Frankly though, when faced with two equal candidates, one with a GED and the other with a high school diploma, some hiring managers may not want to take a risk on the GED applicant. Make sure you shine in your interview, and if the subject comes up, explain the circumstances that prevented you from graduating with a traditional high school diploma.
Depending on your employment and career goals, you may want to use your GED as a launching pad for further education, either online, at a traditional community college, or through a vocational school. Once you attain a college degree or certification, a GED versus the traditional high school diploma becomes a moot point.
In my many years, I’ve seen many a job candidate with nice, shiny college degrees who turn out to be lazy, unprofessional, or difficult to work with. I would choose a candidate with a GED and a great attitude any day. You’ll find an employer who feels the same.
Job Seekers: Have you ever felt you lost out on a job because of your GED? Hiring Managers: Is the GED equivalent to a high school diploma in your eyes?
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