GED: Is It Enough?

Dear, Anita,

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 Sidebardiploma. 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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21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rizz
    Jun 11, 2015 @ 05:19:06

    Good luck for your GED Test.


  2. anitaclew
    Aug 14, 2014 @ 11:08:02


  3. top it certifications in demand 2013
    May 29, 2014 @ 18:39:38

    I’m no longer sure where you’re getting your info, however great topic. I need to spend some time finding out much more or figuring out more. Thanks for magnificent info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.


    • Timothy Bragg
      May 30, 2014 @ 14:55:16

      Businesses do not check to see if you have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. by the way congrats on getting that G.E.D. Checking high school diploma on applications is not going to matter because you met the general requirements whether you got the high school diploma or G.E.D.

      The challenge now becomes how much education do you need? That depends on what you want to do. Education is a catch 22 because you either do not have enough or you have too much. Sit down and think about where you see yourself in ten years, can you accomplish this with or without education? A college degree does not always mean you will be doing what you want, the trick is knowing what you want for yourself. Hope this helps.


  4. Trackback: Is GED enough? - Astanford
  5. Ann
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 12:03:41

    Yes is not enough!


  6. Rachelle
    Sep 30, 2013 @ 17:11:19

    Hi Anita. My name is Rachelle and I need help. I have been looking for work these past few years, but have had no luck getting anything. I am a “self-employed” artist, but I don’t get many commissions and I am barely getting by with General Relief. As much as I love my passion with art, I feel that I won’t be able to get anywhere with it. Unfortunately, I also feel that my many shortcomings are getting in the way of me landing a job.

    I’m a rather small and quiet person, and I’m not quite built for major physical labor. I am only 5′ tall and can carry maybe 50 lbs. with a little difficulty. Though, the problem I worry about the most is my difficulty with speaking to others. I have been estranged from people since I was a child due to reasons I would rather not share. Because of this I find that I have trouble speaking audibly, clearly, and without stutterin .I have even lost words. Is there any way I can overcome this issue?


    • anitaclew
      Oct 01, 2013 @ 17:02:36

      Rachelle, Don’t be discouraged; there are lots of job options for you. What about data entry or medical transcription, just to name a few? If you are not speedy on the keyboard, look into additional training, either online or at your local community college. You may wish to work with a staffing agency, who can evaluate your skill set and aptitudes to match you up with an employer, either as a temp or a direct hire position. My friends at The Select Family of Staffing Companies have offices all over the United States: If you are really uncomfortable with your communication problems, look into working with a speech pathologist or speech therapist. Rent the movie “The King’s Speech” for inspiration. Finally, don’t focus on your shortcomings, but concentrate on all your positive attributes. With your creativity, I’m sure you’ll come up with a list of professions that best suit your personality.


  7. Arlene Castillo
    Sep 26, 2013 @ 15:00:24

    What should you do to a Recruiter who doesn’t tell you what’s going to happen when you are acquiring a job? Should I remind him or her that I want a job. Because that’s the reason why I went down to their office, to seek a job. Another thing is that why they are hesitant on telling you about the company’s wants and needs. Are we supposedly replacing an employee who file for a long term vacation? When I stressed that I need a long term job to permanent, the recruiter
    just said nothing, like they are trying to tell you if you can get it!!! It’s a weird feeling when you leave their house full of “I don’t know surprises”!!!! Okay, what ever will happen, happens.


    • anitaclew
      Sep 27, 2013 @ 08:40:45

      Arlene, I sense your frustration. It sounds like you and the recruiter are having communication issues. Try writing down all your questions before you call your recruiter. Ask if he or she has five minutes to explain their company’s process, so that you will know what to expect. If the explanation leaves some of your questions unanswered, then fire away with a few follow-up questions. Good luck!


  8. Mike McGuire
    Sep 26, 2013 @ 10:45:19

    For Good Enough: First of all, never mind the credential, you yourself are more than good enough! Congratulations on earning your GED. Employers may often ask for either a high school diploma or a GED as a way to limit how many applicants, some of them not very suited for work, they have to consider. That is, it’s a routine requirement that the employer doesn’t think about very hard — a box HR checks off on the forms. You’ll be considered on your skills and other attributes much more than whether you got a regular high school diploma or a GED, and it sounds like on those you’re in good shape. Best of luck.

    By the way, you may want to take Anita’s advice for further education, and if you do, don’t overlook the vocational programs offered at a lot of community colleges — these will often get you good-paying jobs faster than if you attended the CC for two years, got one degree, and then went on to a 4-year college. You might want to avoid these programs at for-profit outfits, though, as many of those will charge you a lot of money, encourage you to run up huge student loan debt and then not find you a job that pays enough to pay off those loans. The community college programs are cheaper and often get you better results.


  9. Milissa Sandoval
    Sep 25, 2013 @ 12:06:25

    you should be very proud of your acccomplishment of reciving your GED and hopefully you will be able to persue your education further to gain a full filling employment rather then just settle for anything


  10. Nas
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 16:36:53

    yes, even simple job requires a GED,


  11. Timothy Bragg
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 16:22:50

    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?

    I can tell you employers do not check to see if you have a high school diploma because most positions that only require a high school degree are positions you can learn in one day, so I always tell people to just put high school diploma instead of G.E.D. and they tend to get hired.

    Some employers will check to see if you have an associate degree but when you start applying for Bachelor degree positions, that is when all employers will verify that you graduated from a well respected university. Hope this helps.


  12. Jennifer Garner
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 10:28:47

    hi anita my name is jennifer im have problems trying to get into remedy.isthere anyway that u can help me please.i have four kids.and i need a job to support my family.


    • anitaclew
      Sep 24, 2013 @ 11:32:59

      Hi, Jennifer. Since I don’t work for Remedy, I can’t help you in this case. However, I do have a tip for you! If you’ve already submitted an application and haven’t received an email after one week, I’d suggest contacting the branch to which you applied to check on the status. You can find the contact information for the Remedy branch on their website at Best of luck to you!


  13. Timothy Bragg
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 09:44:53

    As someone who is working on a PhD, you have advantages because you have little education, there are many directions you can go, and you can always gain your education along the way.

    As for me because I have such a high level of education. I am excluded from a lot because I am too over qualified, and I can only stay in white collar work. I do not get that option of going back and forth anymore, my education has defined me.

    You have a lot of move to move right now but somewhere along the way you are going to want to get a bachelor degree in something, hope this helps.


  14. Val Cochran
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 08:30:42

    As looking for a job now has cause me a setback with couple of duties that I can’t perform needs an advice. I am hearing impaired with over 11 yrs of data entry. I don’t have experience with customer service and using the phones which I am not able to handle. Any Advice will be greatly appreciate?


    Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 15:26:53 +0000 To:


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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