High School Diplomas and GEDs

If you dropped out of high school for whatever reason, you may have noticed that not having a high school diploma has limited your career and income potential. While school is not the right path for everyone, high school graduates do, on average, earn more than those who do not have a diploma. There are also many career paths that require a high school diploma or GED to even get started. And admittance to college requires a high school diploma or GED.

If you've decided that eraning your high school diploma or GED (General Education Diploma) is something you'd like to pursue, there are several websites that can guide you in your goal. Here are some to get you started:

The Difference Between a High School Diploma and a GED

The end results of a high school diploma and GED are very similar: you have demonstrated basic knowledge in a variety of disciplines. However the process, and what you can do with each, sets them apart.

A high school diploma is just that -- it is a certificate that you completed the coursework set forth by an accredited high school. The important part of this is coursework. You must participate in classes and pass them to earn a diploma.

A GED is the result of passing a test. While passing this test indicates you have the rquired knowledge, you are not required to take a course or sit in a classroom to pass it. There are classes available that can prepare you for the test, but they are not a required part of the process.

Depending on what you want to do with your degree, it may not matter which one you get. Many employers consider both to be equal. And if you want to go to a community college, either one will likely be sufficient. However if you plan on attending a traditional college or university, you may want to pursue a high school diploma instead of a GED, as many colleges require a diploma.

If you already have a GED and are interested in pursuing a Bachelor's Degree or higher, you may want to consider starting at a community college and then transferring to a four-year college.