Since the time school was invented by Horse Mann in 17th century, the requirements to gain admission into a higher education institution or get a job changed a lot. The most important of these is an educational qualification, the minimum of which is a high school diploma or an equivalent certification. A high school diploma certifies that the holder has a certain level of knowledge or skill that the position or opportunity would require. Simultaneously, a certificate equivalent to this is a qualification stating that the holder has passed testing equal to the high school diploma requirements. Some are General Educational Development (GED), IB Diploma Program, and High School Equivalency Test.
What is a high school diploma?
A high school diploma is a graduation certificate issued by the head of a school or governing council to a student upon graduation. It is a statement that the student whose name the certificate bears has completed the required coursework and met the minimum requirements for graduation from the school. It is typically issued after 4 years (grade 9 to grade 12) and is awarded by the school in compliance with the state’s education laws or province.
What is the equivalent of a high school diploma?
For people who have been unable to obtain a high school diploma due to any reason, it is not the end of the road. There are options, alternatives that can be taken in place of test, which serves as adequate substitutes for the high school diploma certification. These equivalents have their requirements and method of testing.
Some of them are:
- General Educational Development (GED)
This is a nationally accepted academic qualification that serves as a substitution for it. Its tests consist of five subject areas (writing, reading, social studies, mathematics, and science), which, when passed, provide certification that the taker has academic skills and knowledge equal to a person with a high school diploma certificate. It can be taken in English, Spanish, or Braille and confers the taker with a high school equivalency credential or diploma. It was designed for those who were unable to obtain a high school diploma, and its certificate is issued by the province or state where the person taking the test is a resident.
- IB Diploma Program
This is an academic qualification certificate that is recognized internationally and can be used to obtain entry into higher learning institutions like a college or University. It is offered by IB world schools and includes a rigorous study that includes subjects from six subject groups; Sciences, Mathematics, Language and literature, Language acquisition, Arts, and Individuals and societies. The study program takes three of the subjects at a higher level and the other three at a standard level.
- High School Equivalency Test
This is an academic test organized by the Educational Testing Service and consists of five subjects; Reading, Writing, Social studies, Mathematics, and Science. It can be taken physically or online and is available in English or Spanish.
- Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC)
This is an academic qualification certificate created by McGraw-Hill Education and chosen as a replacement for the General Educational Development (GED) by Indiana and New York in 2014. It is currently available in thirteen states in the United States and a suitable equivalent for the High school diploma certificate.
What is the use and benefit of a high school diploma or its equivalent?
- Admission into Higher Institutions
Higher educational institutions such as four-year colleges and universities require the minimum of a high school diploma certificate or its equivalent. A person who wishes to study in any of these institutions must obtain one of the above-mentioned certificates. This is because the level of study practiced in these institutions is higher than that of the high school diploma level. The certificate serves as an assurance that the holder is capable of learning at a higher level and possesses the college or university requirements. It is impossible to obtain admission into such an institution without a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Higher Salary Opportunities
The US Bureau of logistics has estimated that people who have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate earn higher salaries than people who do not possess any certification. Employers have a higher level of trust in someone with a diploma certificate and are willing to pay more for their time and services. This also extends to business owners who typically earn more and can better manage their business when they have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate.
- More Job Opportunities
Statistically, many jobs available usually require a minimum of a high school diploma or a degree from a higher educational institution like a college or university. A high school diploma or equivalent could be the minor difference between a person and a big opportunity or dream job. Having that certificate opens up a world of opportunities for the holder, whether it is a job or business opportunity.
- Improved Skillset
A high school diploma or an equivalent certification is more than just a piece of paper; it is a statement of the hard work and time you put into learning and developing yourself. Education does more than give you more knowledge; it improves your ability to learn, absorb knowledge, learn faster and be more efficient in the things you do, whether educational or non-educational.
What opportunities exist without a diploma or equivalent certification?
A lack of a high school diploma or any equivalent is not the end of a career or educational path. There are several opportunities available for someone unable to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent certification.
Some of these opportunities include:
- Community College
This educational institution offers academic classes and preparatory classes for higher colleges or Universities; they also offer local programs and certifications for community colleges that do not often require a high school diploma or its equivalent for admission. A general requirement is the minimum age of 18 years, and some have their method of testing to ascertain the academic level and skill of candidates.
- Technology and Communication Industry
This industry includes web development, coding, customer service, telemarketing, technological repairs, maintenance, etc. It is an industry that mainly relies on training specific to its field and on the job learning. It is not usually taught in educational institutions; therefore, it does not usually require a diploma or educational certificate to practice or be successful.
- Art and Entertainment Industry
This industry includes jobs like painting, acting, comedy, dancing, singing, and cosmetology. These jobs usually require a level of inborn talent and training to be successful. Educational certifications are usually unnecessary in these jobs as it is an area outside the usual field of study in educational institutions and require specific training.
- Physical Labor Career
A physical labor career includes jobs that require more physical strength than educational ability. They usually include physical and on-the-job training and include fire service, carpentry, construction work, driving, factory work, etc. Most of these jobs have lower pay but will not require an educational certification to be successful.
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