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High School Diploma Vs. G.E.D. plus Bachelor's Degree


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6 replies to this topic

#1
SmashQueen

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Okay, so here's the situation (based on a real one that's happening, but I'm leaving the names out).

Person A (let's call this one Zee) just got into an argument with Person B (let's call the person androgynous, "Andro" for short) about what's better: earning a High School diploma (HSD) or quitting school, getting a GED, and earning a Bachelor's Degree so at around age 20, Andro can get hired for whatever job he/she is aiming for.

Zee is on the pro-HSD side (who is fine with the Bachelor's Degree after obtaining it). Andro, the always stubborn one, is on the latter. Zee wants to convince Andro that quitting HS is wrong and that it pays to have a diploma rather than a GED.

Anyone have some points so Zee can at least try to convince Andro not to drop out of high school, or is a GED + Bachelor's Degree at age 20 really something Andro should go for?

Zee's argument: HSDs are more difficult to get and require a lot of work. It's a bigger achievement.
GED = easy way out
An employer will hire someone with a HS diploma over someone with a GED.
A high school diploma lets the employer know that you didn't quit; you didn't give up when the going got tough. Work can get really difficult and it's good to know the employee won't give up or cut corners.

Andro's argument: A bachelor's degree, regardless whether or not a HSD is in hand since Andro's aiming for the alternative, lets the employer know that not as much money will have to spent on the employee and less training will be required. Thus, someone with a GED and a Bachelor's Degree will be hired over someone with a HSD.
Andro can get out of high school faster and not have to deal with it and certain teachers. (Um, hello? There's always going to be annoying or "hardbutt" teachers.)

Both Zee and Andro agree that a High School diploma will be chosen over a GED normally, but Andro says that with a Bachelor's Degree he/she will...have an edge I guess.

(Currently hoping Jackle invades Andro's dreams tonight. Or maybe Reala.)

...The biggest thing here is how quick Andro wants to get hired at a job. Zee doesn't approve of passing up teenage years by focusing solely on work, work, work, (for goodness sakes, once those years are gone, they're gone), but apparently it doesn't matter if those years are missed.

Thoughts or input? Thanks in advance.

#2
Loufren

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Uuhhhhmmm... welll... I'm for the HSD, because they get you further in life... but in the end it's not much. I guess... both are good.

#3
Nemoide

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To be totally honest, I kind of regret not dropping out of high school and getting my GED at 16 (which I'm pretty confident I could have done).
I'm the kind of guy who seriously loves to learn stuff and I think the public school system in the US holds people back more than anything. And if you can get into a college with a GED at age 16 (I suspect you'll need people to vouch for how awesome you are and have good SAT scores) then that's kind of great. It's true that employers don't care about your high school degree once you have something better. Even an Associates degree makes HS Diploma/GED obsolete.

The biggest problem though is that the system makes it so that almost everyone on a college campus is at least 18. And most other students will have completed high school, causing there to be a disconnect in personal background. Basically it would be REALLY TOUGH for a 16 year old to adjust to the social aspect.
"Andro" is right in that the Bachelor's degree would look better to employers BUT they should factor in what it is they want to do. I mean, if business is their DRIVING PASSION and they love accounting or engineering or anything like that then college can be a key to a well paying job. On the other hand, I'm in grad school so I can become a librarian and I know I'm not going to be making a lot of money. I'll count myself lucky if I can get $30k a year after graduating - considering that this will be the total of SIX YEARS of education, that doesn't make a huge amount of sense from a financial perspective. But I'll be doing what I feel I was meant to do and THAT is what counts.
I graduated with a BA and couldn't find any serious work. In fact, the only person I know who got a bachelor's degree and then found a relevant job is an engineer. Otherwise my good college friends and I almost all got stuck with jobs that don't even require HS diplomas. It's a crap economy, true, but bachelor's degree alone DOES NOT ENSURE A GOOD JOB!

Does Andro want to make a lot of money or do they want to LEARN to enrich themselves. If it's the first choice, their best bet would probably be vocational school - my high school had a program in which you can take vocational classes while still being in high school and it counts (allowing you to get a proper diploma). If they are SERIOUS about LEARNING then going to college early could be the right thing to do. 1/3 of college freshmen do not graduate - you cannot just float through college they way you can high school.

And even though I said at the start of this post that I kind of regret not dropping out and getting my GED so I could get to college early, I'm not so sure I could have handled it. Frankly, my 16 year old self was STUPID in MANY MANY WAYS. And in two years time your friend will look back at almost everything they did while 16 and think THEY were pretty stupid too.
Staying in school is the safe choice.

Anyway, is it possible that Andro could take the GED exam while still in high school? That would seem like the ideal solution.

ALSO: I feel old T_T

#4
SmashQueen

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"Andro" isn't 16 yet so the GED can't be taken currently, but it's something to look into I guess. I have a feeling that if Andro gets a GED, he/she will drop out of school faster. And you're right, just because you have a BA or something, doesn't mean you'll get hired immediately. I don't think "Andro" wants to learn, just get everything over with (although I'll make sure it's brought up next time I see or talk to Andro; really need to know his/her siding on learning vs. cash).

Personally, I think Andro should stay in high school and stop playing World of Warcraft to boot (or at least cut down on it). I had home schooling and had to work harder for my grades. I did stupid things then too (oi...saying stupid things mostly).

I can understand having a goal. My own is to write and complete my novels (which I choke doing every time...it's a big problem). Andro...I have no idea. His/her goals are an enigma. At least there's some more questions to ask. If worst comes to worst, I think it'd be in Andro's best interests to actually have an idea of what to do for the future. At least some point in Zee and Andro's discussions can be settled.

And you're right, Andro's my friend... A very stubborn friend (and...sometimes things need to be said bluntly for a message to get across). I'm usually good at solving problems between my friends (or whatever problem there is between a friend and me), but this isn't going anywhere.

If it's any consolation, I've felt like that before. ...I'm not supposed to dang it! >_<

Edit: Should probably mention now that it's out I know him/her as a friend, Andro is also a family member. (Family can be friends too...)

#5
JaxTH

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I say get the diploma.

#6
TORiAS_the_fallen

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Let's use another hypothetical person. Let's call her "Anna."

Anna's father is a High School drop out, so Anna's father cannot get a decent job and is forced to work at a factory. Life happens, and Andro may end up with a family he/she will have to help support, and there will be no time to get a GED or Bachlor's Degree, because Andro will be too busy working, just like Anna's father. In addition to this, Anna's father has become somewhat bitter over his situation and forces Anna to work harder than is feasable to stop Anna from failing like he did so long ago.

Also, even a HSD is worth less and less. More people are able to go to college now, and most employers expect a college education. That will make Andro's GED worth practically nothing, and even Zee's HSD will not be worth that much, becaue Anna's mother works as a Church secratary, and that was the best job she could get with her HSD.

Anna would advise Andro not to give up school, because Anna also has a very hard time with teachers and people. GED is not an easy way out, so Zee should tell Andro that, if she/he doesn't want to end up like either one of Anna's parents, Andro should work his/her way through it, because someone else with a difficult situation is working very hard to be able to get a good job and support those she loves. Anna will not be a dissapointment, and either should Andro.

#7
Ten

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I will... be totally frank and be offering as unbiased a point as I can, despite my own educational history. I don't have a high school diploma or a GED. I started college when I was fifteen, graduated in four years, have my BA and I started work on my Masters (in education) after a year of substituting. I'm 21. I'm taking a break from my MA, currently, due to the way it's been set up and conflicting learning methods. Online courses suck for me.

With that out of the way, GED vs HSD is completely personal, as are alternative programs like the one I went through. There are pros and cons to both sides. I see nothing wrong with getting a GED if school isn't your thing. There are teachers who don't foster a student's desire to learn, and thus the situation can become detrimental and ruin any desire to continue learning--they get bored. It sounds silly, but it's really quite true. This is especially true in schools where the SOL is handled poorly. Unfortunately, not all teachers have the energy to tackle the issue of keeping their students engaged while trying to make sure they know their test material. I've seen it happen too many times that teachers just force feed material instead of *teaching* it. Memorization != comprehension. And for that reason, I can completely understand wanting to drop out. Some students leave because there isn't a challenge to anything.

With the high school diploma, you have a few years pre-requisite that'll help gear you toward the future. Part of high school's purpose is to guide students as they mature. It's kind of an unwritten one, though. You learn both basic things and things you don't think you'll ever use again, but you also make lifelong friends with classmates and learn how to function in a microcosm of society. Education as a whole is intended to make students and learners good citizens, as well as encourage a desire to learn more on their own. You're taught life skills all throughout the educational process--you'd be surprised what places want you to know how to use Excel spreadsheets like the ones you used in that physics project, or how to use certain research resources.

Neither path is easy. The GED is a test to see if you have the knowledge and the comprehension; it is not a "get out of jail free" card. A high school diploma ensures you've had that trial and experience, and it has its own difficulties in achievement.

The biggest con with the GED is the work availability, nowadays. Granted, if Andro is planning on getting their BA/BS, this shouldn't be as much of a problem. There's the aforementioned hiring issue though, especially if they're in an area where employment is hard to come by (like where I am, augh). But that'd be the same even if you had your high school diploma.

The part where it matters is... well. The reason why. The simple and the overarching. Does Andro want an easy way out? They're in for a shock, then. Does Andro want a challenge and school isn't providing that? Such and so forth. Although if the challenge and teaching methods aren't the issue, and if the school is actually a good environment, I would say to stay in school, personally.

I could go into a lot more detail, but this is pretty wordy as it is right now. Rambly Ten is rambly. 8D




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