If you do not have a high school diploma, one option for you is to get your GED certificate. GED training holds the key to a better future, for instance:
Getting your GED certificate will open doors to jobs.
If you want to go to college, you must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate to get in.
If your GED scores are good, you also may be able to apply for scholarships and other sources of money to help pay for college classes or trade school training.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Your GED Certificate Now
Getting your GED will help you for your entire life. It may help others, too.
Here are five powerful reasons to get your GED now:
The job market has changed. In today’s world, most employers will not hire anyone who does not have either a high school diploma or a GED.
A GED can make a big difference in future earnings. For example, a study by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed a difference of more than $6,800 per year in average earnings between non-graduates and persons who held either a high school diploma or a GED. This study included annual earnings from 2000 through 2013 and covered full-time workers ages 25-34. The total difference for those 13 years of earnings comes to $88,400.
The more you learn, the more you can learn. The skills you gain in studying for your GED make it possible for you to be successful in other studies. Your self-confidence grows. You become aware that you have the ability to set career goals and figure out steps to reach those goals.
Getting your GED helps you meet requirements to go to college or join a branch of the armed forces. Although military career opportunities are limited when you have only a GED, the GED makes it possible for you to take college or trade courses that expand your choices.
You set an example for others to follow. Family members who are still in school see that education is important. Your determination to make your life better influences others who are struggling. The ripple effect of your efforts can have far-reaching results, doing much good.
What Is the GED?
“GED” stands for general educational development. “GED” also refers to the certificate that you earn by passing certain tests. Each state oversees testing in that state and determines the test sites. The GED certificate proves that the holder has educational skills that are similar to those of a high school graduate.
You will be tested in these four subjects:
Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA)
Who can take the GED Test?
Anyone who is not attending high school and is age 17 or older may register to take the GED tests.
Sometimes, the age restriction is lowered to 16.
Certain students who are enrolled in school also may be able to test.
How Hard Is It To Get Your GED?
Among other questions, you probably wonder whether you have what it takes to earn your GED. Because you dropped out of high school, you may doubt your abilities. People become high school dropouts for many reasons.
Perhaps you left school to help your family.
Perhaps you got in with the wrong crowd or quit because you didn’t like the classroom environment.
No matter why you dropped out of school, you know more now than you did then.
You learned a little about how education helps grown-ups make good lives for themselves and their families.
This knowledge will motivate you to do well in your efforts to earn your GED.
Also, the study materials and the testing program itself are designed to help you succeed.
How Long Does It Take to Get Your GED?
You might be able to earn your GED in less than three months. How long it takes to get your GED depends on what skills you already have. It also depends on the number of hours you study each week.
Take practice tests to find out what you know and what you don’t. Then, study only what you need to learn.
Each of the four content areas is tested and scored separately. If you do not pass one test, you only need to retake that test, not all four. Some states allow you to retake a test as many as eight times in one year.
National statistics for July 2014 through June 2015 showed that:
77 percent of all GED tests taken received passing scores.
The pass rate for the GED test in New Mexico was 74 percent.
The Colorado GED test pass rate was 88 percent.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Your GED?
Getting your GED does not need to be expensive. Here are a few pointers:
U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: Education Matters
Pew Research Center: The Rising Cost of Not Going to College
Colorado Department of Education: GED Participation and Outcomes FY 2014-15 Report http://www.cde.state.co.us/postsecondary/geddatafy1415
New Mexico Public Education Department: GED Home http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/GED_index.html
National Center for Education Statistics: Fast Facts – Income of Young Adults
GED Testing Service: Protect Yourself From Fraud
GED Testing Service: There’s Never Been a Better Time to Test
IntelliTec Colleges: Get Your GED
IntelliTec Colleges Blog: IntelliTec College Offers Improved Online GED Testing to Grand Junction
Learn How to Get a True Career After High School
A “career” is more than a job—it’s a calling. A life-long vocation that not only gives a person a new level of respect among their peers, but allows them to provide for others. A career is about purpose, and having a place in this world. So why are so many young Americans no longer pursuing one?
High schoolers face daunting difficulties when planning for the future. It’s hard to plan a career in a world that demands a four year degree as the price of admission. As a result, many young people begin working right out of high school.
What many don’t know is that there is a third option—a way to have a real career without the substantial investment of a four year degree.
Think About Attending a Vocational School or Technical College
You can reach your career goals without going to a four-year college, and a vocational school can do this for you. By going to college for a shorter period – less than two years – you can increase your earnings over time and have an evolving career.
A vocational school (or sometimes called a trade or technical college) can give you:
The training you need for an in-demand career you will love in less than two years.
A way to start making money sooner than if you went to a four-year college.
A plan for your future. You can have a career where you can start making more money than you could have made with no college education. These careers also have advancement opportunities.
Career Options for High Schoolers Planning to Attend a Vocational School
If you decide getting an associate degree or certificate from a vocational or technical school in less than two years is the right decision for you, the next step is to pick a career path.
A large number of career choices exist in technical or vocational colleges, including:
Fun Careers – You may be surprised at how many careers are a lot of fun.
Careers That Are In Demand– Many of these careers are in fields that are in high demand right now, like nursing and welding.
Meaningful Careers – Some careers are in fields that are focused on helping and lifting up others, such as physical therapy.
1. Fun Careers
Whether a career is fun is a personal choice. What one person thinks is fun, another may totally dislike. Here are some careers that many students find enjoyable and a little information on them.
Personal Trainer – Those who choose this field are usually physically active and have a passion for physical fitness. They are up on all the latest trends in fitness. If you spend a lot of time in the gym, this may be the perfect career for you.
Cosmetologist – If you enjoy helping people feel beautiful, this may be the career for you. In this field you, can branch off into jobs such as Estheticians, who beautify and clean the skin, Nail Technicians who work on the client’s nails, and Hair Stylists who manage hair cutting, coloring and styling.
Construction Manager – Those who choose this field usually begin by researching programs available at many two-year colleges. Training is often available through the construction industry associations.
Aviation Maintenance – If you are interested in repairing motors, but want something different to repair, this may be the career for you. It is best to attend one of 170 Aviation Maintenance Technician schools that the FAA has certified. This can lead to jobs at major airports across the nation, as well as jobs for the U.S. Armed Forces at military bases.
Air Traffic Controller – Although it is a very stressful job, those who work in this field totally enjoy the work. Those in this field have vigorous training and testing, including health and mental stability tests.
2. Careers That Are In Demand
There are always jobs that the majority of people cannot do for themselves. However, there is a need for someone to be able to help him or her. This is where the following jobs come in. Depending on geographic location, these jobs are almost always in demand, and their need is growing, especially in the IT (Information Technology) areas.
Computer and Network Systems Technician – If you enjoy tinkering around with computers and the way they work, a career in this field may be right for you. Most companies employ computer and network systems techs in order to assure that their networks are always up to speed and working correctly, especially in today’s competitive world.
Automotive Technician – For those who enjoy working on their own cars, a job in this field might be the way to go. Many technical schools offer training in this field. You usually start your career working under the more experienced technicians. Sometimes, automobile manufacturers and dealers sponsor two-year associates programs where you take classes one week and work in the service department the next, alternating between the two.
Refrigeration and HVAC Technician – A career in this field includes working with heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems. Many trade and technical schools offer training in this field, and many times, the student is trained through apprenticeships.
Plumber – Those choosing this path for their career will rarely, if ever be out of work. At one time or another, almost everyone has to call a plumber. Technical schools or community colleges usually teach the skills needed to gain a license in this field. Apprenticeship programs are also encouraged. Many times, local unions or other national plumbing organizations offer them.
Electrician – Another in-demand career is that of an electrician. In today’s world, everything runs on electricity, and so there will always be a need for someone to repair it when there are problems. Training in this field is offered in trade/technical schools, as well as in apprenticeship programs. Local unions such as the National Electrical Contractors Association often sponsor the apprenticeship programs, and they offer pay for on-the-job training.
3. Meaningful Careers
For those students who enjoy working with people and helping them in their daily lives, the following careers may be of interest:
Medical Assistant – A medical assistant works in the offices of hospitals, doctors and other types of healthcare facilities. They complete tasks such as measuring vital signs, recording patient information, giving patients injections and preparing blood samples for various lab tests.
Nursing Assistant – A nursing assistant will provide basic care for patients who are in the hospital or in a long-term facility, such as a nursing home. They help clean and bathe patients, dress the patients, help transfer the patients between their bed and wheelchairs, just to name a few of their duties.
Pharmacy Technician – Those who are interested in medications and how they can help their customers might enjoy this career. Pharmacy technicians help the pharmacists to collect information to fill prescriptions, measure amounts of medication for the prescriptions and disperse medication to customers. They also help organize the inventory and let pharmacists know if there are any shortages.
Dental Assistant – Those who are interested in the study of dentistry may enjoy a career as a dental assistant. Dental assistants have many duties, such as preparing the patient for their treatments, handing the dentist the dental instruments, keeping the patient’s mouths dry using the suction hoses and processing x-rays and other lab tasks, to name a few.
Massage Therapist – Another popular field is massage therapy. The massage therapist uses touch to manipulate the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. They can help to relieve pain, improve circulation, heal injuries and relieve stress in their patients, along with other benefits.
Other Career Ideas – Career Options That Don’t Need a Four-Year College Degree
Listed below are a few other career choices that a high school student might find interesting:
Real Estate Broker
Online Advertising Manager
Construction Machine Operator
Consider Training at a Technical College for an In-Demand Trades Career in Less than Two Years
As you can see, there are many careers to choose from if going to a four-year college is not in your plans. It is important that you explore your career options thoroughly, including a 2 year college degree or professional certificate in an in-demand trades career. There is something for almost everyone.
The good news is, if you put the time and effort into making it in one of the careers above, many times you can earn the same, or, in many cases, more than a student with a four-year degree. If you are able to train for a job that you really love, you will be successful.
“Employers Appreciate What You Know – and Even What You Don’t Know – as Long as You Are Honest About Both”
Daniel Kindred, Refrigeration and HVAC Technician (heating, ventilation, air conditioning technician) graduate from IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs, believes in old-fashioned principles: hard work, honesty, and the power of a thank you note.
After a tough HVAC Tech job interview with Academy School District #20 in Colorado Springs, he took the time to send a personal note of thanks to each person on the panel interview. “They asked some tough questions; questions I didn’t have all the answers to. I answered truthfully if I didn’t know something, but I also promised to research the questions and send them the answers. I included that information in my thank you notes, and I think that must have impressed them,” stated Kindred, “because I got the job!”
Make Every Dollar Count at College
When Kindred was 26 years old and still working at an hourly job in the food industry, he realized one day he had reached his earning potential. He was bored and depressed and “wanted to make more money by entering a growing career in HVAC.
I’d gone as far as I could as cook, and when I discovered IntelliTec, I saw it as a way out of just working and existing in life,” said Kindred. He dedicated himself to classes in the morning followed by an eight-hour restaurant shift (plus weekend hours) at his job, and study time whenever he had a free moment. “It was a struggle, but my main goal was to learn as much as I could while enrolled,” he added.
Juggling school and work can be challenging, but he advises students to look at the final picture. “Determine what sacrifices have to be made in order to succeed,” he explained. He takes advice from mentors seriously, and recognizes their shared personal experiences are valuable nuggets of information. “One teacher said ‘you’re not here to learn everything, but to understand how to learn for the future.’ I feel lucky to have a some of the best teachers in the industry as well as my dad giving me great advice,” said Kindred.
Invest in a Career with Innovation and Extra Effort for Big a Pay-Off
It takes a desire to learn and a level of integrity to be successful in the HVAC industry, according to one of Kindred’s former teachers, Charles Ledford. “The true test of any tech is to be able to refer him to family and friends since he would be directly in their homes. I wouldn’t hesitate to do so, and as a previous HVAC business owner, I’d hire him in a second.”
IntelliTec Offers a Strong Support Network Before, During and After Completion of a Program
Kindred recognizes he brought focus, drive, and determination to his college experience, but he attributes his success to a lot of help and encouragement from teachers and staff at IntelliTec. “You learn so much in such a short period of time, and not all of it relates just to your program classes. I felt like people there helped me with my first day jitters, kept me from feeling overwhelmed by pacing the content, and if it hadn’t been for my resume writing class, I don’t think I’d have the job I do today,” he said.
High Performance Engine Building Requires More Than Simple Automotive Tuning
Associate degrees have increased in popularity for the last 20 years.
You May Be a Candidate for an Associate’s Degree if You…
Know that your chosen career requires an associate degree.
Have no college experience but are certain you want to earn a full-fledged degree as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Different colleges will require slightly different programs of study. Compare degree requirements at different schools carefully when selecting the best associate degree for your situation.
What About the Cost of an Associate’s Degree?
“Even after factoring in the costs that graduates incur when earning the degree, the associate’s degree is a good investment,” according to authors Jorge Klor de Alva, president of Nexus Research and Policy Center, and Mark Schneider, president of College Measures and an AIR Fellow and vice president. Continue reading “12 Reasons to Get Your Associate’s Degree”