What’s the difference between a GED and an online high school diploma? Choosing between a GED credential and a high school diploma is an important decision for anyone deciding to further their education. While both options represent an equal level of academic skill, there are a few key differences between a GED and a high school diploma.
To find out which alternative suits your career goals, keep reading to learn how each option can effect your future.
What Is a GED?
The General Education Development, or GED, is a test that covers math, science, social studies, and language arts. It is designed for individuals who did not finish high school but want to obtain a credential that is equivalent to a high school diploma.
Online High School Diploma vs GED
Let’s explore the main differences between an online high school diploma and aGED to help you decide which path is right for you.
1. The Process
Earning an online high school diploma is very similar to the process of a traditional high school diploma. Students will complete all required classes, assignments, and exams to complete their credits. Once students reach their high school graduation, their diploma is proof of completing a full high school education to the satisfaction of national standards.
On the other hand, the GED exam is taken in-person at a testing center. The test is available in both computer-based and paper-based formats. Unlike online high school, students can not earn their diploma by completing the GED test. The GED only qualifies as an equivalency diploma. Students who choose this route won’t be taking classes or doing assigned homework. Instead, they will be tested on their proficiency in the four main high school education categories.
2. Time Commitment
An online high school diploma requires more time than the GED to complete because you are attending classes, taking tests, and completing assignments. However, online learning allows students to complete classes on their own time, at their own pace. It is up to the student if they want to accelerate their education, or learn at a steadier pace. This flexibility is helpful for students who have other commitments, such as work or family obligations.
On the other hand, the GED exam can be completed in 7.5 hours or split out across two days. Because it is a single test, students will need to spent large amounts of time studying to prepare. Some students may study for weeks, while others need months to prepare.
3. Class Opportunities
A key difference between the GED and a high school diploma is the fields of study available to students. Through an online high school, students can learn about many different topics that interest them. For example, students can enroll in film, music, nutrition, and more. This gives them the opportunity to learn about their interests and explore their passions.
In comparison, the GED exam only focuses on mathematics, social studies, reading, and science. When students complete the GED exam, they are only showing that the have a command on general education topics.
4. Career Readiness
Earning an online high school diploma can also prepare students for their careers. Online high schools’ multiple classes allows students to learn more about topics that can help them in their future jobs. Plus, students can gain more soft skills that will improve their employability. For example, online high school courses often require students to communicate with their teachers and classmates. Skills like these are highly sought after by employers.
The GED test does not provide students with as much career preparation. Since students do not get to take any classes, they do not have the chance to improve their soft skills or focus on career readiness.
5. Preparation for College
Another difference between earning a high school diploma and the GED is student’s college readiness. One of the benefits of online high school is that it provides students with several skills that can prepare them for higher education.
First, online high schools teach students study habits and time management skills through assignment deadlines. Secondly, online high school teaches students critical thinking skills. If a student wants to attend college, critical thinking is essential for solving difficult problems. Lastly, online high schools can give students a preview of college-level coursework. This can help them prepare for the requirements of higher education.
It’s hard to measure how much the GED prepares students for college. Since the test is completed in one or two days, students may only have prepared to pass it as opposed to truly learning the subjects. Students also miss out on the key habit-building advantages of pursuing an online high school diploma.
Ancora High School students can interact with their teachers, classmates, and Student Success Champions, just like a normal classroom. This makes earning a high school diploma more collaborative, and more fun. If a student is stuck on an assignment, one-on-one tutoring is always available for them. Students can also receive help with college preparation, career readiness, and college or trade school enrollment support.
Students preparing for the GED do not receive any support as a part of the program. If they need additional help, they have to hire their own tutor or enroll in a GED preparation program.
7. Earning Potential
One of the biggest reasons students go back to school is to increase their earning potential or salary. How does the pay between GED earners and high school graduates compare? Studies show that high school diploma holders earn $11k more than high school dropouts, while GED earners only make $9k more. Over the lifetime of a career, this can add up to be a significant gap in earnings. If increasing your salary is your main reason for getting a high school diploma or GED, this difference in income should be highly considered.
Similarities Between Getting a GED & a Diploma
The GED and online high school diplomas share a few similarities.
Both options can help students pursue their college degree or vocational training. Plus, most employers recognize the GED and a high school diploma as evidence of basic academic skills.
Further Your Education Today
The decision between pursuing a GED or a diploma depends on each student’s circumstances and goals. When choosing between a GED and an online high school diploma, consider your top priorities, like higher education, earning potential, and pursuing your passions. What option will help you achieve your ideal career? If you’re looking to pursue a college degree, build a variety of skills, and potentially earn a higher salary – online high school could be your best option.
With the help of Ancora High School, you can earn your high school diploma online in a flexible environment. Learners even have options for fast-tracked learning. Plus, Ancora High School is an affordable option that allows you to pursue your high school diploma in a way that works for your life and your budget.
Ready to earn your high school diploma online? Enroll in Ancora High School today to start your journey.