Last month’s Spotlight!, which kicked-off a three-part series, shone brightly on the power of the General Education Development (GED®®) certificate—the equivalent of a high school diploma—and the value it holds for those KRA Corporation jobseeker-customers who were unable to complete high school and need a credential to facilitate their entry, or re-entry, into the workplace and sustainable employment.
This month, we continue to focus the Spotlight! on the 2014 GED® Program—released by the General Testing Service last month—the only nationally-recognized educational resource that offers a second chance to obtain that coveted high-school credential.
KRA has observed that the personal benefits that accrue to its “GED® graduates” are many, including enhanced feelings of accomplishment, confidence, and self-esteem. And, according to studies conducted by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, high-school dropouts who take the initiative to earn a GED® feel better about themselves and are more hopeful about the future for themselves and their families.
The professional benefits are many as well; those who put in the time and effort to earn a GED® tend to hold more fulltime positions than dropouts who don’t complete the GED® course of study, and the impact is especially evident in adults striving to make positive changes in their lives. For KRA jobseeker-customers, the GED® is a career development asset, providing greater overall opportunities for successful job placement, earning power, and college admission.
Job Placement. With drop-outs not being eligible for 90% of the available jobs, the GED® credential provides KRA jobseeker-customers with more opportunities for employment and advancement, at the same time providing KRA employer-customers a larger pool of qualified candidates for their businesses. More often than not, employers, including KRA, with high-school diploma requirements also accept a GED® as a minimum standard for employment.
Earning Power. KRA recognizes that a GED® does not guarantee increased earning power, which is affected by many factors, for every customer. How much a worker is paid—now and in the future—depends on the overall state of the economy, the “health” of the particular industry sector and whether or not it is “in demand”, etc.
However, the most influential factor may well be the jobseeker him/herself. A strong work ethic, dedication to excellence, motivation to succeed, technical skill-sets, workplace “soft skills”, etc. all play a role in how much an employer pays one worker versus another worker. This is why all KRA workforce development programs engage the “whole customer” in work-readiness, including GED® preparation, if needed.
Not having a high-school credential almost certainly guarantees decreased earning potential. In an article on schools.com, Ysobel Croix wrote, “High school graduates earn more money than workers who never completed high school…almost $9,000 more per year.”
College Admission. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 98% of postsecondary schools recognize the GED® for enrollment, which has been KRA’s experience as well.
Next month’s Spotlight! will wrap up this series, featuring snapshots of the creative and innovative GED® preparation programs available through in-house KRA Instruction Specialists, as well as those available by referral through our valued community-education partners.