Life After the GED: I Passed! Now What?
Congratulations on passing the GED! The high school equivalency credential that you've just earned can open up many professional and educational opportunities. Read on for ideas on where to go from here.
Completing the GED: The Next Step
Passing the General Educational Development (GED) exam is a real accomplishment. According to the American Council on Education (ACE), the organization that manages the GED, the test is designed so that only 60% of high school seniors could pass on their first try.
Successful completion of the exam means that you've earned a high school equivalency credential, which reflects a similar (but not identical) level of academic achievement as a high school diploma. In order to use this credential, you'll need to obtain a copy of your GED transcript. For people who took the test in the U.S. or Canada, this can be acquired by contacting your original testing center. Military personnel, test takers in correctional facilities and individuals who took the exam overseas can request a copy via the online GED transcript request form on the ACE website (www.acenet.edu).
Once you have a copy of your transcript, there are two main ways that you can take advantage of your new credential: To pursue postsecondary education or to advance in your career.
There are many good reasons to pursue a college degree, including personal enrichment and increased career opportunities. Although your new credential doesn't guarantee you college admission, it can open doors: According to ACE, over 98% of colleges and universities accept the GED transcript in lieu of a high school diploma for admission.
If you're considering postsecondary study, the first thing you'll want to do is consider your long term goals. If you have a career in mind, find out what the typical educational requirements are, including specific subject areas and advanced degrees. For example, most states allow you to become a registered nurse with just an associate's degree in nursing, but you'll eventually need a master's degree in the field to become a nurse practitioner.
Once you've determined the degree path necessary for you to meet your goals, look for local schools that offer relevant opportunities. Education-Portal.com's programs directory can help you find the right degree program.
If you're unsure what you want to do in the long run, consider starting with a local 2-year institution. Most community colleges offer lower tuition and the opportunity to brush up on your education and experiment with what may interest you. Earning an associate's degree can also reduce the time and cost required to earn a bachelor's degree if you eventually decide to pursue more education.
Passing the GED can also help you advance your career. Even if you aren't interested in pursuing long term postsecondary education, your new credential can help you get access to professional training programs at community colleges and vocational schools.
Your GED transcript can also help you get through the door at a new job or advance within your current company. ACE reports that 96% of employers accept the high school equivalency credential for eligibility for both hiring and promotion.
If you're not currently employed, put your new credential on your resume and consider contacting the career services center at the institution at which you took the GED exam. Many adult education centers and other testing locations can help you prepare for your job search.
If you're happy with your current company, ask your boss to meet with you. Tell him or her about your recent achievement and find out if it opens up any new opportunities for you within the company. You may not be offered a promotion right away, but earning your GED credential may qualify you to apply for one at the appropriate time.
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