General Education Degrees

Written by Ingrid Chen
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The General Education Development degree, or GED, is a basic credential that qualifies as a high school diploma equivalency. It was created in 1942 by the Center for Adult Learning and Education Credentials. Its original mission was to provide a way for young war veterans to catch up with missed schooling and receive the degrees they needed to enter into a growing workforce. Nowadays the GED degree is available to anyone wanting to receive diploma qualifications, be they home-schoolers or students who left high school early.

Why Get a GED?

It's a good idea, and sometimes a necessity, to have a GED under your belt when entering a competitive workforce. As job opportunities increase, competition also grows, with many qualified individuals vying for lucrative positions. Without a GED, however, some individuals find obtaining a well-paying job or career-advancing position difficult.

The GED diploma covers five basic subjects: two types of language arts (reading and writing), mathematics, sciences and social studies. Reading and writing qualifications are especially important when entering office positions. The tests are regularly updated to fit the necessities of the present time periods. Since the GED was most recently updated in 2002, the tests have become increasingly business-oriented, testing on topics such as analyzing and interpreting emails, resumes, memos and newspapers.

Social studies tests are oriented more towards having a general understanding of world history and historical social interactions, in order to grasp how present societies developed. It's also considered vital to understand American history as a resident of the country. Math and science are geared more towards topics that can be applied towards practical, everyday situations, as well as towards work or trade-based occupations.

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