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Does having a diploma really make a difference? Yes! While we all have different goals and talents, a solid education opens up doors to many opportunities. Besides offering the potential to qualify for more jobs, earning your high school diploma can also have a positive impact on your life. Here are just 6 advantages of getting your high school diploma.

1. Earn a higher income

While money alone doesn't measure success, earning a higher paycheck can help you improve your quality of life, save money, and broaden your shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that high school graduates earn an average of about $10,000 more each year than those who don’t complete high school.

2. Be more competitive when you're applying for a new job

More and more jobs today require you to have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for employment. Employers want to hire someone who can put in the work, solve difficult problems, work well with others, and overcome challenges. If you have a high school diploma, you likely meet all of the above criteria and more. A high school diploma or its equivalent is also a must-have if you want to apply to college to further your education and prepare for a career you love! The good news? You can still go back to school as an adult!

3. Qualify for promotions at work

Even if your current job didn’t require you to have a high school diploma to get started, earning one can be necessary if you want to build a career and have the opportunity to advance – which can also mean earning more money. Advancing in many jobs means stepping into a leadership role, such as a shift supervisor or manager, and most employers want their leaders to have a high school education in addition to their work experience.

4. Start preparing for a career in high school

Besides getting a credential that can be essential to starting a career, high school can help you actually take the first steps toward preparing for one! Through your standard and elective classes, you can narrow down your interests and learn more about what you’d like to do. In some elective classes, you can even start building the skills for your future career today! Through an online high school, you can choose a high school diploma program that helps you develop skills you'll use in your career. You can apply much of what you'll learn in real-life situations and prepare for a career like HVAC technician, dental assistant, or medical coder.

5. Lifelong skills

High school classes can teach you more than just what’s on the test! Besides learning the basics like English, math, history, and science, you’ll also pick up skills you can use in real life. Through preparing for exams and studying, you can build skills like time management, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving skills that can make a difference when you move on to college or start building your career.

Penn Foster High School graduate, Adrianna Guy, for example, says the skills she learned in online high school made a difference when it came to going to college. “Going to Penn Foster to finish high school, I had to make sure to have correct time management skills so I could complete my assignments,” she said. “Using those time management skills have definitely helped me throughout my college career.”

chart Does education make a difference.

Watch this: How Having a High School Diploma Can Help Your Career

6. Pride

Earning a high school diploma takes a great deal of hard work and dedication. You won't always master every subject right away, but overcoming these challenges grants you a priceless sense of pride and accomplishment.

Working parent Demetria Pruitt earned her high school diploma online because she wanted to build a better life for her family. She explains, “I would study during nap times and then I would go full-on to do my coursework at night when (my kids) were asleep...I would find some time to hop on and get some studying and work done.”

“Everything just seemed to fall in life after I got my diploma,” she says. "It felt good to inspire (my kids) to not give up on their goals.” 

Learn more: 5 Successful People Who Went Back to Finish High School

Do you need a diploma to be successful?

There have been plenty of people who’ve been able to find success without graduating high school, especially in the past when a diploma wasn’t a minimum requirement for finding a good, stable job. But the road to success without that diploma can take a lot longer and sometimes be more of a struggle. While you don’t necessarily need a high school diploma to be successful, it is essential to make sure you can reach your goals in the most straightforward way possible.

Is a high school diploma even worth it?

While there are many advantages to having your high school diploma, is going back to school to get it – especially as an adult – even worth it? Absolutely, it is! Having that high school credential on your resume can open the door to new job opportunities, college, technical school, and the potential to earn more money while pursuing a career you truly are passionate about. By working toward graduating, you can also build a lot of skills that are essential to almost every job, including

  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making skills

EARN YOUR DIPLOMA ON YOUR SCHEDULE WITH PENN FOSTER

Finishing your high school diploma doesn’t have to mean you should rearrange your schedule to go to physical classes. When you’re working full-time, have responsibilities at home, or have other things in your life that prevent you from finishing high school in person, a more flexible program can help you reach your goals. That’s where online high school can help! With flexible classes that you can do from home, whenever it works for you, you can graduate on your terms and be prepared to take the next step in reaching your goals. Reach out to an Admissions Specialist at 1.888.427.6500 to find out what you need to do to get started.