Entering your early 20s without a high school diploma isn’t uncommon. Roughly 10% of Americans don’t have a diploma or high school equivalency certificate. And between 5% and 8% of adults don’t have a high school diploma in Canada.
Reasons vary. Some people cite family obligations as the reason for leaving high school prematurely. Others feel forced into the workplace before they can complete their final year. And others just lacked the ambition back then (you remember what it was like being a teenager).
Whatever the reason, if you are currently an adult without a high school diploma, chances are you have weighed the prospects of going back to school. Should you give it another go? How will you complete your courses with the amount of other stuff now on your plate (work, family, bills, etc.)? And can you even meet the learning outcomes, having spent so much time away from the classroom?
It is perfectly normal to have reservations. However, finishing your high school diploma online can be professionally advantageous, personally enriching, flexible enough to accommodate your current lifestyle and supportive enough to see you succeed.
Below you will find six compelling reasons to finish your high school diploma online – the first two points consider the general benefits of a high school diploma, whereas the final three points apply to online learning in specific.
Find More Career Opportunities
Earning a high school diploma puts you at an advantage with employers. While it is possible to get a well-paying job without, your options may be limited. Therefore, a high school diploma is an investment in widening your options, which, in turn, increases your opportunities.
You may also view your diploma as a stepping stone on the path toward high education, which can further open doors professionally. Let’s say you wanted to become a dental hygienist (a job that earns a median salary of about $76,000). In order to earn your associate’s degree in dental hygiene, you need a high school diploma.
Diploma Holders Earn More on Average
According to research collated by Chron, higher education levels correlate to higher incomes pretty much across the board in various industries. Those with a high school diploma earn more on average than those without: median earnings of $488 weekly versus $668, respectively.
According to these same studies, adults with a post-secondary degree earned even more. As mentioned in the previous section, many adults view going back to high school as a means of achieving the ultimate goal of professional specialization.
Online High School Is Flexible
Let’s pivot now to the specific benefits of online education, in the hopes of addressing common fears and reservations adults have about going back to school. While it is true that attending a conventional brick-and-mortar school can be inflexible, online schools are the opposite.
When you enroll in an online class, you are typically given a generous amount to complete the course (12 months is a popular timeframe). During that time, you can work on the course whenever you want. If you work Monday to Friday, you can leave studying for the weekend. If you work day shifts throughout the week, you can allot time in the evenings to complete coursework.
Self-Paced Studies Allow Personalization
Online high school courses are “self-paced,” meaning that you set the speed. If you find a section of the course confusing or challenging, you can take more time on it. If a section comes easy to you, you can breeze through it.
In traditional schools, all students are required to keep a single pace – a section is complete when the teacher is finished teaching it. This one-pace-fits-all approach causes some students to fall behind. But the personalized approach of online education ensures that you take the time you need.
Cut Out Commuting
One of the main reasons so many adults choose to complete their diplomas online is that they can be done from home. Many returning students have dependents they care for, houses they need to tidy and errands they have to run. They do not have time for an additional commute.
You can complete high school courses online from the comfort of your home – even if you have a child yelling in the next room.
In summary, completing high school has clear professional and monetary advantages. Completing it online is straightforward, accommodating and flexible. If you’re on the fence about heading back to school, consider the five compelling reasons above.