Living through a recession is tough. With increased costs of living, it makes it difficult to afford the necessities needed to get by. But what if you could open yourself to more, stable jobs and better pay? It’s possible. If you’re one of the over 2 million people in the US who haven’t finished high school, you're not alone. Discover how a high school diploma makes a difference, if you can go back to school while working full-time, and how a high school diploma can help you avoid unemployment with this guide on going back to school during a recession.
Earning a high school diploma can make a huge difference in your life. Here are just a few ways having one can positively affect you.
That’s right—people who have earned their high school diploma tend to make nearly $10,000 more per year than those without. After a decade of work, that’s nearly $100,000 more earned than someone who wasn’t able to finish high school. If you graduate and work toward a better job, this extra money can help those who are struggling to make ends meet to live a more comfortable lifestyle.
Finding jobs during a recession is hard. By earning a high school diploma, you can open yourself up to more job opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately more than 7 million job openings are projected each year for those with a high school education level. Even for careers that do not require high school diplomas, you may appear more competent to your employer with the increased level of education and raise your chances of being hired.
With the number of benefits the military provides and its open recruitment, joining the military can be a good option in a recession’s struggling economy. However, you may not be able to enter the military unless you have earned your high school diploma or its equivalent. While the US Army and Air Force allow for the GED, if you plan on becoming a Marine, you’ll definitely need a diploma.
If you’re a parent, being a positive role model to your kids is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Your dedication to earning your high school diploma may be what keeps your own children motivated to finish high school and accomplish some of their more challenging goals in life.
Leading a longer, healthier life is one of the best hidden advantages of having a high school diploma. If you’re wondering how a diploma can affect your lifespan, luckily the CDC researched the connection between health and education:
“The more schooling people have the more money they earn, enabling them to purchase better housing in safer neighborhoods, healthier food, better medical care and health insurance, and more education; each of these factors is associated with improved health.”
In your pursuit to earn your high school diploma, you can learn some important skills on the way. You may discover that not only will you learn the information in your course subjects, but you’ll also develop crucial critical thinking skills. Being able to think critically will help you on the job as well as be a huge help in your everyday life. With self-paced education, you’ll also learn how to study effectively, focus on tasks, and work through procrastination in order to make it to the finish line.
Yes, it’s possible to go back to high school and work full time! Online school offers flexible class and exam times so that you can manage your schoolwork around your work schedule. James Madison High School’s 2022 Graduate of the Year finalist, Fatih Illeez, took full advantage of the flexible online class times. Having immigrated from Turkey to the US, Fatih found that balancing public school and helping to support his father’s businesses was difficult. After transferring to online school, a whole new world opened for Fatih:
“At James Madison, I was able to work in the morning and afternoon and then when I came home, I could just work on my schoolwork. You know, I’d be taking tests at 3 a.m. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted—and that was just really liberating and awesome.”
To hear Fatih’s full story, check out his Graduate of the Year interview here
No matter what your work schedule looks like—whether it’s morning, night, or changing at a moment’s notice—online school makes it possible for learners to earn their high school diploma while still being able to pay the bills and support their lifestyle.
A high school diploma can also open doors to additional education, which can help you be even more competitive in a tough job market. Those that have not yet earned their high school diploma have the highest instances of unemployment at 8%. On the other hand, high school diploma holders are only 6% likely to be unemployed. Of course, getting a job, or a better paying job is not guaranteed with a diploma alone.
Having earned a high school diploma can not only help you get a job, but it can also lead you to opportunities to earn more. High school diploma holders make on average $183 more per week than those without. This amount adds up big time—over the course of a year that averages to over $9,500 more earned!
It’s also worth noting that once you’ve earned your high school diploma, you’ll be eligible for additional education. This can seriously help you pivot to a growing industry, or even become more competitive in a tough job market.
Ultimately, whether or not you go back to high school will always be a personal decision. You’ll have to evaluate the pros and cons to see if it really is the right path you should take. Even if earning your high school diploma wasn’t the best option for you in the past, it’s never too late to go back. As an adult learner, you’re not alone—32% of JMHS students surveyed who are working on earning their high school diplomas for the first time are over 35.
If finishing high school is something you may be looking into, here are some tips for picking out a high school diploma program that will work great for you:
If you’re willing to commit to earning your high school diploma, we’re here to help you meet your goals. James Madison High School is an affordable, accredited online high school without age limits. Be in control of your education with no set class times or due dates. If you’re interested in taking the first steps to earn your high school diploma, you can enroll now at JMHS.com or reach out to an Admissions Specialist to learn more.