IT Employment

General discussion


To GED or not to GED?

By Dinosaur29 ·
Hello Everyone,

I'm hoping to get opinions from those of you who are responsible for hiring. In my (somewhat stupid) childhood, I ended up dropping out of High School sometime during my senior year. Without going into a lot of detail, it wasn't because of grades, which were actually pretty good, A's and B's, just that I lost patience and wanted to start working and making money. I know, not smart, but it happened.

After a few years as a mechanic, I managed to get into computer operations, then technical support, then system administration. I found over the years that the lack of a diploma or GED didn't seem to be an issue.

Now that I have become unemployed due to the acquisition and subsequent closing of my previous employer, I'm finding it much harder to find a job. Obviously the current state of the job market is giving me more competition for the few jobs that are available. I'm realizing that I probably won?t be able to get by without some sort of educational background. This brings me to my question.

As I am now in my mid-forties, would it be worthwhile to start with getting a GED, if nothing else, so I can truthfully say I have a High School diploma/GED, or am I so old now that it wouldn?t matter and I should just start going after certifications? Any other opinions?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

This is good advice.

by greenestarr In reply to Look into lifetime learni ...

In addition to lifetime credits for a college education, if you're looking to fill in the high school gap, you could utilize the same techique and get your HS DIPLOMA, (instead of a GED), from a satellite homeschool organization.

Collapse -

Played it on TV Sort of anyway

by arn_werks In reply to To GED or not to GED?

Get a GED! ... and any other paper proof of qualifications! You do need to jump through the hoops. I have a BS in Computer Science and a MS in Criminal Justice. I have always been one of those who when asked if I can play a violin, reply, 'I don't know, but give me one and I'll try.' I have imitated, among other professions, a tool and die maker, an electrical engineer, a mechanical engineer and some other engineering professions. Two statements that I make; Degrees and diplomas prove that one can stick it out for some period of time in a snivly position and scores on tests measure one's ability to take tests. IT and CS are some of the very few professional fields where knowledge and performance are more important than any paper qualifications, in the real world. Unfortunately, you must pass through the portal set by the Human Resources department to get to the work and prove your worth. Hang in there, it took me from 1958 to 1988 to get my BS for what that is worth, but I managed to get in places where it did not matter. I got my degrees for my own satisfaction, not for a job specification. They do help when I make statements, simply because I have some authority to which I can point and wave about. Never lie on any written form or in any interview. It will come back to haunt you. Play by the rules and NEVER GIVE UP! Best of luck, Red Bell

Collapse -

The Reality

by OscarO In reply to To GED or not to GED?

During your life as a computer professional you constantly have had to absorb, learn and put into practice. And all this without getting a piece of paper to show for it. The choice then would seem to continue doing what you have been doing all along but directed to getting the diploma for the effort.

It is possible to get a job with your present qualifications but you would have better odds at getting THE job with proper accreditation.

As far as age is concerned it's 50/50. Some people will shut their doors but others will welcome the experience. I personally am turning 60 this month and, being laid off, I'm loking for a position with the certainty that the accumulation of knowledge and experience will greatly benefit the company lucky enough to hire me.

Remember, attitude goes a long way.

Collapse -

Do it for yourself

by rexferal In reply to To GED or not to GED?

D29, don't do it for employment, do it fo yourself and you will find your employment problems resolved. I went back to school at 40, got my 'Good Enough Diploma'and enjoyed it so much, I went to college, journalism, english........loved it. You'll walk a different stride and it will be noticed

Good Luck
Dan Dyer

Collapse -


by agriley In reply to To GED or not to GED?

If there is a Junior College near you I would recommend getting your High School Diploma from them and then get started on some college courses toward a degree. Certifications are good if you just want to be Tech for the rest of your life. Age is only how you view it.

Collapse -

A new start

by xgodfather In reply to To GED or not to GED?

Remember that many very successful people have only very basic formal education, with over 20 years IT experience your qualifications do not count as much as your very recent experience i.e. the last 5 years.

In my opinion you need to look at new options. Keep in mind that simple IT jobs can be easily outsourced offshore. The objective is to look at positions that cannot be done offshore like sales, customer contact, and management. Sales and marketing is the best place to be. Look through the net for information, ideas on sales & marketing.

However, the most important thing is to look at new places. I live in Melbourne, Australia but would recommend Sydney as the place to start looking. In this country there is little regard for formal education. There are many reasons for it but one of them is that many (majority) of middle level managers in IT have no formal qualifications and they cannot insist that something that they do not have is very important. There is another thing to your advantage in this country, you can use your US origin, talk and behave like a stereotypical American and some people will think highly of you ? you will became more then you are, you can do things and get jobs that locals will not be able to do. You can say you are a businessman, change your image and background, presentation, communication, personality and image.

Check for jobs, perhaps you may have some business ideas, import export, IT outsourcing, you may contact me directly

Collapse -

Not very important at the point you are at in your Life

by urbantec92 In reply to To GED or not to GED?

Listen get the GED for a personal goal rather than landing a job.
It would probably be more suited for you to get some continuing education courses/certifications under your belt as well retraining.
If you have the experience I doubt a company is looking to see if you have a HS diploma at your age.
But if you do pursue the GED, I definitely think you should pursue a degree, even in Liberal Arts.
Only to show some discipline that you are able to complete something.

Collapse -


by idjarvis In reply to To GED or not to GED?

GED is a grand idea you sould think about getting it still - i am 24 and i just got back into school i am going for a AA degree in IT and i am glad i did but i whish i could have stated 2 years ago.

Collapse -

A GED teacher

by bhaven23 In reply to To GED or not to GED?

I have been teaching Adult Education and Family Literacy (GED) for 14 years. My oldest graduate was 72 years old! Few people know that about 48% of high school graduates can not pass the GED test. Doesn't say much for our education system.
With your experience you probably can pass the test with no problem. The test comprises science, social studies, language arts reading, math (no calculus or trig), and writing (includes an essay).

Collapse -

GED or not

by abbi In reply to To GED or not to GED?

As a part time GED teacher let me say to you what I tell my students - "A GED may, or may not, help you. However, I damn sure won't hurt you." That having been said I will add some advice. Check you local access to GED training. Many Junior Colleges have good programs that are not expensive. Find out if you can take a "pre-test". You may find that with your experience of having lived in the "real world" has given you enough information to actually pass most, if not all, of the GED sections. The only reason I could think of not to get a GED would be time and money. Only you can make that calulation. Best of luck. M.A. Lamb

Related Discussions

Related Forums