Why Is It Important to Graduate from High School?
Parents and teachers will tell teenagers it is important to graduate from high school. But why? What are the actual benefits that are gained from receiving a high school diploma? Are they really worth all the time and effort a person has to put into it? Will the lack of a piece of paper make that much difference in the job market, if you’re skilled and committed to what you do? Let’s look at a few reasons why it is so important to graduate from high school.
1. Employers prefer to hire high school graduates. 90% of employers in the U.S. require their employees to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Even when a high school diploma is not required, most employers will often choose to hire someone with a high school diploma than someone who didn’t feel it was important to graduate from high school.
2. More education equals more money. According to the 2011 Census, adults 24 years of age and younger who felt it was not important to graduate from high school and get their diploma made an average income that was 41% lower than their peers who had graduated from high school. That means that if the high school graduate earns $30,000 per year, then a similar individual without a high school diploma will likely be making only $17, 700 in the same year. $12,300 is a big difference in one year.
3. Improves the chances of avoiding prison. As shown above, a lack of education leads to lower paying jobs and higher unemployment rates, in other words – poverty. The lower your income status, the more likely you are to end up being incarcerated. That is an outcome no one wants in his future.
4. Children often follow in their parent’s footsteps. Many teenagers choose to drop out of high school when they become parents and have a child to raise. Although they may think the choice to leave school will benefit their child, they actually have put the odds against their child. Children whose parents didn’t graduate from high school are less likely to graduate from high school themselves.
5. Graduation choices influence siblings and friends. If one child in a family doesn’t feel it is important to graduate from high school, their choice is very likely to influence their siblings; additional siblings in a family often choose not to graduate, as well. Peer influence among teenagers is well documented. A teenager’s choice not to graduate is likely to affect his friends futures, not just his own.
6. More career options. Without a high school diploma, a person’s choice of careers becomes extremely limited. What a teenager wants for his future at age sixteen will likely be very different from what he wants for his future five years later. Most individuals find it much more difficult to pursue a high school diploma as an adult in their twenties than it would have been as a teenager, already in school.
Education is important. Graduating from high school is a key ingredient to having a successful life that is full of opportunities. If a teen is struggling to keep up in school or is just lacking the motivation to continue, they need to talk with their school counselors, their parents or any other supportive adults in their life. The rewards may seem distant to a teenager, but an adult perspective accompanied with support and encouragement can often prevent a teenager from turning into another dropout statistic.
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