AIMES, Iowa (CBS St. Louis) – A recent study found that many students who pass a General Education Development test — better known as a GED — do not go on to college.
The Eastern Iowa Gazette is reporting that Andrew Ryder, a researcher based at Iowa State University, came to this conclusion by observing the educational careers of GED candidates between the fiscal years of 2004 and 2009.
Of those students surveyed, an alleged 31 percent earned high school equivalency degrees, and 13 percent went on to community college.
Only 2 percent earned a degree or certificate, the paper learned.
Ryder said the lapse occurs because many GED candidates pursue trade work or manufacturing and construction jobs, which do not require extensive schooling.
“Everyone from Bill Gates to small-business owners will tell you that’s the problem with middle education,” he told the Gazette. “We have a lot of jobs you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree, but still are technologically complex and require more training.”
Marcel Kielkucki, director of high school completion programs at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, said the findings match up with his personal experiences on the job.
He told the Gazette that many candidates prioritize earning an income or family issues above completing the program’s requirements.
“Not having a GED isn’t a problem until I lose my job and I can’t get another one because I don’t have it,” he told the Gazette. “So I’ll work on the GED until another job opens up and then that takes precedence.”
A GED test traditionally tests the candidates proficiency in five subjects – writing, social studies, science, reading and math.