In today's competitive economy, furthering your education is a great way to even the playing field if you were unable to complete your high school education. Although very different, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and the General Educational Development test are two options that will allow you to continue your education and provide you with the opportunity to advance in your career.

The ASVAB

The ASVAB is administered to high school students and recent graduates who are interested in joining a branch of the armed forces. The test is made up of eight sub-tests that measure aptitude in arithmetic reasoning, mathematics knowledge, general science, paragraph comprehension, word knowledge, auto and shop knowledge and mechanical and electrical knowledge. Regardless of your grades in high school, passage of this test determines your eligibility to enlist in any branch of the military.

The GED

If you choose to take the GED, your knowledge of social studies, reading, math, science and writing will be tested. This test is available for anyone over the age of 16 who has not earned a high school diploma. If you pass, you will earn a GED certificate which acts as a high school equivalency. You can also use this equivalency in place of a diploma to pursue a post-secondary education degree.

Benefits of Taking the ASVAB

The ASVAB not only determines your eligibility to enlist in all of the branches of the military, but your test results also reveal which careers may best suit you once you enlist. The three different composites of the eight sub-tests that make up the ASVAB are calculated and known as your Career Exploration Scores. These scores are helpful not only in helping you choose a military career, but for advancement once you've chosen that career.

Benefits of Taking the GED

If you're planning on taking the ASVAB and want to enlist in any branch of the military besides the army, you are required to at least hold a GED certificate. To earn a GED certificate, you must score at least a 60 percent on each of the sections of the test. Outside of a military career, passage could mean that you earn approximately $12,000 more each year throughout your life than those with no GED or high school diploma.