SALT LAKE CITY -- Horizonte Instruction Center in Salt Lake says last year they saw a 30 percent increase of people going back to school. At Granite Peaks Learning Center, it was an increase of at least 20 percent at the end of last school year.
Granite Peaks coordinator Ken Kapptie says many are people who have worked for years but are now finding they need that basic piece of paper.
"Where they've gotten by all this time, now it's not the case. It's not working for them anymore," he said. "The economy has made it so that a diploma really matters or a GED really matters."
But Kapptie says people should know that in Utah, the GED is now an alternative high school diploma, and it may not work for all companies or situations.
"We have seen entry-level positions where it's a fit. The problem is, when offered an upper-level management position down the road, that can be an issue," he said.
Kapptie says they work with would-be students to see what they should do from the beginning.
"It's important to note that the state of Utah will not let them earn a high school diploma or adult diploma after the fact. It's an either/or scenario, so it's a very permanent decision. And we want to make sure the students know that as they make decisions career-wise," he said.
The Wall Street Journal reports a 7 percent increase across the country in people taking tests to get their diploma or GED. In some states, though, the GED isn't worth much by itself, unless it's used as a stepping stone to higher education.