A high school diploma is becoming more and more important in today's working world as a necessary step towards achieving success. In fact, according the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average high school graduate in 2002 earned approximately $717 per month more than the average person who has not completed high school. And that gap is widening: in 1979, a typical high school graduate could expect to earn an average of $500 per month more than someone without a high school diploma. You can see the value of a high school diploma, looking at job listings today, many of which require a minimum of completion of high school. In 2004, high school graduates were 70% more likely to be employed than those without a high school diploma (BLS). Naturally, no educational program can guarantee a future salary or employment upon completion; however, having a high school diploma opens up plenty of new employment opportunities that are closed to those without a high school diploma.