Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Some TUSD students are pushing for the privilege of walking at their graduation, even though they did not qualify for diplomas.
So what are your job prospects if you don't have a diploma?
The students in this case are from Tucson High. They say they will get their diplomas and go on into college but they will have to re-take and pass AIMS later.
They understand without a high school diploma they're at a terrible disadvantage.
Pima County One-Stop works to find work for people with all types of education.
Jim Mize of One Stop says when people with advanced educations are having trouble finding jobs, lacking a high school diploma, makes a a tough job market even tougher.
"For the high school, or non-high school degreed person 24:51 You see a lot of openings in the retail industry or in the hospitality industry, in the fast food industry. That's a place to start and in today's market that may be where they have to start.">
Here's just how tough: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says last month the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for people with a bachelor's degree; 7.2 percent for people with some college or an associates degree, 9.6 percent for people with only a high school diploma or GED, and 14.5 percent for people who did not complete high school.
Belen Vargas is looking for work. She has a long work history, but wishes she could build up her academic credentials.
"Just high school, some military; didn't go for the GI Bill on my part. I want to go back to school myself and I want to encourage my daughter who just graduated yesterday to keep on going. That way you don't get these jobs where you get tired and have to keep coming back and try to retrain into something else and keep going back out into the job market."
You can't get into the US military without at least a high school diploma or a GED. You can get into Pima Community College under some special conditions.