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May 11, 2020

Don’t Know What to Study? 3 Tips to Find Your Path

Learn how to find your educational path when you aren’t sure which degree to choose

Getting a degree is hard work, but sometimes choosing what to study can be the hardest part! The options can be overwhelming, and you might not know where to begin, but you can find a degree that works for you as you seek to understand yourself and align your life with your end goals.

Understand yourself

What do you enjoy? What are you good at? What would you like to achieve in your life? To find the answers to these questions, you might try taking a few career-interest tests and even a few personality tests to help you understand your interests and what areas of work you would do well in. 

Self-reflection can guide you to the degree that works for you.

The 16 personalities test, for example, can give you insights about your likes, relationships, and work environments you might enjoy. Typefocus is great to help you explore different career options (current access codes are available through BYU-I).

As you begin to narrow down a few options, consider reaching out to professionals in your area(s) of interest. Ask them what they love about their job and things they find challenging. You might even see if you can shadow them for a day to see what a typical day of work looks like for them.

Begin with the end in mind

As you gain a better understanding of yourself, create a plan of what you ultimately want to accomplish and determine how higher education can help you fulfill that plan. It might help to start with your bigger goals and then break them into smaller ones. 

1) Look at the bigger picture. What are your long-term goals and your core values? Think of the things that are most important to you.

A degree at BYU-Pathway is a degree you can depend on!

2) Brainstorm careers that will help you reach those goals. As you look into jobs that will help you accomplish your purpose, you can then look at degrees that can lead you to that path and also be marketable among employers. During Elder Clark G. Gilbert’s inaugural address, he described BYU-Idaho online degree programs, presented and coordinated by BYU-Pathway, in this way:

Degrees at BYU-Pathway Worldwide are designed to be highly employable, in high demand among students, stackable from a certificate to a degree, and consistent.1

This means, no matter what degree you choose to pursue, you can be confident you’re setting yourself up for success.

3) Look at ways BYU-Pathway can help you achieve your long-term goals. When you begin to connect your life plans to the things you do frequently, like school work, discussion boards, or other projects, you will find more joy as you seek to earn your degree. Ask yourself frequently, “What can I do today to make my goals a reality tomorrow?”

No matter what degree you choose, you can be confident you’re setting yourself up for success.

The degree for me

There are many different degrees you can choose from, but finding what works for you can help you narrow down the options. As you seek to align your life goals with the goals of your education, you can move forward with confidence knowing that Heavenly Father trusts you and will support you. If you happen to choose a path that isn’t right, don’t worry. As you act in faith, God will let you know before you go too far. Be confident in yourself and continue on the path to reach your dreams.

A degree is possible, and you can discover your educational path.

How did you discover which degree was right for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

1^ Clark G. Gilbert, “Know Ye Not That Ye are The Temple of God?” (BYU-Pathway Worldwide Inauguration) November 16, 2017

Comments on "Don’t Know What to Study? 3 Tips to Find Your Path"

donatusessien says:

It really help me to chose the right way.


Great article!

Antone says:

I looked at all of the certificates that looked interesting to me. I actually browsed through all of the certificates, and I spent more time on the ones that intrigued me. Then, I cross referenced which courses were the same in multiple certificates that I was interested in. This helped me to feel confident in knowing that I could start with common courses, and I can go from there. I also realized the difference between an “introductory certificate” and “advanced certificates”. In the end though, I decided to go with the introductory course to the certificate that I am most interested in.

mohamed khama says:

Thanks, I really appreciate it. I never knew how to find my way, but with your help I can now boast of making a successful career plan.

Maxwell Kasonga Nyembwa says:

It’s very interesting. I don’t know how to thank you.

Atara Mwerenga says:

Very inspiring! Feeling so grateful and now I realized I can choose what I’ll study with confidence in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Unitan Fazal says:

Thank so much for sharing thought-provoking ideas.

Joe Cruz says:

Very helpful! I’m in the 2nd block of the first semester in BYU-Pathway. It’s important to first know where you stand in the educational piece in life. For the younger students, you have time to navigate, and if you miss on some things you have time to adjust. I’m an older student with a desire to have a degree but we have businesses to run, Church callings, and everyone’s circumstances are different. I am grateful for the BYU-Pathway experience and education I’ve received. I will miss most the association with the instructors, service missionaries, and especially my fellow classmates. I whole hardily recommend BYU-Pathway if it’s the right fit in your circumstances and goals.

Rebecca Wakape says:


Frank Ndyomugyenyi says:

With God everything is possible.

Martyn Cruz says:

I strongly believe in this: ‘As you act in faith, God will let you know before you go too far.’ We do our best, the Lord will do the rest!

Claudia Maldonado says:

This post helped me to think better what degree I can choose and prepare better.

Claudia Maldonado says:

Thanks for this post. I learned how to prepare better for a degree. This kind of post helps us to think better about how we can choose a degree.

Sandra Lamunu says:

I actually don’t know what course to take.

Roberto Adrian Cuevas says:

This is my sixth week doing PathwayConnect. It is so exciting to me, and today reading this article has helped me a lot more. I’m looking forward to earning my degree at BYU-Idaho.

Arthur Elvis Oro says:

Wonderful to know, thanks.

Hugo E. García says:

Amazing article, thanks for all.

Guellor Nganu Mbaki says:

I want to earn a degree in hospitality and tourism. Is there anyone who can help me out?

Natalia Carlos says:

Great article!

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