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June 10, 2020

4 Common Misconceptions about Choosing a Certificate

Learn what these four misconceptions can teach about employers, certificates, and your future

Joseph Smith loved learning. He taught, “Knowledge does away with darkness, [anxiety], and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is.”1 Knowledge has the power to bring light and truth to our lives. With many online certificates and degrees from BYU-Idaho and Ensign College to choose from, deciding which area you want to specialize in is no small feat.

As you choose, a good first step is to learn more about what a certificate is and what it is not. There are five common thinking errors students fall into when they are choosing a certificate that can deter them from making a wise choice. Learn what they are and how to overcome them.

1. “I must find the perfect certificate.”

There are many certificates to choose from to help you reach your goal. 

Falling into the trap of wanting something to be perfect can immobilize you from making decisions because you fear you will make the wrong choice. Yes, you want to feel confident about your choice, but don’t let fear keep you from choosing a certificate. There are many certificates you can choose from that will help you reach your goals. A certificate will help you learn many skills that can be applied to different careers. Look at the outcomes and skills you could gain from each one. Find which skills interest you and will help you in your current situation.

2. “Employers won’t recognize the value of my certificate.”

Jobs aren’t only obtained by showing employers that you have a certificate or degree. Certificates don’t always tie directly into a specific job offering. Rather, employers are more interested in the skills and experience you gained from your certificate to enrich their company. One way to show your skills is to highlight them on your resume. If you’re not sure which skills would be valuable to an employer, consider conducting an informational interview.

Finish your certificate through BYU-Idaho.

3. “I will finish my introductory certificate when I complete PathwayConnect.”

At the end of PathwayConnect, you will receive a completion certificate. A completion certificate signifies that you completed PC 101, 102, and 103. This is different from an introductory certificate, which students begin alongside PC 103 and have the option to complete through an online degree program from BYU-Idaho or Ensign College. A certificate generally takes five courses to complete.

4. “I can’t change my certificate choice after I start PC 103.”

There are many certificates to choose from to help you learn new skills and continue your academic journey. However, experience is often the best way to determine if your certificate choice is a good fit or not. If you decide you want to change your certificate after finishing the first course, you can! You do not have to keep your first certificate choice after continuing to an online degree program, and that course will still count as elective credit — so no effort is lost! If you would like to change certificates, please contact BYU-Pathway Support.

1. ^ “Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths,” in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2011), 266

Comments on "4 Common Misconceptions about Choosing a Certificate"

Kadisha Doris Kalenda says:

Thanks alot for this answer to my different questions !

Emmanuel ojede says:

that is very brilliant ideas, it really strengthen me. know now i can make it in education.

Florence Kaunda says:

Thank you so much for this info. I can now relax knowing that I can choose a certificate that is right for me.

Benjamin BARAKA TONI says:

Thanks so much. This helps me make up my mind what to do. It wasn’t easy though!

Jimoh Boluwatife Ayomide says:

Thanks so much for this. This has really gone a long way.

Idongesit Effiong Ideh says:

This is an applied knowledge. Thank you for the guide.

Emmanuel Koko Paul says:

Thank so much for this wonderful information. I now understand what direction to take.

Nompumelelo Mavis Mbatha says:

My goal is to earn a certificate in family studies.

Jay Oita says:

Thank you so much for the detail — it was really helpful!

Maureen Chachengwa says:

Thank you for this information. It has played an important role while choosing a certificate.

Eashmelnagbe Zolar says:

Hey! Everyone, the information stated here is very impressive to what have been the misconceptions to many of the students around the world, and that includes me. At first, when I began as a student, I didn’t understand the interest of employers and the skills plus the experiences. So I was suddenly confused and pondered close to a month which certificates would best suit me, though it wasn’t easy at that time because I had several options I have dreamt of becoming. That means I had interest in child and family advocacy, basic accounting, and epidemiology. As a result, I left in between the three until I finally sat down and made some analysis that helps me overcome the thinking errors. Now that I have a clearer picture of myself for the future and my choice is epidemiology. Many thanks and appreciation to the listeners.

Francis Alexandria ochieng says:

This has helped me find calm. I was in the same state of not finding the perfect certificate. This has helped me so much. Thanks!

This information is valid indeed. It is helpful and enables one to consider or determine which certificate to choose when confused or having mixed thoughts and feelings about which certificate will improve your life and skills. Thank you.

Blessing says:

Thank you so much! This has helped me a lot.

Kate Terago says:

Thank you so much for this. It did help me to not be afraid of what could be the best certificate I should choose this time. I’m still undecided but this helped me a lot.

Lina Vesesio says:

Thank you as well. I am facing the same thing too, thanks so much for this information. It really helps me a lot to choose what is right for me and not to be afraid of anything at all.

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