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June 10, 2020

5 Common Misconceptions about Choosing a Certificate

Learn what these five misconceptions can teach about employers, interest surveys, and certificates

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 more than 40 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.

3. “I am required to choose a certificate from my top interest survey results.”

You are not limited to your interest survey results. You are free to choose any introductory certificate offered! The interest survey results are suggestions to help guide you to certificates that may be more beneficial and applicable to you. The results are based on the answers you chose and which certificates are more marketable. They are a great place to start if you’re not sure which certificate to pursue.

Finish your certificate through BYU-Idaho.

4. “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.

5. “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. If you would like to change certificates, please contact Advising.

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 "5 Common Misconceptions about Choosing a Certificate"

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.

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.

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!

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.

Maureen Chachengwa says:

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

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