BYU-Pathway Facebook BYU-Pathway Instagram BYU-Pathway Pinterest BYU-Pathway Tweets BYU-Pathway Blog Feed
June 17, 2020

Certificates: Planting Potential

Discover tips to help you select a certificate

Getting an education is a lot like growing a garden. It requires a lot of passion, effort, and patience, but the results are worthwhile.

Like choosing what to plant in a garden, choosing what to study is one of the first steps you take in your educational journey. This step requires many thoughtful and careful decisions.

President James E. Faust shared some good news on decision-making when he said, “Making perfect choices all of the time is not possible. It just doesn’t happen. But it is possible to make good choices we can live with and grow from.”1

You may not choose the “perfect certificate,” but you can make a good choice that will lead you to growth and opportunities. From planting a garden, we can learn some tips for choosing the best certificate for our growth.

Learn what each certificate needs to “grow.”

Evaluate your options

Think of your certificate options as seeds. Each seed requires a different set of instructions and care to grow. Understanding their different requirements is key to knowing when and how you plant them.

When choosing a certificate, evaluate your options by taking time to understand more about yourself, your goals, and what you need to grow. Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • What skills do I want to learn? Which certificates will help me develop those skills?
  • What certificates interest me? How would they help me reach my goals?
  • What other certificates would I need to take within my degree?

Imagine the harvest

Visualize the outcomes of each certificate.

President Dallin H. Oaks said, “We make better choices and decisions if we look at the alternatives and ponder where they will lead.”2

Visualizing and understanding where each certificate option could lead helps us make better decisions about our future. Choosing a certificate without knowing where it could lead is like growing seeds without knowing what they produce. Here are a few questions to consider as you visualize different certificate outcomes:

  • What will this certificate help me accomplish? Review the outcomes or employment sections of the different certificates you are considering.
  • How can I use this certificate in my current or future employment?
  • Is there a professional with my dream job I could interview? For tips on setting up an informational interview, check out this article!

Plant your choice

Evaluate your choice by taking action.

You may already know which certificate to choose, or you may still be determining which one would be best. Sometimes the only way to know with assurance is to act. Like planting a garden, if you only stare and dream about the seed in your hand, it won’t grow. At some point it needs to be planted and nurtured. With a certificate, you simply won’t know the full power and potential of your choice until you allow it to grow.

Do your homework to explore your options, counsel with the Lord,3 and use your best judgement about which certificate to select.4 Not all the choices you make will be perfect, but they can help you get on the right road.5 “One day we will see more clearly; and on that day we will recognize the goodness and generosity of heaven.”6

What decision-making techniques have helped you choose a certificate? Share in the comments!

1. ^ Faust, James E., “Choices,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 51
2. ^ Oaks, Dallin H., “Where Will This Lead?,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 62
3. ^ Alma 37:37
4. ^ Doctrine and Covenants 58:28
5. ^ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Wrong Roads.” Youtube, Nov. 5, 2013
6. ^ Uchtdorf, Dieter F., “God’s Harvest,” Ensign or Liahona, August 2014, 6

Comments on "Certificates: Planting Potential"

I think studying communication will be a good choice and decision for me.

Akosu bem says:

This is helpful and encouraging thank you so much for this article, I need it.

Nicky says:

I really enjoy this article! Just what I need to be able to see things more clear. I am a bit afraid but I know I can do it 🙂

Rose. Saidy says:

This article is so true it really encourage me to move forward. Thank you.

Fila Young Yen says:

This article is very important for my journey of education. It encourages me to move forward and focus on my study in order to achieve my goals

Miria says:

My Associate’s Degree is in Early Childhood Education, and I am going to complete BYU-I’s Early Childhood Education/Special Education Bachelor’s Degree. I am doing PathwayConnect in the middle. When I was choosing a certificate, there were two that I was interested in (Marriage, Family, and Human Relations and Family History Research). I had ZERO interest in the rest. I couldn’t decide which of the two to take! I ended up choosing one at random (Marriage, Family, and Human Relations), and am now very pleased with my choice. This class is such an eye-opener that I want me and my (future) fiancee to take it or one like it together before getting married.

Julie Sullivan says:

Thanks Miria! I want to get my bachelor’s degree in K-12 Choral Education and I was trying to decide which BYU-Pathway certificate would fit best with that.

Adriana Saldivar says:

I was sailing in the sea of doubt, thinking which certificate to choose. I was confused with which would be my best option, and I just understood something while reading this article. I had not thought about analyzing what skills I have and how to use them in choosing a certificate. It is definitely an excellent suggestion to choose something that you have skills in or something that can help you reinforce if you currently have a job. This article was definitely a great help, thank you!!

Munshimbwe says:

Mind opening article, one has to choose a course that will produce results. Thank you for a great article.

Olivia says:

I love this. It will definitely help me, thank you so much.

ndyomugyenyi frank says:

For a better future we must add to our skills no matter what ever we have.

bulan district says:

This article or information has given me an encouragement that I need to work out my plan.

Richard Leo Sawera says:

I appreciate this article, it encourages and assists me.

Perside Goulia says:

Thank you! This article was helpful for me.


Timely and relevant for me.

Halee Lester says:

This is so true. Thank you for this: it made my day. 🙂

realraisalop says:

This was what I needed!

Clint Jaca says:

This is wonderful. It enlightened on the course that I need to take!

Diane Jane Reyes Butuhan says:

I find this article really helpful for me, so I shared it to my gathering group. Thank you, Kayloa Gurr.

Emmanuel says:

I derived confirmation of my ideas from this article.

Gaurav says:

This article was really helpful for me!!

Report Abuse

Leave a Comment

Please review our comment policy.