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June 3, 2020

Puzzles, Purpose, and Certificates

You matter to God, and so do the details of your education

God has given you talents and has a mission for you to fulfill while on this earth. He is interested in you and what you do.1 While it may be challenging, discovering your talents and purpose is worthy of your efforts. As a student, selecting a certificate helps you find another piece of that puzzle and teaches you new talents and skills you can use to bless not only yourself, but those around you.

While selecting a certificate during your second term of PathwayConnect, you will use My Career Path, found under “Academic Planning” in your BYU-Pathway Portal. This tool will help you explore several career options and discover which certificates and degrees will best help you get there.

Learn new skills through a certificate.

If you haven’t decided which route to take in your education, My Career Path will introduce you to the different certificates you could start in PC 103 and what degrees and jobs they will lead to. Using this tool is a great way to visualize your future and understand how certificates help you reach your goals.

Certificates offered through BYU-Pathway are categorized as introductory or advanced. For your first certificate, only introductory certificates are available, which you will see in My Career Path. If an advanced certificate interests you, prepare now to take it by learning which certificates you’ll need to take first. You can find the program requirements in My Career Path or on BYU-Pathway’s certificate pages.

If you are still stumped about which certificate to choose after exploring My Career Path, try these two activities!

Try it on

Explore different certificates by “trying them on.”

If you want to learn more about your possible certificate choices, then explore certificates like you’re trying to find an outfit for an important event such as a date or interview. Finding an outfit to wear for those events sometimes requires imagination and trying on a lot of different options until you find the right combination.

In this activity, “try on” the certificate by imagining yourself already having and using the skills in your everyday life. Then, as you go through your day at work and home, find ways you could use those skills. After a few days of “trying it on,” reflect on what you learned and decide if it’s a good fit for you.

Figure out your goal first. 

Work backwards

When solving a problem, knowing your end goal and working backward to determine where to start can be easier than starting at the beginning and trying to find the end. The same can be true for finding a certificate.

  • Decide your goal or dream you want to accomplish. This could be anything from opening your own business to earning a promotion at work.
  • Identify the skills and steps you need to reach that goal. It may be helpful to interview someone who is already where you hope to be and ask for their advice through an informational interview.
  • Select a certificate with the skills you need to help you achieve your goal.


Which certificates are you interested in earning? Comment below!

1. John H. Groberg, “What is your Mission? (Brigham Young University devotional, May 1979),

Comments on "Puzzles, Purpose, and Certificates"

etesunny100 says:

Am interested in Business Application, and I will need to be skilled on Excel, Power Point, and other Spreadsheet workbook. This will push up to earn a degree in Business Administration.

Rhym E Cagbay says:

I always have passion for coding computer languages. I want to take Technical Support and Database.

Zizipo says:

This is a very helpful motivation, I was literally smiling but emotional at the same time while I was reading this. I want to do Web and Computer Programming.

Marlon B. Ibona says:

Right now, I am still confused about which to choose. But thanks for the motivation. I am still on my PC 101. What interested me are Family and Marriage Relations and Social Media Marketing. I hope I can choose the best one that suits me.

Elizabeth Ifeoma Egbugara says:

I have always have great passion for business, so I choose business management with certificates in entrepreneurship and business administration in order to achieve my goal.

Cecilia Raday says:

Doing my PC103, I realized that I can do it! I work more than 13 hours but try my best to learn and to achieve my my goals. I love the Article, Puzzles, Purpose and certificate. To cut IN short, I chose the Administrative Assistants, made me feel I fit on it.

Giovanni says:

I want to do technical support, computer support or web and computer programming

Nweke Isaiah says:

This is a very useful information. Sometimes I feel that I am not doing exactly what interests me and that’s not good enough. I am in my first semester and looking forward to take the survey.

Miriana Boling says:

I went into BYU-Pathway with an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and the goal of transferring to BYU-Idaho in fall 2021 to complete their bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education/Special Education. It is my dream — my life calling — to work with special needs kids, particularly children with autism. There were no certificates in the field of education, or even remotely close to that field, so I found two that I liked; the Family History Research certificate, and the Marriage and Family Relations certificate. I chose the Marriage and Family Relations certificate because I can gain skills from those classes that would be useful when working with children and families.

Mohamed Kargbo says:

Going through PathwayConnect helps me to identify my potential as human. When I went through the survey, I found out lot of things I can do to make my personal life better, as how the Lord want it to be. It is a blessing in knowing your area of study base on your ability as an individual /student.

Benjamin Hudson says:

My results pointed me towards ideas I hadn’t considered. At first, I had a certificate picked and ready to go, but now I’m in the stage of trying to identify which suits me best in relation to where I’d like to go, as well as any other alternatives to help me get there, in addition to marketability.

Chaitan kumar says:

Good blog information about our interest in courses, what to take, and the subject and interest.

Tiffanie Thomas Bitter says:

When I took the “interests survey,” it pointed me toward Family History Research or Entrepreneurship as possibilities, as well as a few others. But the main one was Family History Research, and that works for me because I’ve been doing Indexing for years and I love Family History and helping people. I also want the flexibility of working remotely! 🙂

Velean L. Williams Brown says:

Very interesting topic. I had some challenges before about which certificate to choose, so I prayed about it. It was then that my mind caught hold of my mother that I cared for many weeks in the hospital, and I realized that I wanted to do something in the health field. The Lord knows us, and He cares about our interests too. If we pray for His guidance, He will hear and help us to find our career path.

Tiffanie Thomas Bitter says:

I took the survey and it was no surprise when the response came through as Family History Research. I have been Indexing for years and love Family History. I want to be able to work remotely and as a Family History Researcher (or Geneaologist) I will be able to have that option or I can choose to work for someone else. 🙂

Jonathan Kabambi says:

This information about certificates is pretty useful. I’m on my third semester of the PathwayConnect program. My survey on my certificate choice led me to ”Entrepreneurship.” I want to do business administration for my degree, so I thought the business application would be better than Entrepreneurship for that major. I selected the ”Business Application,” but seeing that my survey brought me to entrepreneurship, do you think that will bring me into business administration for my degree? If not, I would like to be brought back into Business Applicant as I selected.

Jonathan Kabambi

Lauren Conrad says:

Hi, Jonathan! These are great questions. If you contact BYU-Pathway Advising, they can help you choose the right certificate for your goals.

Allan William Ndiwalana says:

Very good and true advice above, one good question in the above advice is “what is your mission?” When you have a mission and values to protect choosing even an introduction certificate will be easier.

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