Who You Gonna Call? Myth-Busters!

We at the PF have been inspired by the network news and the recent explosion of election-themed “truth-o-meters” and “fact checks” (our favorite scale runs from “true” to “liar, liar, pants on fire” – really!). This month, we are proud to introduce a new feature: “Myth-Busting” (a little like Ghostbusters, but with no giant marshmallow man or green slime). We’ll do our best to share some of the rumors we’ve heard on the street and rate them as “Myth,” “True,” or somewhere in between. We’ve enabled the blog feature on this post, so feel free to submit something you’ve heard about the major or careers that you’re not quite sure about. Just keep it clean, please…

Statement: You need to take MATH 260 (Introductory Statistics) not COMM SCI 205 (Social Science Statistics) because graduate schools will only accept the math course – it is the only “real” statistics class.

Verdict: Myth!!!

Explanation: This is a triple exclamation myth that came as a particular shock to Drs. Burns and Wilson-Doenges who had believed all along that they were teaching a very real statistics class! We think some of the confusion here may come from the names of the courses (e.g., students may read in grad school materials that they need an “introductory statistics” course and then believe the math course is the only one that fits that bill). In fact, both of these courses are introductory statistics classes, and we actually recommend that students take COMM SCI 205. MATH 260 is a fine course, but COMM SCI 205 includes more social science examples that will help you in your later courses (e.g., Experimental Psychology or Foundations for Social Research). Perhaps even more important, COMM SCI 205 is the only course that involves learning SPSS, a computer statistical package that is used in Experimental Psychology and other classes. Knowing how to use SPSS is actually a marketable skill that graduate schools will likely value in applicants!

Statement: You can’t get a job with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development or Psychology.

Verdict: Myth!!! (We’re tempted to pull out the “liar, liar, pants on fire” here)

Explanation: Both Human Development and Psychology are great liberal arts majors that can help students pursue careers in a variety of different fields. Although it’s true you need a graduate degree to become a psychologist or to practice formal counseling, students with bachelor’s degrees in HUD and PSYCH get jobs in paraprofessional helping fields (e.g., crisis centers, group homes), business (e.g., insurance, customer service, sales), daycares and preschools, and much more. Each year, Career Services produces a list of graduates’ first jobs and lists them by major on-line. Visit their website to see what some of our graduates decided to do with their bachelor’s degrees!  http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Graduate_Survey_Main.htm#Results

Statement: All the HUD and PSYCH faculty get together before the beginning of the semester and plot to have their tests and paper deadlines at the same time.

Verdict: Misleading

Explanation: Really, this is a myth. We might seem more powerful and sinister (and gain a little more street cred) if we were to keep this one going, but there is no bi-annual meeting to plot to increase your pain by syncing our test and paper due dates. It is true, however, that most of us give three or four exams per semester, and if all of us are trying to divide the semester into thirds or fourths, we probably will end up with some similar exam dates. It’s great preparation for the multi-tasking that awaits you in your career, though (yeah, you had to know we’d say something like that!).

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