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Assigning JCU majors an RPI

March 22nd, 2007

There has, for some time now, been debate as to what JCU’s most difficult major is. I will attempt to end this debate. JCU’s most difficult major is communications, hands down.

Let’s pretend for a moment that just because it was printed in the award-winning Carroll News doesn’t automatically make it true. In the spirit of March Madness, you can think of it in terms of giving each major a Rating Percentage Index.

An RPI is a formula that takes into account a how many wins a college basketball team has and their opponents winning percentage. It’s a number that helps sort out what teams should make the NCAA tournament.

To assign JCU majors an RPI you have to look at two main components. The first is the strength of class schedule. What is the average grade of students in the class? How bad do most kids fail the final?

I am going to ask you to overlook the fact that I have no access to these numbers and my scale is completely arbitrary. Needless to say, this won’t be published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The second component of major’s RPI would look at the job future of the field you hope the degree will get you. Will you be able to find a job after graduation? If so, how little can you expect to make?

What do a JCU communications degree and The Ohio State University’s basketball team have in common? They both have an RPI of one.

Criticism to my scale would come upon the strength of class schedule for a Com degree. Critics would argue that American Electronic Media can’t stand up against classes like Business Statistics and Microeconomics.

Maybe they’re right, though, anyone who has taken Interpersonal Communications with Dr. Jackie Schmidt knows that studying how people communicate is no small task. It is the second part of the RPI scale that puts communications over the top.

There are very little jobs and the ones that are available pay horribly. It is a lot easier to do your biology homework knowing it is going to get you a job. I complete my homework knowing that the best I should hope for is a job waiting tables at TGI Fridays. I’ve already memorized the drink specials. I might as well drop out and start practicing for my American Idol audition. That is kind of an exaggeration, but not really.

Com majors aren’t alone in having no job opportunities. I mean, what are you going to do with an English degree, write a book?

Let’s get serious John Grisham.

I guess, when you really break it down, every major has an RPI of one because there are no jobs in any field, outside of maybe accounting. If you went to the job fair you would know this.

What I’m trying to get at is, if you listen when the talking heads tell you how hard it is to get a job, you’ll end up studying something you hate just because you’re afraid you won’t get a job if you don’t. I listened to the bracketologists and had Texas in my Final Four. That worked out really great for me.

Study what you want now and never worry about anything that is more than 24 hours away.

It’s worked for me the past 20 years.