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Economics Careers

What Is Economics?

Economics studies choices. Many of these choices have to do with money, but in many cases money is not the central issue! If you are gathering information on different majors and considering the pros and cons of each major to find the best match for your needs and desires, you are doing economics right now! We call these “pros” benefits and the “cons” are costs.

What Do Economists Study?

Economists study choices relating to:

  • Charitable giving
  • Education
  • Financial markets
  • Crime
  • Labor decisions
  • The environment
  • The law
  • Terrorism
  • Sports
  • Money and banking
  • Strategic interactions among firms/individuals
  • Health markets
  • Prostitution
  • Family decisions
  • Poverty
  • Economic growth
  • International trade
  • The formation of cities
  • Corruption
  • Inflation
  • Violence
  • And many other topics

What Jobs Do Economics Majors Get?

General Business

  • Business analyst
  • Marketing analyst
  • Business forecaster
  • Auditor

Government

  • Researcher
  • Analyst
  • Speechwriter
  • Forecaster

Financial Services

  • Broker
  • Financial analyst
  • Investment banker

Banking

  • Credit analyst
  • Loan officer
  • Investment analyst

Education

  • College professor
  • Researcher

Journalism

  • Economic analyst
  • Industry analyst

Other

  • Business consultant
  • Think tank analyst

Fact or Fiction?

The Economics major requires a lot of math. Fiction!

The math you will encounter in economics is very manageable and includes basic algebra, interpretation of graphs, basic statistics and basic calculus. (Graduate studies in economics are a different story and require more math—you should take additional math classes if you plan to take that route).

Economics is like business, but less marketable. Fiction!

Economics and business have a lot in common, but economics looks at a variety of topics not usually analyzed in business majors. Market data show that the top undergraduate majors in the job market are engineering and economics. Higher wages in part reflect the demand for the economics major and the appreciation of the skills economists possess.

Economists are very conservative people, and I don’t want to become one of them. Fiction!

Another fiction! Economists are like anybody else, and you will find the whole spectrum of personalities and political positions among them. Good economists do try to organize their thinking when analyzing social problems and embrace conclusions brought about by reason and intellectual honesty. You can often be delighted to see how open-minded and accepting of new ideas and differences good economists tend to be.

Does It Pay to Major in Economics?

Money should not be the only thing to be taken into consideration when you choose a major, but we all worry about our financial health. The best way to answer the above question is to look at the data. Economics is featured among the top twenty majors leading to high salaries along with several engineering and other quantitative majors.

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