Why economics major essay

Why economics major essay

My schedule limits my ability to attend classes in areas other than my own. I am a double major in History of Art and Economics. Recognizing this limitation, I’ve come to appreciate the variety of subjects and applications offered by the Economics Department. For example, I have been able to explore policy with courses like Professor Schott’s “International Trade,” while also learning about climate change through a unique lens with Professor Mendelsohn’s “Economics of Natural Resources.” Finally, the Economics Department fosters an unparalleled sense of comradery amongst students. Some of my best friends have been there with me, whether I am working on Economics psets or studying for Economics exams. Or just hanging out before classes start. It is a community that has given me memories that will be cherished long after I leave Yale.

Stocks Essay Winners focus on the lottery and paying student athletes

Youngstown State University Economics major Michael Kuhns placed first in the 12th Annual Stocks Essay Contest for his essay about a new type of lottery that could help retirees save for their retirement.

Jared McGarry (a Business Administration major) came second in an essay advocating for the NCAA to allow student athletes to keep some of the monetary surplus that they create. Luke Hetzel (a Mathematics and Economics major) and Nathan Chiclowe (an Accounting major), shared third place.

Finalists include Ty Arlesic (Finance), Alexa Coburn (Finance), Ethan Gerak (Integrated Language Arts), Jonathan Snyder (Mathematics/Economics), Ashley Starzyk (Business), Reilly Todd (Pre-Business), Tina Zheng (Business Accounting) and Zane Zook (Economics).

This year’s contest was conducted online by the YSU Economics Department and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. It was named for Anthony Stocks (long-standing Economics Chair). A group of students identified an economic problem and analyzed it from several perspectives. Then they proposed an evidence-based solution for public policy. The essays were judged by five Economics professors.

Normally, finalists are recognized at the Economics Department’s academic year-end honors banquet. Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the banquet was cancelled.

Department of Economics

Understanding economics can help people see the bigger picture. Economics helps you understand the world around you, including people, markets, governments, and how to respond to new opportunities and threats. Economics majors are well-positioned in an ever-changing world because they have problem solving and analytical skills that allow them to succeed in variety of career paths—law, risk management, actuary, finance, foreign affairs, public administration, politics, policy analysis, health administration, entrepreneurship, market analysis, journalism, and unknown careers of the future.

An economics degree gives students the flexibility and breadth to adapt to changes, and to take advantage of unanticipated opportunities. LinkedIn conducted a study (PDF, 43 KB), which found college graduates changing jobs four times over the first ten-years after they graduate. Economics is an excellent choice because of its many applications.

Employers want you to have the skills and knowledge that they need.

At its heart, economics is about how to make better decisions and evaluate alternative options. To make smart decisions, it requires critical thinking and problem solving skills. You will learn how to use data analysis to make good decisions. They are valuable for all careers, public or private. An annual study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) consistently finds that employers want the skills gained from studying economics—the ability to make decisions, solve problems, obtain and process information, analyze data, and write and speak effectively.

Your future success will be assured

An economics degree is a great way to succeed, no matter the future. Knowing how economics influences social systems and markets will help you make smarter decisions. It will lead to greater success at work and in your personal life.

While economics majors can earn high starting salaries and a good lifetime earning potential, they are not the most valuable. The lifetime earnings of an economics major are higher than those from other majors (PDF 194KB). A second study, PDF, 1.2MB shows that economics majors make $10,000 per year more than non-economics lawyers. An analysis of S&P500 CEOs (PDF 289 Kb) revealed that those majoring in economics are much more likely to go on to become CEOs than anyone else.

You can contribute to the greater cause

The primary basis for analysis of public policy is economics. This major gives people the ability to comprehend fundamental issues that influence market and social outcomes. A good economist can understand the issues such as tradeoffs and benefits, costs versus benefits, market failures, public finance, and other financial issues. However, they also need to understand the larger issues surrounding generational effects, welfare, inequality, and the wider issues. An economics major is equipped with the skills and language to take part in public policy discussions, and work to promote social and economic progress.

Helping you prepare for law school and graduate school

Clear reasoning is essential in economics. These skills not only help people succeed professionally and personally, but they also aid in preparing students for graduate and law school programs.

Are you interested in a law school?Study results (PDF 60KB) show that economists are consistently among the top-scoring majors in LSAT scores. Also, economics majors have higher acceptance rates to law schools than other majors. This includes pre-law programs.

MBA?Economics majors are able to see the world from a broad perspective, solve problems, and have the best GMAT scores of all business majors.

What graduate programs are available?The strong academic foundation of Economics is a solid basis for graduate studies in public policy, economics and sociology. A minor in mathematics is recommended for students interested in studying economics as a master’s degree.

Other majors can be enhanced

An economics major can work well with most other majors. If paired together with other business degrees like finance, accounting, marketing, management or information technology, an economics degree can provide a great way for individuals to diversify. It is even better when combined with non-business subjects like journalism, health management, design, science and engineering.

Why Economics is important for your future career and why it should be studied

LSE’s Yu-Hsiang Lei talks about the study of economics, your career options, and how to be a successful economist.

LSE’s Yu-Hsiang Lei talks about the study of economics, your career options, and how to be a successful economist.

What does economics mean?

The study of people is at the heart of economics. It attempts to discover what motivates people’s behaviour, their decisions, and how they respond when facing difficulties or success. Economics is an integrated discipline that combines sociology, psychology, history, and politics.

Studying economics will give you a variety of approaches, skills and methods that can be applied to many problems. Economics is the core discipline underpinning business management and public policies.

Economics – a useful tool

You will be able to utilize mathematical and statistical techniques to help solve business problems, as well as apply economic models and principles to finance, public and private sector issues. Economics concepts can also be used to explain the logic behind complex data, see their relationships, and understand the larger context.

Some skills that you can develop are:

  • CommunicationPresenting ideas within a defined framework that is supported with complex data.
  • NumeracyHandling complex data, techniques and methods of statistical and mathematical analysis
  • problem-solving
  • Analytical skills.

You can find careers in the financial sector that require specific economic knowledge, such as those at banks and insurance companies, business, or government. You might be responsible for identifying risks and making financial decisions regarding where companies or governments should invest their resources. Or even designing an eBay-like bidding system. In addition to their roles as economists, think tanks and consultancies can advise companies and governments about public policy issues such as the Greek debt crisis.

More broadly, an economics degree helps prepare you for careers that require numerical, analytical and problem solving skills – for example in business planning, marketing, research and management. The ability to make strategic decisions and optimise outcomes is a key skill in economics.

People who studied Economics or Finance are in high demand as they have the skills and knowledge to work in financial services and banking.

Economics has many well-developed methods, which have allowed it to expand its reach into other areas, like politics, law, education and management. Some are concerned that economics assumes that human behavior is rational. This is why economists have begun to incorporate insights from psychology, neuroscience and behavioral science into their work.

How to move forward

In terms of new employment areas, economists would be well prepared for roles in ‘Big Data’. It is an emerging field that involves analysing vast amounts of data to discover patterns. This helps businesses and governments make better decision. For example, this could apply to customer behaviours, criminal patterns or financial market trends.

There may be a demand from central banks and government for financial economists to identify, manage and regulate risks in the ASEAN Economic Community.

You may need to follow your bachelor’s with a master’s to get the relevant specialist skills if you want to work in a competitive area such as for governments, banks or consultancies, or if you want to specialise in an area such as health, employment, insurance, or regional economic development.

Postgraduate studies can also be used by graduates to obtain the professional qualifications necessary to pursue certain careers, like accountancy and other financial fields.

For prospective students

No doubt, to excel as an economist, you must master all the techniques used by the field and be skilled in math and statistics.

Also, you need to be curious about the world around, from politics to history to global affairs to consumer behavior in your own country as well as worldwide. These all have an impact on how people, businesses, and governments act and make decisions.

For more information, click here

Yu-Hsiang Lei [on right]The National Taiwan University offered a bachelor of business administration. He studied for a master’s in econometrics and mathematical economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science in London, where he now is studying for a PhD degree.

What is the impact of your economics degree on your life and career?

‘How is your degree preparing you for life?’This was the question that students were asked in our Student Essay Contest 2010. With three other winners (LSE, University of Strathclyde or Queen Mary University of London), twenty-five students submitted their essays. Although the approach taken to answering this question was different, common themes were evident.

Three main themes emerged: How an economics degree prepares students for various jobs; how the current economic crisis has made it more difficult for students to find work and how they have learned how to think for their own sake.

The following figures show the key themes and are based on more frequent words appearing in larger texts.

Careers and jobs

Students realized that economics was a great preparation for work. Most students felt that their worldviews were broadened by choosing economics as their degree.

“Many avenues can be opened up with an economics degree” and “[the notion of only being an accountant] is a stereotypical and naive view which is misguided and wrong”.

The importance of an economics degree for a student’s career is highlighted through all of the essays or, as one entry stated:

“Career is probably the metonym for an average student’s idea of the ‘life’ an economics degree is preparatory for.”

The primary reason students felt prepared to work in the workplace was because they had access to the Transferability of skills. One student stated that:

“By the end of the degree, you emerge as a student who can read as well as a law graduate, compute as well as an accountant and analyse econometric data as well as a statistician.”

There are many essays that mention careers. However, none of them identified money as the reason why they chose economics for a degree.

“Honestly speaking I chose economics as my major just because I thought it would be strongly correlated with money. However, as my time goes on … I gradually find that economics is a perfect balanced point that bridges two opposite aspects in life: the individual and collective.”

– ie studying economics is NotIt is not always about one student earning a high salary, but it can help students understand the world and make a difference in society. The beauty of studying economics? It’s not all about making large sums of moneyThe essay’s recurring theme is “y”.

“Studying economics because of the urge from money? No! Economics is a study of how everyone could gain happiness, money is just a medium of exchange!”

For themselves

All essays made it clear that economics degrees allow students to analyze every day actions through economic theory.

“am I only accepting bad customer service because the coffee is cheap? Would I be willing to pay more for coffee if I also got friendly customer service?” or “deciding to jump in the local river on an old January afternoon to celebrate the end of your exams is irrational behaviour”.

Students often realize the economic processes behind the decisions they make every day. Students feel that an economics degree has helped them make informed decisions regarding the UK General Election in May.

“I was previously of the view that public policy would not really make a difference to the population but now I find myself scrutinising Labour and Tory policy claims”.

One student commented that his economics degree had”transformed [me] into an informed voter”.

A lot of essays focus on thinking and the lessons that their economics education has given them in tackling issues.

“Economics will not ‘prepare’ you for life through the theories and models themselves; it is more the process you implement to understand those models that are of real importance”.

The students are more aware of the impact their degrees may have on those around them, regardless of whether it is because of ESD (education to sustainable development) teaching. A student commented:

“I now consider the long-term effects of what I do today, the effects it will have on people associated with me, I thus have a wholesome life, one that is not only full of opportunities but if full of understanding of welfare of myself and others”.

Present economic climate

Many students mentioned the economic environment in one of their essays. Some even commented on the evolution of economic teaching.

“Whether a university’s economics syllabus really is one to use with today’s ever-complex society, with everyone so puzzled by how the intensity of the credit crunch wasn’t predicted, everyone’s pointing the finger at economists for answers”.

This is why it was so important to put economics in context.

“By learning the concepts, we can then apply these to everyday situations (like the best car to buy given your budget) as well as huge global crises, or the length of time it will take for businesses to recover from the recession”.

Putting the theories into context has changed the way students think:”I am now a natural rational thinker”.

Students feel lucky that they are studying economics even during recessions.

“In an odd way, I was fortunate to begin studying Economics at a time of global recession.Whilst most people were worrying about their waning job prospects, I found it absolutely fascinating to be a student at such a critical time and learn about how we got where we are today.”

It is obvious that theories can be applied immediately and in the moment.

“I can look at financial news such as the increase/ decrease in interest or CRR rates and predict the effects these may have on exchange rates”.

Students are being challenged by the current economic climate and have begun to question their theories.

“Although the last few years have put a real dent in the reputation of modern macroeconomic theory, it would be foolish to say that the models we are taught are of no practical use in the real world.”

They are however unsure of the lessons they were taught.

“studying economics at university has helped me to realise that with the right knowledge, we prevent a huge economic downturn from occurring in the future”.


Students are generally excited about their economics degrees and feel invigorated.

“I am actually excited to see where I end up in the future as I have no doubt it will be doing something inspiring with the numerous skills that I’ve acquired. Even after my degree, though, I will probably still feel uncomfortable to label myself an ‘economist’ because there is such a wealth of economic theory out there and the world is constantly changing, I would never be qualified enough at all to do so.However, this is precisely why I love it; I’m constantly learning, developing and understanding and that is why I find Economics such an exciting and important subject.”

The students feel ready:

“Whether in managing my bank accounts, discussing politics down the pub, or deciding who to vote for in elections, my economics degree has prepared me to a level beyond other disciplines”.

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