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Everything you wanted to know or should know about economics

halloffamer721halloffamer721 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
edited July 2012 in Business Major
I'm hoping we can get some experts and knowledgable people to get this thread going like the accounting one. Lets get some good opinions, debates, advice on here. Topics can be anything related to economics degrees: best programs, possible jobs, classes, etc.
Post edited by halloffamer721 on

Replies to: Everything you wanted to know or should know about economics

  • AlvaroqAlvaroq Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    Im looking for good colleges in economics and international business/marketing (i want to do double major maybe triple major), so far i have about 5 colleges in my mind, UPenn being my top option. Any recommendations?
  • broadwaybumbroadwaybum Posts: 174Registered User Junior Member
    I am thinking about an Econ major from NYU.... What is it all about? How about NYC employability? And what is the major all about? What does it take to be an econ major? Thanks!
  • broadwaybumbroadwaybum Posts: 174Registered User Junior Member
    Also, Is a BA in Econ. bad?
  • broadwaybumbroadwaybum Posts: 174Registered User Junior Member
    @HanSolom I believe you are an econ. major... provide us some insight? Thanks for being awesome!
  • KnightOneKnightOne Posts: 52Registered User Junior Member
  • HanSolomHanSolom Posts: 13Registered User New Member
    My thoughts on the questions (keep in mind I'm studying to actually be an economist and so my perspective reflects that):

    Is BA bad?
    No. Only time I recommend someone pursue a BS in Econ is if they're planning to goto grad school. If not a BA is absolutely fine.

    Which school?
    Just speaking from my experience I'd suggest picking a school you feel at home at. Don't worry so much about rank of a program especially because ranks are a highly subjective thing. When picking an econ program research what fields a school specializes in and whether their program is more theory or mathematical. I would honestly suggest my school if you're interested in international business. USC's international business program in the moore school is absolutely wonderful and ranks (I know what I said about ranks earlier but for the sake of my point) number 1 in the nation. Its extremely hard to get into the international business program here. Speaking from experience our econ program is no slouch either if you choose to actually take the rigorous classes.

    What is the major about?
    This is a tough question. Economics is a lot of things and can vary largely by program and field of study (and the depth of these two). Best thing to do is research the different sub fields of economics and get an idea of what they're about-understanding the different components will give a much clearer picture than any definition I can give you. Obviously you're studying the economy and the many factors of it (thats the thing though there are a ton of different factors) Regardless of subfield the general curriculum will be an overview of the various subfields. Economics in a general sense will be fundamental theories, ideas, and mathematical skills that are necessary for more specific upper level courses. These fundamentals will cover things like utility functions, terminology, research basics, statistical analysis etc.

    Employability?
    Econ is always in demand because of the skills it develops. The theoretical, analytical, mathematical/statistical, problem solving skills etc are valuable in numerous positions in just about every industry and field. Econ is very broad while simultaneously very specialized. An econ degree is a business and liberal arts degree and can be a STEM degree depending on program. A lot of diversity in skills and versatility in uses so yes you'll be employable.

    What does it take?
    You'll definitely have to be handy with calculus and statistics for econ. The most important thing is a real interest in economics. If you don't have that well the subject can be very difficult for you. The intro and intermediate classes are extremely dull, graph heavy, and filled with equations. Interesting stuff usually doesn't come until much later. The interest is needed because there can be a lot of math and/or a lot of reading of complex equations and material. The focus and discipline needed to truly learn the subject are the result of a deep interest of the subject.

    I think thats everything. If you have any more questions or need clarification on anything let me know. Typed this at 3 in the morning and i'm not my most coherent right now lol. Hope it helps tho
  • broadwaybumbroadwaybum Posts: 174Registered User Junior Member
    @Hansolom That was actually quite insightful. Thanks!
  • triplenicktriplenick Posts: 110Registered User Junior Member
    edited June 8
    I'm a rising sophomore at a top 30 university in the US majoring in economics and I absolutely love the subject.

    First thing's first... economics is NOT the study of money.

    Ever since the recent financial crisis, there has been an increase in the number of students studying economics. If I were you, I would read "Naked Economics" by Charles Wheelan. It's a really great book that gives you a good glimpse on what economics is all about because it is much, much more than how we make decisions under the condition of scarcity. If you want something a little more risqué, then read pretty much any book by economist Steven Landsburg.

    There's a reason why many people, including academics, say that economists make better sociologists than actual sociologists, better anthropologists than actual anthropologists, etc. The subject really does give you great insight on how the world actually works through basic principles, such as people respond to incentives.

    In terms of which schools to look at, I would follow HanSolom's advice and choose the school that best fits you (and your financial situation). However, I would take the quality of the school into account because the quality of professors could have a real impact on your studies. Let's not forget letters of recommendations for graduate schools if applicable (you may say 'no' now, but when a professor influences you, it becomes a possibility, especially when an economics PhD is probably one of the more lucrative degrees) and for internships (which more are beginning to require).

    A degree in economics in itself will not land you a job like perhaps engineering will. If you want a high-paying job or a competitive internship, it will take a high GPA, great extracurriculars, and, as of late, great recommendations. If you have these three and a little bit of luck (and networking!), you'll find yourself in great shape for either an internship or a job. Also, a BA is more than fine. If the school that you choose only offers a BA, then don't worry about it. If it offers both a BA and a BS, then choose accordingly: a BS is more geared towards graduate school. However, if you do choose to go to graduate school, you will pretty much need to at least minor in mathematics, so a BS in economics, unless the school requires at least Linear Algebra, will not be as good as a BA in economics and mathematics. In fact, a BS in mathematics is probably your best bet if you want to go to economics graduate school.

    I can tell you that anyone can study economics. There's a famous quote that reads, "Economics is the painful elaboration of the obvious." Because of economics and of my professors, I have learned to critically think like never before and write like never before. Study what you like, but consider economics. Again, read Wheelan's "Naked Economics".

    Feel free to message me any questions.

    P.S. Sorry for any grammatical mistakes, I typed this all on my iPhone!
    Post edited by triplenick on
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