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Economics vs. Political science

laucha1laucha1 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
I am a prospective international student debating between choosing a major in Economics or a major in Political science.

What can you tell me about both majors job and salary-wise? Regarding Econ, is Math really that important? I feel like getting an Econ major would be more prestigious and would allow me to work in broader range of sectors than polisci but I am concerned that Math would be too hard. Econ just seems like a better choice but feels like I'm gonna spend my whole life looking at graphs and spreadsheets.

Can someone help me figure this out?
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Replies to: Economics vs. Political science

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77784 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    As an international student, you need to consider the job markets in your country of citizenship or residence, since they (and preferences for university majors) may differ from that in the US.

    In terms of math usage, political science typically requires statistics or a political science specific course on data analysis. Economics commonly requires calculus, statistics, and econometrics, although some programs do not require calculus, and some other programs require more advanced math like multivariable calculus and linear algebra. Students intending to go on to PhD study in economics should take more advanced math and statistics courses (real analysis, probability theory, etc.).
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  • SJ2727SJ2727 1829 replies6 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Agree with @ucbalumnus, you need to be looking at your home country job market to decide. (For example, in my home country, polisci has very limited opportunities.) If you are expecting to be able to stay in the US after your studies, especially if you are going to be entering the job market straight after undergraduate, you will likely face disappointment.

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  • laucha1laucha1 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    So if I choose Polisci I'll likely have to pursue a master's degree in something else? Is it any good to have a Econ degree and then a master's in polisci? Is that possible?
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  • juilletjuillet 12637 replies161 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    One of the reasons that economics is in higher demand on the job market than political science is *because* economics is a quantitative field. The economics majors who will be best able to compete for those desirable, high-paying jobs are the ones with more math/statistics/quantitative analysis skills. An economics student without that knowledge/skill set is not really that different from a political science student, since both are social sciences.

    So yes, math is important, and that broader range of sectors is due to the math. But if you don't want to do quantitative analysis and the idea of spending a lot of your time "looking at graphs and spreadsheets" doesn't appeal to you, then perhaps quantitative analysis isn't for you? (Although, to be fair, political scientists do a fair bit of that, too.)
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