Picking your college major may seem like a daunting step in getting your college degree. But it truly does not have to be. Maybe you have too many questions you ask yourself before making a decision. And sometimes, you just don’t even know where to start finding the answers to these questions.
We understand that the questions can be overwhelming. But we’re here to cross out and answer the question, “Is an economics major worth it?”
If you are, be that as it may, on the fence about having economics as your major, we have a set of information that may just help you reach a decision. To know if being an econ major is worth it, you must first understand what economics is and what it generally deals with.
What is Economics?
Economics is a broad discipline of social science that basically studies the economy, learning scarcity through supply and demand and its repercussions to society, resources, welfare, and other vital concerns over time.
Often involving numbers, especially in topics like wealth and finance, economics recognizes the past, the present, and the future. It understands the historical trends in the past and interprets the current headlines, and it uses these to predict the movement for the coming years.
But economics is not all about money and numbers as it also studies how people utilize resources, their response to incentives, or their decision-making process. In economics, you deal with different fields like political science, geography, mathematics, psychology, engineering, law, medicine, business, and more.
Economics helps meet your personal and social goals by determining the most logical and practical use of resources.
Picking the econ major will entail a good understanding of the national economy. You need to be versed in the field of microeconomics and macroeconomics while also dealing with behavioral economics, environmental economics, public economics, personal finance, financial markets, and development economics.
And it will require you to learn different sets of skills to prepare you for many careers.
What Will You Learn in Economics?
In studying economics, you deal and develop different valuable knowledge on supply and demand, competition, taxation, trade, price controls, financial policy, exchange and interest rates, unemployment, and inflation.
However, your scope does not only stop there. You will use and develop the knowledge necessary to pursue different careers. Companies will value your ability to use economic information that will enhance your managerial decision-making from a business standpoint.
Skills and Tasks for Econ Majors
Constantly dealing and analyzing data on the different topics related to economics, you develop and somehow cultivate a skill that changes your way of thinking. Taking econ as your major, you need critical thinking and logical reasoning to assess necessary conditions for an informed conclusion or decision.
You need to understand, as an economist, different relationships and how the factors can lead to higher sales or higher costs to keep up with the fast-growing and fast-changing industry.
Being an economics major, you also need to develop good communication skills. You will need to give a much simpler version of different complicated things in the field. You need to be well-versed, both orally and in writing. While communication skill is not inborn, you can definitely learn this through experiences to help improve your practice.
Jobs Available for an Economics Major
An economics degree opens you to a vast opportunity that awaits you after university. And a step to choosing econ as your major is knowing your options in the field. Here are your career options and opportunities with a degree in economics.
Industries and Careers for Economics Majors
Research and analyzing economic data, issues, and trends to be able to confidently produce economic forecasts and reports for clients are what economists in the professional field do. You will have to give advice on policy and business strategy to individuals, companies, financial organizations, and public bodies that require your expertise.
You may find a job as a professional economist in your local and national government, banks, insurance companies, large multinational companies, financial consultancies, accountancy firms, and local authorities, requiring you to keep up with the current affairs and the economic contexts and state.
Economics graduates can enter a career in banking where you can offer your knowledge in financial control and planning, risk and data analysis, and consultancy. Focusing on keeping your client’s financial requirements and their businesses on track, you can extend advice and provide service for many banking clients and consumers.
Although to become a qualified accountant you need to pursue further professional qualifications (e.g., an economics major can pursue a career in accounting). You can take on roles where you work with multiple industries and help them monitor the financial situation, focusing on recording, classifying, interpreting, and communicating financial data.
An economics graduate can understand and simplify complex data sets and identify the root of financial problems, which is an excellent skill to have in accountancy. Being in this field of career, you will need to have strong skills in analyzing, proficiency in mathematics, literacy in computer, understanding of the company’s finances, and the capacity to relate collected data.
Business and Financial Consultancy Career
Economics experts and economists lie at the center of the world of business and financial consulting, where they can offer economics research. As an economic researcher, you need in-depth knowledge of theories and models, careful analytical and problem-solving skills, and mathematical proficiency.
As a financial consultant, you work to produce reports and advice on business strategy concerning current industry knowledge and awareness of corporate finance.
Public Sector Career
A possible career in public and private spending is one that you should look at as an economics student. Your role in the public sector will often entail general taxation, transport, waste, and commercial services, energy, and other government expenditures. The increase in demand in this sector is currently rising due to the most recent global recession and the government’s tight economic regulation.
Actuarial and Data Analysis
A professional business role in actuarial is where you evaluate and advise our client on the impacts of financial uncertainty and risks. Actuaries use business and econ to report and strategize on lessening the risks.
Among the many skills, an econ major should have, being an actuary requires you to be extra skillful in math and compiling statistics and able to simplify and communicate complex data effectively so non-experts may understand them.
When I said that an economics degree would give you vast career options, I meant it. With an economic background, anything is possible. You can assume a career and roles as an auditor, stockbroker, insurer, business manager, merchandiser, pricing, analyst, statistician, and the list goes on.
But you can pursue even broader options, such as business intelligence, international development, human resource management, market research, politics, or even becoming an entrepreneur.
Expected Job Salary and Earnings
Working with an economics major, your approximate average hourly salary is $36.49 as of August 2021, making it roughly $6,326 a month and $75,908 in a year. However, your annual salary may range as low as $20,500 or as high as $158,000. Depending on your experience, skill level, and location, your opportunities for advancement and increased pay vary greatly.
How to Search for a Job
Job hunting, in general, is quite frustrating, especially if you’re fresh out of university. But there are different ways you can search for a job. You can just walk in and apply at the company you wish to work for, or maybe you can respond to an ad job you saw posted online.
You can even get a job through a headhunter or networking. It might be a scary thing to think about, but there are always people who are happy to help you with a job. With that in mind, finding a career as an econ major is not hard as there are jobs anywhere.
Graduate School for Economics Majors
Pursuing a major in economics in university is not the same as pursuing graduate school. The latter is a whole different ball game. And probably the only reason you should continue further study is if you have enormous passion and hunger to learn more in the field.
Otherwise, it will be a possible regret of your life, especially that the opportunity cost is too high.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good economics GPA?
A good average GPA for economics majors is more or less a 2.945. Maintaining a high GPA may be important, but your GPA won’t be listed on your diploma when you get a job. However, if you’re looking to get a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master’s Degree (MS) in Economics, a high GPA is important.
Is economics a hard major?
Any major won’t be as hard if you’re invested in it. I’m not saying economics won’t be a challenge. But if you’re interested in the subject enough, cruising through the major will be a worthwhile journey.
Should you study economics or finance?
Although the two majors are related disciplines that work together and complete each other, they are pretty different. Economics deals with a much broader scope, such as analyzing regional and global economies and observes people’s behavior in relation to the supply and demands of goods and products.
However, finance deals with a more specific approach to financial systems relating to banking institutions and policies, savings, credits, investments, etc. The discipline of finance also deals with money creation and management. But both majors require almost the same skill set, and both give you the advantage of the different specializations available as not to let you settle for a general degree.
What are the differences between Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Economics?
Students in BA Economics may have a foreign language requirement as opposed to the BS, which does not have. Bachelor of Arts in Economics pursues the aspects of the social science and dive deeper into the history of economics, while Bachelor of Science in Economics approaches more the science and math side of the field with direct applications in the financial markets.
Generally, a BA degree prepares you for a job, and a BS degree readies you for graduate school. However, both majors have their strong points and place in the field. Economics requires both scientists and people from the humanities to work together as it is a social science.
Choosing a major is hard, but I firmly believe that whatever interests you is worth a shot and the way to go. If you are interested in economics and everything that comes with it, then, by all means, take an econ major. There are so many popular people who took an econ major and pursued different careers. And I think it proves that with an econ degree, the sky’s the limit.