Why study economics

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Why study economics

Economists are well known for advising the president and congress on economic issues, formulating policies at the Federal Reserve Bank, and analyzing economic conditions for investment banks, brokerage houses, real estate companies, and other private sector businesses. They also contribute to the development of many other public policies including health care, welfare, and school reform and efforts to reduce inequality, pollution and crime.

The study of economics can also provide valuable knowledge for making decisions in everyday life. It offers a tool with which to approach questions about the desirability of a particular financial investment opportunity, whether or not to attend college or graduate school, the benefits and costs of alternative careers, and the likely impacts of public policies including universal health care and a higher minimum wage.

Some of the skills students who study economics gain include:

•Abstraction and simplification: You see any problem as having multiple smaller components, like the cogs and wheels to a malfunctioning machine. This microeconomic perspective allows you to solve any large problem easily: it’s like lubricating a gear to get the whole machine to work.

•Innovation: Discovering the problem can take a bit of creative thinking, as may crafting the solution for that problem.

•Analytical skills: In economics and otherwise, you’ll know exactly what to look at when making a choice, and this will help you arrive at the best possible outcome to maximise your welfare. Your best friend may have told you they loved Frosted Flakes, but does that mean you should buy them too? It is only one person, after all, and it doesn’t amount to a general consensus.

•Comfort with Numbers: You’ll be at home with numbers so you can easily pick apart anything suspicious the data tells you.

•Economic Awareness: You’ll develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of how the world works when interpreting it through an economic lens.

•Bragging Rights!: Not everyone is as lucky or smart to complete an economics degree at university.

The economics major prepares students for careers in banking, insurance, service and manufacturing firms, real estate, consulting, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

 A major in economics also provides an excellent foundation for students who intend to continue their studies beyond the bachelor's degree. In particular, it is a very good preparation for law school, MBA programs, programs in public policy and administration, master's and PhD programs in economics, and graduate school in other business and social science disciplines.

The complementary study of econometrics, the primary quantitative method used in the discipline, enables students to become critical consumers of statistically based arguments about numerous public and private issues rather than passive recipients unable to sift through the statistics. Such knowledge enables us to ask whether the evidence on the desirability of a particular policy, medical procedure, claims about the likely future path of the economy, or many other issues is really compelling or whether it simply sounds good but falls apart upon closer inspection.


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