Is An Economics Degree Worth It? (With Student Quotes)

Many students ask: Is an economics degree worth it?

An Economics degree is great for those who want to understand the economy and its impact on society. But if you want to get ahead in life, you need to go beyond just studying the economy.

You should also study other areas like Finance, Marketing, Accounting, Programming, Stats, Data Science, and more. These additional business concentrations and degrees give you skills that are highly sought after by employers.

Financial Analyst Watching the Markets
Financial Analyst Watching the Markets

Is an Economics Degree Worth It?

A degree in economics is valuable, but it also depends on the type of job you seek. You can get work in practically any industry with a bachelor’s degree in economics. The functioning of markets and the economy will also become an important part of your understanding.

It is the responsibility of economists to assist businesses in making wise choices regarding the kind of goods to create and the prices to charge for them. The theories underlying supply and demand curves, price elasticity, and marginal utility will all become more familiar to you if you study economics. Macroeconomics, microeconomics, financial markets, public finance, international trade, and monetary and fiscal policy are among the many topics you’ll study.

A financial analyst, investment banker, or consultant are among careers you could pursue with a bachelor’s degree in economics. The majority of these positions pay significantly more than the average salary in the country. Additionally, some of them include stock options and bonuses. A typical investment analyst makes $91,580 annually, for instance (BLS).

You can work in any of those disciplines with a master’s degree in either mathematics, statistics, or econometrics. A Ph.D. in Economics is something you should think about if you want to work as an economist.

Opportunities in supply chain, R&D, and analytics will be presented to you, as well as roles at a more senior level. In these positions, you must possess good quantitative abilities. The economy around the world is growing quickly.

More people than ever are establishing bank accounts, making larger financial investments, seeking financial guidance, wishing to raise their level of living, and consuming more products and services. A degree in economics is still valuable today since economists are crucial to each of these processes.

You can achieve so much more because of your extreme flexibility in selecting advanced courses. An economic strategist can be attained by studying behavioral economics, economic laws, and economic policies. On the other hand, enrolling in courses that include math and accounting will assist you in finding employment in the accounting field.

We learn about economic forces’ influence on people, communities, nations, and even the global economy through the study of economics. We can better comprehend how companies function in the marketplace thanks to it. Why some businesses flourish and others fail can be understood through the lens of economics.

It may instruct you on how to evaluate several market segments, such as the consumer products, labor, capital, and global trade. The relationship between individual decisions and overall results can also be understood through the study of economics. And lastly, economics equips you with the methods for assessing the effects of governmental actions.

Economics Major Stock Market and Investing
Economics Major Stock Market and Investing

Is Economics a Versatile Major?

An extremely flexible major is economics. Additionally, an economics degree equips you for a broad range of professions. You could, for instance, work in the fields of law, banking, finance, insurance, real estate, retail, manufacturing, international commerce, public policy, research, media, education, consulting, and so forth.

Due to their interest in the subject and desire to comprehend how the economy functions, many students decide to major in economics. Many economics majors go on to work as economists, financial analysts, public servants, attorneys, accountants, investment bankers, marketing experts, sales representatives, and other occupations.

Economists research the structure, operation, and expansion of the economy. The macroeconomy and the microeconomy are both studied by economists. Microeconomics focuses on particular firms, whereas macroeconomics examines the state of an economy as a whole.

Although there are many economists employed in corporate finance, investment banking, and other fields, they often work in academia. A few economists work for governmental organizations, particularly those who work for the Federal Reserve System. A lot of economists also work for nonprofit institutions like think tanks.

You’ll be more valuable to your company if you have a grasp of the economy, finances, and the results of fiscal policy. You’ll be able to spot patterns, comprehend why specific regulations are put in place, and think of solutions to issues.

You can better understand how markets work and how they impact society if you have a general understanding of economics. You’ll be able to apply these theories to actual circumstances, which will assist you in problem-solving and coming up with novel solutions.

What are the Challenges of an Economics Degree?

An economics major isn’t for everyone. It takes a lot of time and effort to get through all the material required to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics. But once you finish, you’ll feel like you earned it. Employers will see that you followed through on your studies and were able to complete a tough major.

You’ll also have a strong portfolio of skills to show off when applying for jobs. You’ll have the ability to give concrete examples of your problem-solving abilities or financial decision-making. These are two areas that employers value highly.

If you completed a thesis or interned during your program, you’ll be able to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject and gain valuable experience. All of this will help you stand out among other applicants.

Some of the main challenges of an economics degree are: 

  • The vast number of topics covered by the field. There are so many different economic theories, models, and methods that you may not know where to start.
  • The amount of reading involved. You’re going to need to read hundreds of pages each semester. 
  • The difficulty of the coursework. While most courses require some basic math and statistics, you’ll still need to prepare yourself well for exams. 

Economics is a broad subject that covers many topics. Economics majors can choose to specialize in areas like finance, international trade, public policy, or even entrepreneurship. These subjects offer great job prospects and help prepare students for careers in government, law, consulting, banking, investment management, and other fields. An economics degree provides a solid foundation for any career path.

Economics is a vast field of study. Some economists focus on the economy of nations while others focus on the economy of individuals. Economists study everything from the price of coffee beans to the value of life itself.

Economics majors often go on to pursue graduate degrees in other fields like law, finance, political science, history, and sociology. Many economists are employed in government agencies, private companies, non-profit organizations, and academia.

Economic Reports
Economic Reports

Is it Hard to get a Job with an Economics Degree?

An economics degree is moderately difficult when it comes to getting a job. A great resume will help you land a job, but if you don’t have any other skills, you won’t stand out among the competition. Economics is more of a theoretical major than a practical one, so it’s best if you have practical experience to go along with your economics degree. 

Ted Melon, who has a MA Economics at Harvard, sums it up by saying “If you studied accounting, you may find a good job doing accounting. If you studied economics, you may not find a good job doing economics. Because my economics and math degrees taught me the statistical and logical reasoning aspects of computer science, I am able to learn the skills and perform the critical thinking needed for data analysis.”

The biggest question is whether the skills you’ve developed while getting your economics degree will translate into skills in the job you’re applying for. 

The quantitative courses you took, like macroeconomics and microeconomics, stats, econometrics, and programming will help you with job opportunities in business, finance, and research. 

The qualitative courses you took, like philosophy, ethics, and history, will give you a better understanding of human behavior and how we make decisions. This knowledge could be applied to jobs in politics, marketing, journalism, and law, but less as an economist. 

Financial Reports
Financial Reports

What Jobs Can You Get With an Economics Degree?

After graduating, you may find opportunities in different fields. Some graduates are surprised to find out that their skill set is applicable across well beyond financial industries. You will need to develop problem-solving and analytical skills to succeed in any industry.

Economics majors often choose careers in finance, banking, accounting, management consulting, investment banking, law, politics, or academia.

Here are six ways to use your econ degree.

1. Banking, Finance, and Investments

These are the most common types of jobs available after graduation. The demand for these positions is high because they require people with strong mathematical abilities.

They also require excellent communication and critical thinking skills, which is why many banks require MBAs (Masters in Business Administration). An MBA help with understanding best business practices. 

2. Data Analyst and Data Science

Data analytics positions are growing at an average rate of about 14% per year. Data scientists create models using machine learning algorithms to identify patterns and trends in large data sets. These models can help businesses make better decisions and plan future strategies.

Data science jobs often involve working with big data sets, like social media feeds, web logs, and other types of structured and unstructured data.

Data analysts are in high demand because businesses need them to analyze large amounts of data in order to make informed decisions. These companies hire data analysts to help them understand trends, patterns, and correlations within their data sets. Data analysts also create reports and dashboards that summarize information about their company’s operations.

3. Actuary and Accounting

An accountant with a focus on risk management is known as an actuary. To become an actuary, you must have a degree in actuarial science. To calculate the possibility of future events, actuaries must grasp intricate mathematical formulas and statistics.

Actuaries also need to be familiar with the regulations governing financial markets and insurance contracts. Actuaries come in numerous forms, such as life, health, property, casualty, workers’ compensation, and pension.

4. Entrepreneurship

Solving issues is at the heart of entrepreneurship. Not all jobs are like that. If you’re an entrepreneur, you may not always get to pick the projects you work on, but you always get to pick the issues you want to solve. That implies you may either figure out the solutions on your own or get assistance from someone else.

You must feel at ease working alone and managing your own career in either case.

5. Business Management, Sales, and Marketing

Businesses need managers, salespeople, marketers, and accountants. Many business schools offer economics degrees within the business programs. These programs teach students how to manage a business from start to finish. Students learn how to organize a business, how to communicate effectively, 

Businesses need people who can solve problems, understand customers, and analyze trends. An economics major will spend years studying real world business situations and analyzing them using statistical tools.

After graduation, many graduates go into sales or marketing because those jobs require strong people skills and analytical thinking.

6. Public Policy

Public policy is prevalent everywhere. Public policy has an impact on everyone, whether it be on health care or education. The creation, distribution, and consumption of commodities and services within an economy are all topics studied by economists. They also research the functioning of the economic system and the factors that affect it.

The distribution of resources among competing needs occupies economists’ minds. Understanding how markets operate and how governments ought to control them is their aim.

Accounting and Finance Reports
Accounting and Finance Reports

Is an Economics Degree Boring?

Economics is not boring at all. It’s an interesting subject because it helps us understand our lives. We use economics everyday whether we realize it or not. For example, when you pay for something at the store, you’re making a decision based off of supply and demand. The more people want something, the less expensive it becomes.

The same thing happens when you decide to buy a house, apply for a job, or even ask someone out on a date. Economists study these things so they can figure out what makes our lives better or worse.

Some people may find economics boring because it is a theoretical degree, so there’s less application than other subjects. However, this isn’t true. Even though economists don’t have hands-on experience, they still do research and write papers.

Economics teaches students about the relationship between supply and demand. Students learn about the effects of inflation, interest rates, and recessions. Students learn how to analyze business operations, human inclinations, government policies, and other factors that affect the economy. Economics helps students to understand the structure of the global market and how it affects individuals and companies.

Economics is not just about money. It is also about the social structures we create to govern our lives. It is about the laws we pass to ensure fairness and justice. It is about the systems we put in place to protect us from ourselves. It is about the choices we make every single day. It is about the impact of those choices on our society and the surrounding environment. 

Is an Economics Degree Worth It? Final Thoughts

An economics degree is worth every penny if you enjoy learning about the way the world operates. You’ll be able to apply your knowledge to almost any career path and industry you choose. If you like working with numbers and data, then this versatile degree is perfect for you.

Learn more about other majors and subjects in these articles: 

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Written by:

Chris Wood
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. I’ve been working as a Software Engineer for the past 5 years. While working in this field I’ve had the pleasure of developing software in a wide variety of industries. I look forward to using my experience in order to find a role where I can utilize my creativity and passion for solving complex software engineering problems.

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