If you are thinking of getting an economics degree then you might be wondering whether or not it makes for a good major.
This post will show you whether or not it would be a good major for you and some things to consider.
So, is economics a good major? Economics is a major that will provide a wide array of potential job opportunities and, for many people, it is a very interesting major. However, it can be a challenging major to acquire and some of the alternative degrees will provide better job prospects upon graduation.
There are actually a number of things to consider if you are thinking of getting an economics degree and there are a number of things that you can do to make your time in the major easier.
Economics can pay well
However, this is not as high as some of the alternatives that you might be considering such as computer science which is $83,000.
Types of jobs that you can get as an economics major
Economics is a very interdisciplinary major so there are many different jobs that economics majors go into upon graduation.
You will be doing a lot of statistics, mathematics and some computer science. As a result of this many of the jobs that economics majors end up getting involve the use of statistics and predictive modeling.
Jobs that economics majors tend to do well in will often include the word “analyst” in the title and possible job roles can include:
- Data analyst
- Financial analyst
- Credit analyst
- Supply chain analyst
- Market research analyst
Other jobs that you could qualify for with an economics degree can include:
- Financial advisor
- Economist (requires a master’s degree)
- Statistician (requires a master’s degree)
To maximize your job prospects it would be very helpful to consider what you want to do upon graduation and try to get summer internships in that field before you graduate.
Types of things that you will be studying
As mentioned above, economics makes use of a lot of mathematics, statistics and some computer science. This means that you will be taking a number of classes from these fields during your major.
The actual economics classes can also involve a lot of statistics and math in your junior and senior years. However, not all of them do and you can take a look here to see MIT’s list of courses they offer in economics to see the types of classes you might take in the major.
If you are considering getting an economics degree then there are a number of other degrees that might interest you such as:
- Computer science
It can be a difficult degree to get
Since economics can involve a lot of math and statistics it can be a challenging degree to obtain.
How much math you will be expected to take will depend on whether you want to get a B.A. or a B.S.
If you want to get a B.A. then you can expect to have to take calculus 1 and some introductory statistics classes. If you want to get a B.S. then you will usually have to take single and multivariable calculus and linear algebra as well as some statistics classes.
Something to consider is that, if you want to go to graduate school, in economics then you will definitely need to take a number of mathematics classes if you want to be competitive. These classes should at least include single and multivariable calculus and linear algebra.
If you have already done well at math, in high school, then you will likely be able to do well as an economics major.
If you struggled with math in high school then you will likely find economics to challenging. With that being said, you will still be able to do well in the major but you will just have to study more than you are used to.
How difficult it will be for you will also depend on your level of interest in the subject. If you are interested in learning about how different types markets work and things such as the banking system then you will be able to motivate yourself to study more easily.
The college that you go to would also be a factor to consider. Colleges that have a low acceptance rate will tend to be more math-heavy in economics classes.
Important things to be aware of
An economics degree can be too general for specific job roles at the bachelor’s level. As a result, it would be very important to take classes related to the job that you are interested in getting.
It is common for economics majors to end up in programming type roles after graduating. It would help you a lot to make sure to take some programming classes as electives and a CS minor would likely be a very good option. Doing this would open you up to well-paying roles such as software engineering.
In addition, if you are interested in going to graduate school for economics, it would help a lot to make sure to take more advanced mathematics classes since they are often required for graduate economics.
Ways to make an economics degree easier
If you do decide to get an economics degree then there are a number of things that you can do to make it go more smoothly that I will mention below.
Separate the difficult classes where possible
It would help to avoid taking multiple difficult classes during the same semester if you can do. If you take multiple difficult classes, concurrently, then you’ll have a lot more work to do, you might struggle to keep up and it could hurt your GPA.
Consider taking the time once you have decided to get an economics degree to plan out the entire degree so that you can take the classes in an optimal sequence. This would be best done with an academic advisor.
Consider the professors
The professor that is teaching a class will have a big impact on its difficulty. The professor will dictate the pace of the class, what goes on exams, how exams are graded and the amount of homework there is. Some will give out study guides and others will tell you that anything from the textbook goes.
You can look at the website ratemyprofessors.com to see what other students have said about the professors in the past. In your junior and senior years there will normally only be one professor. In that case, you can either take the class anyway or take it at a later semester.
Take the homework seriously
While the largest weighting will go to the exams, the homework can still have a reasonably large rating too. Many students don’t take the homework very seriously. However, this is a mistake since the homework can help you do better on the exams and make up for a poor exam result.
You can do better on the homework by starting on it early on, using multiple resources to understand it and getting help when you need it.
Read the textbook
Another thing that students will often do is skip straight to the homework problems without reading the textbook in an attempt to save time. The problem with doing this is that the questions will be based on what is in the book and the professor might not have covered all of it.
Instead, you will find it easier and more time-efficient to read the relevant chapter before trying to solve the problems.
Prepare for the class before taking it
One way to make your classes much easier would be to prepare for them before taking them. You can do this by watching a playlist on Youtube or reading a highly rated book on the subject. Doing this will help you to understand the lectures much more easily and do better on the exams.