Why Major in Economics

In choosing a college major it is helpful to consider a number of important and related questions. First and foremost, what profession(s) does the student have in mind? Second, does the chosen major offer flexibility in the sense that if the student’s originally chosen profession suddenly becomes unattractive, will the student still have sufficient opportunities within the field without having to switch majors? Third, if the student has selected a profession that can be approached through a number of different avenues, are there distinct advantages in choosing one major over another? Lastly, will the major be useful in everyday life as well as providing the necessary training for a life’s work? With these questions in mind, why should the student choose economics?

The great English economist, Alfred Marshall, wrote that, "Economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life." Because economics offers a way of thinking that is clear, concise, and rigorous, students will find that an economics major prepares them for almost any professional career. As a result, job recruiters and graduate school admission counselors alike are attracted to economics majors.

The most basic and enduring strength of economics is that is provides a logical and ordered way of looking at various problems and issues. It draws upon history, philosophy, and mathematics to confront topics ranging from how an individual household or business can make sound decisions, to societal issues such as how to fight unemployment, inflation, and environmental decay. As a result, economics is widely recognized as a solid background for many jobs and professions.