When deciding on a major in college, it’s important to remember that whatever you choose is going to have an effect on many aspects of your life: how you are going to spend your time, how others will view you, what kind of job you will be able to find after you graduate, etc. So, it’s important to put a lot of thought into where your interests lie before jumping on board with anything. Let’s take a look at one of the most popular majors - economics:
What does an economics major value?
Economics attracts people who admire leadership. These are the people who feel comfortable making responsible and informed decisions. In groups, they are the ones who take charge, articulating their clear goals for success. An economics major is also driven by one defining question: why? In and out of their coursework, they analyze the components of issues to better understand why things happen the way they do, and how they affect the world around them.
What will the classes be like?
Most schools will either group economics with the business degrees or with the social sciences, but in pretty much either setting, there will be elements of both. You will be looking at why people make certain decisions and how those decisions help or hinder the decisions of others. So, while finance is all about money and political science is all about interactions between people, economics finds a happy medium between the two. It’s a combination of desire and practicality, of art and science.
Also, you will have to take several math courses, but it will be nothing compared to the amount that your friends majoring in engineering will have to force their way through.
How will your friends view your major?
To be honest, you will have to spend any conversation about your major debunking the misconceptions that your friends and family already have about economics. Most people will have a marginal view of what you study, but they won’t really know what it’s like. You will most likely fall into the box in their minds where they place all business majors, as they are unable to distinguish between them unless they study one of its disciplines personally. Your degree will focus on a much different set of skills than marketing or finance, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to explain this fact to people any time a discussion about majors comes up. Sometimes, it’s just best to nod.
What kinds of jobs do people with economics degrees end up with?
Short answer: everything. Students of economics learn skills, such as critical thinking and project management, that are relatable to many different fields and are therefore desired by a variety of employers. There will be people in your cohort who go into teaching, analytics, government, and everything in between. It all depends on what you’re passionate about (and, let’s be real, what jobs are available around you).