Economics is an excellent complement to other disciplines. If you are already majoring in something else, here are a few reasons why you may consider a second major in economics.
Economics and Mathematics:
Economics is a social science built around the following question: How can we satisfy our wide array of needs from our limited resources? Economics encompasses a broad range of topics, many of which are often discussed in political science, public policy, history, environmental sciences or geography and planning. However, the methodology employed by economists to analyze the aforementioned topics is rooted in quantitative and analytical reasoning. Just as physicists and biologists study matter and life, respectively, using the scientific method (devising theories, collecting data, and analyzing data), economists study how an individual, firm, or nation behaves using the same logic. So, the very nature of economics as a discipline dictates that math plays a role.
Ed Koc, director of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, was quoted in a July 24, 2009 CNN Money article written by Julianne Pepitone as saying, “Math is at the crux of who gets paid. If you have those skills, you are an extremely valuable asset. We don’t generate enough people like that in this country.” Pepitone went on to say that “There are far fewer people graduating with math-based majors, compared to their liberal arts counterparts, which is why they are paid at such a premium.” According to Koc, salaries for graduates who studied social work, English, foreign languages or communications commanded somewhere in the vicinity of $29,000-$35,000. Koc added “It’s a supply and demand issue. So few grads offer math skills, and those who can are rewarded.”
One’s math ability will dictate the level of economic analysis he or she is capable of performing, which in turn will dictate the type of job he or she is qualified for. Hence, combining your economics degree with a major or minor in mathematics will enhance your employment prospects. For those economics majors interested in pursuing graduate studies in economics, the math courses that you take are just as important if not more important than your undergraduate economics courses. Contact a member of the economics department immediately if you are considering graduate school so that a proper plan of work can be developed.
If you are currently a math major, an economics major or minor will complement your math degree very nicely because economics is a direct, real world application of your mathematical skill set. Many math majors tend to be drawn to the hard sciences (physics, chemistry, biology). However, if you are good at math, you may want to consider economics as an additional outlet for which the skill set you possess can be applied.
Economics for language students:
With the deepening globalization process, private and public institutions are increasingly dependent on foreign economies, making the study of economics a good background for jobs involving international issues. Economic knowledge is a valuable tool to evaluate such issues like tourism, trade, investment, aid, government relations, international law, industry regulation, environmental protection, population and labor migration, etc. In addition, economics courses stress the development of clear and coherent communication skills, complementing your language studies. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) Economics degree requires demonstrated third semester proficiency in a foreign language.
Economics for statistics students:
Economics uses data to gather evidence or for quantitative analysis.
Graphical analysis, survey, regression, and computer simulation are common methods employed by economists to study what affects people's decisions and what companies and the government can do to improve their strategies and policies. Job opportunities exist in private profit and non-profit firms and government agencies. Most large government agencies have a statistical department that does data collection and analysis. Economics allows you to understand the needs of researchers, companies, and policymakers, and to do basic economic data analysis. The major is also a good preparation for graduate work in fields that relies on data analysis like economics, finance, public policy, planning, history, geography, political science, education, sociology, etc.
Page last modified June 26, 2012