Economics is the study of how people use scarce resources to satisfy their unlimited needs and wants. It’s essentially the study of human behavior with respect to money and wealth.
Economists are interested in understanding what motivates people to produce, trade, and consume goods and services. They also seek to understand how economic decisions impact social welfare. Countries around the world rely on economists to provide guidance on issues such as taxation, inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.
1. If you want to, you can make a living purely through your knowledge of economics
Academia’s probably not for you, but business or policy analysis should be doable. You may even go into consulting once people realize how smart and persuasive you are. Your friends will say, “Our family was never the same after we took Economics 301 with Co Kan Me.”
2. Economics is the true unifying science
Everything else in social science is just an application of it: sociology to production and consumption; political science to voting and allocation in government; public choice to politics generally; psychology to preference formation and perception; anthropology and history to preference evolution over time; law to property rights and contract; even math to game theory.
3. Economics is the most mathematical of all the social sciences
Although it doesn’t require graduate-level math, you’ll be able to easily pick up other quantitative fields of study. Learning economics also helps make statistics more intuitive and relevant to everyday life. You can impress your friends by telling them how many trees they’ll cut down if they raise a pack of dogs in their back yard. Laughs!!!
4. Provides a Powerful model of social organization
Economics provides a powerful model of social organization, involving neither pure state coercion nor purely voluntary relations
That’s what makes markets so fascinating! Anyone who wants to understand real human behavior – or how institutions create incentives for such behavior – needs some understanding of economics as an analytical tool.
5. Provides a structure for thinking
Economics provides a structure for thinking about the world as it is, not as we imagine or hope it should be.
This is generally regarded as an advantage, though you’ll have to decide for yourself after taking a class in this field.
6. Economics has the most tactically interesting questions
“What causes poverty?” “Why do resource trade-offs happen?” “How does scarcity affect decision-making?” “When should agents expect to cheat, and what happens when they detect it?” Try asking these kinds of questions from any other social science department, and see what kind of reaction you get!
7. Economics is the central science of public policy
From taxes to airline regulations, from rent controls to international trade agreements, every important decision in government ultimately boils down to an economic question. If you want to understand why people disagree about politics, studying economics should be a priority.
8. Economics provides a basis for understanding how people interact with each other and their environments
You don’t need perfect information or omniscience for this to hold true – just incentives! Understanding monetary exchange can help you better grasp barter, which was how most humans lived during 99% of human history. And Homo sapiens were exchanging long before they could even speak!
9. In economics, there are no good or bad people
Humans are simply trying to ‘do well,’ i.e., increase their net benefits. Economics is an objective study of how they go about doing that! If you want to understand why someone acts the way they do, economics will tell you what motives are economically relevant – and which aren’t. Obviously, you should avoid studying this field if you’re looking for a palatable substitute for philosophy or religion.
10. Provides insights into how people exploit opportunities
Economics reveals how people exploit opportunities to realize gains from trade, even when there are barriers to prevent them from entering mutually beneficial agreements, like language differences or political boundaries. But remember: it’s not inherently exploitative when one party values something more highly than another does; it’s only so when each side thinks they could benefit from a deal. You can thank economics for teaching you to see the unseen.
11. Reveals how Economics of choice and decision-making
Economics provides analytics of social interaction, revealing how people make choices among different options; thus it helps explain human action, including all forms of cooperation and coordination (e.g., voting, public goods, market exchange). It doesn’t just help us understand competition – though that’s certainly important!
12. Economics will teach you not to take your own experience as representative
Just because certain behaviors are common now doesn’t mean they always have been or always will be. Discovering what happens in markets where actors don’t have the freedom to choose gives you insight into historical events like the rise of civil society in medieval Europe and colonial America.
13. Economics is a gateway discipline that can open many social science topics to you
If you learn about this field, you’ll have a better understanding of everything from voting patterns to family structures to international wars. For instance, the reason so many politicians are eager to fight other countries ‘over there’ (rather than at home) is because their voters don’t expect any immediate gains from trade with foreign countries – but they do expect goodies like increased military spending or lower tax rates. Understanding that incentive structure makes it possible for us to predict when someone will support an interventionist foreign policy and when they won’t.
14. Economics explains how society punishes cheaters and rewards cooperators!
That’s because economics is ultimately about what’s valuable to people, and people generally respond to incentives. If you want to better understand how the world works, learn this science!
15. Economics facilitates a deeper understanding of finance
You won’t just be able to ‘talk the talk’ – you’ll actually know financial jargon that could help you get a job in business, government, or academia. And even if your career doesn’t involve money, further study might unlock opportunities to win wagers with your friends over who will get promoted first or whether Greece will stay in the Eurozone.
16. In economics, it’s perfectly okay not to have answers!
In other social sciences, it would be considered irresponsible not only for students to challenge their professors but for one presenter to publicly criticize another’s work. But in economics, ‘being wrong’ is simply the norm rather than an aberration. When you study this field, you’ll learn that intellectual humility is vital because it makes people more receptive to new information and less likely to abuse powers that be.
17. Economics provides insight into some of life’s biggest questions.
You’ll realize that everything from your salary to the stability of society depends on how willing people are to make sacrifices today for gains tomorrow (i.e., intertemporal choice). So whether you want to know why there’s so much inequality or discern which candidate has the best policies, economics will tell you what underlying principles matter most!
18. There are people out there making millions of dollars thanks to concepts they learned in their econ classes!
Take, for example, options traders at large investment banks; many of them can’t explain the physics behind their work but have a deep understanding of the economic theory that helps them calibrate risk-reward ratios. Very few sciences have such practical real-world applications.
19. Explains Institutionalization processes
Economics shows you how societies create institutions, change those institutions when they stop working and adapt to technological progress. That means it will help you understand why the current system is built the way it is – and what happens when new ideas or technologies upend tradition.
20. An Economic Edge
Knowing economics gives you an edge over other students in different disciplines. As a result, you’ll be able to master core concepts faster and more efficiently than your peers.
21. The study of incentives
Economics is the study of incentives, which is also why it’s so important for law students!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re arguing over who should win custody of a child or how much someone should pay in damages if they ran a stop sign and hit your car: all those judgments ultimately hinge on what motivates people and what we consider ‘rational.’ The better you understand that stuff, the more persuasive your arguments will become!
22. Economics gives insight into how externalities affect our everyday lives
You’ll realize that when companies can pollute without being held responsible for environmental destruction or when drivers have no personal incentive to reduce traffic, our society’s potential goes untapped.
23. You’ll be able to make economic decisions on your own after studying this field
Your new understanding will help you evaluate the benefits of taking a job with a big company vs. starting your own business; choose between borrowing money for college or saving that cash instead, and understand how government policies affect people’s lives – which you can then use to lobby for change!
24. Help you think about the consequences of public policy changes!
For example, when governments debate raising the minimum wage, economists are uniquely qualified to anticipate how that will impact both workers and employers (and whether enacting such a law would result in more or fewer jobs).
25. Provides insight into Human behavior
Economics provides insight into human behavior, which is why it’s so valuable to marketers! It helps them identify what motivates people, how they make decisions, and what sort of messages will prompt action (or inaction). Plus, knowing how to assess probability is pretty much the foundation of decision-making in every field!
26. A promising Career Pathway
Studying economics will give you more career options. Beyond the obvious routes like teaching or working on Wall Street, there are tons of opportunities hiding in plain sight: consulting firms needing economic analysis; government agencies using it for policy development; companies relying on microeconomics to troubleshoot problems; etc.
27. Gives you a better insight into governance and Policy Updates
Knowing economics will help you read the newspaper with greater comprehension …
You’ll understand the true impact of a trade war or why cutting taxes always seem to help an economy. You’ll also know how to spot signs of inflation and whether the Fed is really as powerful as people say it is. In short, you’ll never be left out of a conversation again!
28. Make current events more interesting!
From politics to environmental concerns, economics touches on every aspect of global issues – so you should care about all this stuff even if you don’t want to go into this field!
29. Better problem-Solving Skills
Studying economics will give you better problem-solving skills than other majors. Since many real-world applications are game theory problems (i.e., non-zero-sum games like chess), you’ll hone your ability to make sound choices in any situation.
30. It will help you recognize the signs of an inefficient market
This is why learning economics is so crucial for entrepreneurs! You’ll know when resources are being wasted, which means that you can find new ways to put them to use more productively (and get rich while doing it).
31. A study of Group behavior
Economics studies the behavior of groups, which makes it highly relevant for psychologists. For example, understanding how people make decisions as part of a larger entity – firms or families – will help psychologists craft better interventions and understand why people feel overwhelmed by ‘choice.’
32. You shouldn’t be intimidated because this isn’t an ‘ivory tower’ degree.
Economics is useful for understanding and solving real-world problems, which makes it well worth your time. Plus, today’s ‘data revolution’ has made the field even more exciting!
In a nutshell…
Economists are infinitely curious individuals who want to understand the world around them … And they know how to glean insights from data, which means that you can too!
What are the best careers for Economics Graduates?
There are many great careers for Economics graduates. One option is to pursue a career in finance or banking. Economists are well-suited for these fields because they have strong math skills and understand complex financial concepts.
Another option is to become a statistician or market research analyst. These jobs require data analysis skills, which economists are well-trained in. Economists can also work in the public sector as policy analysts or economic advisors.
No matter what field you choose, having an economics degree will give you the analytical skills you need to succeed in any business environment.
What is the average base salary for an Economics graduate in the US?
According to ZipRecruiter the average base salary for Economics graduates in the US is $70,944. However, this number can vary widely depending on a number of factors such as level of experience, education level, and geographical location.