Economics, at its core, is the study of how a society distributes resources among its people. At the practical level, an economics degree program entails the examination of how companies decide how and what to produce, how consumers decide what to buy, and how global markets interact with each other.
Featured Schools with Economics Degree Programs
Economics degrees prepare students for a wide range of careers in the financial world by teaching them the fundamental forces at work behind financial markets and the actors within them.
As the state of the world economy fluctuates and the global market becomes more and more interconnected, economists must learn to adapt. Skilled economists are more important than ever, as private and public organizations need the guidance of those who can make sense of the complicated economic connections between billions of people and millions of corporations.
However, economics degrees are not just for economists. These programs can prepare students for careers in many different fields with a wide range of employers. If you have an interest in how society allocates its resources, and how the different entities within a financial marketplace operate, economics may be the right educational path for you.
Types of Economics Degrees Available
Economics degree programs are available at all levels of education, from two-year associate degrees, to bachelor’s degrees, all the way through master’s and doctorate programs, as well as post-doctorate fellowships.
Before you choose a program, you may want to do some research into the types of career you may be interested in after you graduate, and which level of education it requires.
Economics Average Salary
- On average, most economists earned $89,450 per year in 2010
What an Economics Degree Teaches You
An economics degree will give you a firm foundation in mathematics, statistics, and business practices. Core economics courses will include basic calculus and statistics, as well as macroeconomics (the study of economies at a large scale: how national markets work, how policies affect economies, etc) and microeconomics (the study of small-scale behaviors: how price affects consumer behavior, how firms make decisions).
Advanced economic training will require students to choose a specific area of economics on which to focus. There are a wide range of fields in which students might concentrate, including (but not limited to):
Econometric analysis: the use of advanced mathematical models to predict how certain changes will affect other aspects of the system.
Labor Economics: investigates the factors that affect corporate-employee relations on small and large scales.
Economic Development: the study of how emerging markets develop their economies to compete on the global markets.
Public Policy: this field focuses on how government policies affect economic behavior within a nation, both in terms of consumer and firm behavior.
Questions to Ask About an Economics Degree
1. Am I interested in learning about the forces that influence people and institutions in regards to money and how they spend it?
2. Do I have the discipline to learn complicated mathematical and statistical concepts?
3. Do I have the creativity to apply the mathematical and economic tools I’ll learn in an economics course to complicated problems, both as a student and a professional?
Source: nabe.com; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Economists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/economists.htm (visited February 24, 2013).