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Major in Economics

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

Whatever work God has allotted to you for this day, year, or decade, do it for His glory with the zeal and diligence that is granted to us through the Holy Spirit. ~Cristos Makridis

Not a day passes by without economic activity—locally, domestically and globally. Turn on the news for five minutes and you will hear about it:  a company’s relocation and the effect on local markets, government “bail out” or shut down, famine in Africa juxtaposed with American obesity or labor activists protesting unethical work practices. Economics is the study of how resources are deployed to meet human need.  Interested in everything from trade to taxation, earnings to employment, production to public policy, an economics major learns to gather, analyze and interpret data in order to predict the impact of investments, industry trends and the forces that drive business so that all levels of economic functioning might be improved.

Students drawn to an economics degree tend to “think in numbers.” Beyond this mathematical bent, there are other important skills needed as well. Not only must an economics major be analytical, detail-oriented and organized, they must be creative as well. It is one thing to see and understand an economic problem; it is another to propose a workable solution!  Once the data is thoroughly scrutinized, it must be translated clearly into a real-world setting. This communication often takes place through report writing and presentation and is the reason why economics majors become “masters of chart and graph.”  It is also the reason why having tech skills is helpful, since the use of analytic and presentation software is par for the course.

So what classes can you expect to take in this business-related degree? Upper-level math, for starters, including calculus, statistics, and classes on microeconomics, macroeconomics, finances and accounting. Beyond this, you will find great diversity in the type of electives offered. Some examples are:

  • Economic Theory
  • Government and Industry
  • Labor Economics
  • Money and Banking
  • Public Finance
  • Regional Economics or International Economics

An economics degree sets you up for ongoing education should you choose that path, as well as for a wide variety of careers in business as well as financial branches of healthcare, education, government or law. Some of the most common career outcomes for this major include:

  • Market Research Analyst--evaluating market trends in order to help products and services retain their greatest value.
  • Economic Consultant--helping businesses improve their success by analyzing industry patterns and economic scenarios. 
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager--working closely with the human resource department of an organization to evaluate pay and benefit options and keep things competitive and fair.
  • Actuary--often tied in with insurance, this career uses statistical skills to determine the likelihood of insurable events like fires and illnesses and creates a risk profile assessment.
  • Credit, Finance or Policy Analysts.  These specializations deal with 1) assessing loan risks; 2) recommending investments, mergers and acquisitions; 3) researching and analyzing financial issues impacting the public.

If God has given you an analytical mind and an interest in the inner workings of all things financial, then it’s possible He wants you to use those talents in one of the above careers. The best way to glorify God in your next life-step could be to choose a college major in economics!

 

 

 

 

 

A future in Economics

By Amber Gragert

One of the most prominent life lessons my parents taught me was this: "Life is not all about you. Life is about honoring God through serving others." From the time we are young we are taught to share or take turns with special toys and things there weren't enough of to go around. There are only two sets of crayons but three children, so what do you do? Divide the crayons up and teach the children to make fair trades and/or take turns. It is the most basic lesson in economics.

In Genesis 41 we read that Pharaoh chose a wise and discerning man to oversee Egypt. They decided to save one-fifth of their produce during years of plenty in order to save up a store house in the event of the years of drought. This was an insurance policy of sorts so there was enough food to feed and save his people from starvation. Again, a perfect lesson in economics in none other than God's word. These themes are as old as time itself. Lessons in wise saving, preparing, contentment and human greed. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, "He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity." It is just a sinful human trait to not be content with what we have. Thus, we must learn to save, take turns and share as a society otherwise we would live in a world of disorder and/or hierarchies that control us.

According to the American Economic Association, "Economics can actually be defined a few different ways: it’s the study of scarcity, the study of how people use resources, or the study of decision-making." Others might say economics is all about studying societies that have scarce resources, how they produce valuable commodities from those, and then how they decide to distribute these commodities among different people and class systems, etc. Behind these definitions are two key thoughts in economics: A: goods are scarce and B: society must use its resources efficiently.

To quote John F. Kennedy, "Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder." So, how does society decide who gets what and what is fair in dividing scarce resources among large numbers of people? Well, that is precisely what you will study in your course work.

You will study economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, currency systems, international economics and so forth. By the time you have finished your degree you will have a solid foundation in all economic principles and theories. It would help immensely and be a good fit for someone with insanely good essay writing and research skills, systemizing, leadership, time management, investigative, detail oriented, good debate skills, analytical, persistence, planning, note taking, team work, precise language in written documents and phenomenal verbal communication skills. You should also know your way around Microsoft Word and Excel programs.

Economics is likely more versatile than a business degree. Economics majors can enter into any realm of business, government, finance, technology and more; whereas, business degrees tend to set you up for more specified roles within the business field. They are not inherently related, so job opportunities are not directly correlated.

Employment opportunities include:

Market Research Analyst

-  Economic Consultant

-  Compensation/Benefits Manager

-  Actuary

-  Credit Analyst

-  Financial Analyst

-  Lawyer

-  Business (News) Reporter

      -  Business Forecaster