Why You Should Major In Economics 

Economist Paul Samuelson called economics the “queen of social sciences,” and for good reason. It is a versatile field of study that offers a wide range of benefits to students who choose to major in it. From developing analytical and problem-solving skills to understanding complex global issues, here are some of the key advantages of pursuing a degree in economics. 

1. Labor Market Potential: A degree in economics can give you a competitive advantage in the labor market, resulting in higher income both upon graduation and in the long term. Employers value the analytical skills, critical thinking abilities, and quantitative skills that economics majors possess. The Federal Reserve of New York maintains a website that reports job market outcomes by major. As of Summer 2024, economics majors earned an average early career salary of $65,000, and a mid-career salary of $100,000. That compares favorably to management majors ($50,000 and $78,000), marketing majors ($50,000 and $85,000), sociology majors ($48,000 and $67,000), and biology majors ($44,300 and $76,000).  

2. Versatility: A degree in economics opens up a wide range of career opportunities. Economics graduates can pursue careers in fields such as finance, consulting, general business, government, international development, and academia. The analytical and problem-solving skills gained from studying economics are transferable to many different industries. 

3. Understanding of Global Issues: Economics provides students with a broad understanding of global economic issues such as trade, finance, development, and policy. This knowledge is crucial for understanding how the world economy works and how different factors influence economic outcomes.  

4. Problem-Solving Skills: Economics is all about solving real-world problems. By studying economics, students learn how to identify economic issues, analyze their root causes, and develop effective solutions. This ability to think critically and apply economic models—called the “economic way of thinking”—to solve problems is valuable in both professional and personal life. 

5. Analytical Skills: Economics students develop strong analytical skills and learn econometrics, the application of statistics to economic data. This allows economists to test economic hypotheses, evaluate economic trends, and make informed decisions based on evidence. These skills are highly valued in today’s data-driven world and are applicable in various career fields. 

6. Understanding Policy and Decision-Making: Economics plays a crucial role in understanding and shaping public policy and decision-making. By majoring in economics, you can contribute to important economic debates and help shape policies that have a real impact on people’s lives, or at least understand why suboptimal policies persist.  

7. Personal Finance: Economics teaches valuable lessons in personal financial management. Understanding budgeting, saving, investing, retirement planning, and the general operation of financial markets can help you make informed financial decisions throughout your life. 

Majoring in economics offers a wide range of professional and personal benefits. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career in finance, government, or academia, a degree in economics can open doors to a variety of exciting opportunities.