Economists are interested in the improvement of the material conditions of life. Whether studying individual behavior, the strategies of business, or the policies of government, economists strive to determine the best choices it is possible to make in the context of specific social or physical constraints.
Training in economics addresses the fundamental relationships at the heart of many modern debates. Economics is considered a challenging major, because it combines training in analytical skills, theoretical models and the contextual analysis of the liberal arts perspective. As students master the study of economic relationships, they will learn how to use theoretical models and factual information while developing critical thinking and analytical skills. Coupled with communication skills, these are the skills most valued by potential employers.
The Department of Economics offers both the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees to their Economics majors. Because economics is a social science, some students enjoy learning to apply the tools of economic analysis to a wide variety of social phenomena and enjoy studying the history or context within which the economy operates. The BA is a flexible degree that it is complementary to courses outside the department such as business, government, education or international affairs and prepares students for employment in a variety of areas. Students planning to go on to graduate school in law, business, medicine or public administration would benefit from the more general nature of the BA in Economics.
On the other hand, some students enjoy the quantitative emphasis and more rigorous mathematical courses we offer amongst our upper division electives. Students who want to go on to become data analysts can be best served by a BS degree. Many employers who hire for entry level economics positions indicate that the BS signals a stronger quantitative / analytical background. Additionally, the BS in Economics with its emphasis on economic theory and statistics will better prepare undergraduate students for graduate work in economics.
The Department of Economics also offers two ways to get a minor in economics, which are available to all students except those majoring in economics. Each method requires students to take a total of 20 credits of economics courses.
Economics combines training in analytical and statistical skills with an awareness of context and multiple perspectives. Training in economics teaches students to present an argument or analysis dispassionately, clearly and effectively. This is an important foundation for a wide variety of occupations, including business, finance, government and law.
Our graduates have worked as stockbrokers, bankers, labor relations officials, market analysts, managers, researchers, consultants, salespersons, business owners, planners, and appointed and elected government officials. Many have successfully completed graduate studies in economics at many major universities, while others have received law, MBA and MPA degrees.
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