We can define economics as the study of choices: How we make choices, why we make them and their impacts on us and others. These choices stretch from the decisions of individual consumers when, for instance, purchasing goods to those made by the government when, for example, allocating military funds. An economist is trained to make the best choices.
So, why should you study economics? Here’s why:
1) Employment Prospects
Most economics graduates obtain a job within 6 months of graduating. The truth is, economics graduates are needed in pretty much every industry. Economists advise the United States President on economic issues, formulate policies for the Federal Reserve Bank and analyse economic conditions for investment banks. Additionally, economists contribute to the development of many public policies such as healthcare and school reform, and they can also use their skills to reduce inequality, pollution and crime.
2) High Salary
Salaries for economics graduates are among the highest of any discipline. Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies discovered that economics is the 2nd most lucrative degree subject.
3) Understanding the World
In Star Wars Episode IV, when Obi Obi-Wan Kenobi was talking about the Force, he could just as easily have been talking about economics and market forces:
“Market forces are what gives an economist his power. It’s an energy field created by the price mechanism. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the economy together.”
Joking aside, economics truly is all around us, it exists in almost every aspect of our lives. By studying economics you will begin to understand the inner workings of the world we live in. You will understand, for instance, how prices are determined, why there is inequality and why it seems like the government choose to keep cutting public spending.
4) Real Life Application
Economics teaches us how to make well-informed decisions. Much of economics revolves around decision making and, resultantly, it teaches us how to approach problems in the real world. For example, it will help you answer questions like: “Should I buy a Ford Mustang or a BMW M4?”, “What are the benefits and costs of going to college?” and “Should I save my money or find alternative financial investments?”
This is probably the best reason to study economics because you can apply your new-found decision making skills to pretty much anything. For instance, as part of our blog series, we use our economics skills to research topics surrounding movie and video game fan theories as well as economics X-Files. It may sound ridiculous but once your brain is trained like an economists’ you’ll be able to apply it to pretty much anything.
5) Combined Courses
Because economics intertwines with almost every element of our lives, there is a high chance that you may want to study it alongside other subjects at college or university. Economics complements geography, mathematics, history, law and many other subjects and you have the option of studying economics with one of these subjects on a joint degree course at university.
6) Variety of Modules
Economics covers a multitude of topics and offers you plenty of options to diversify your modules, especially at university. As well as studying the usual topics like micro, macro and econometrics, you could also delve into the world of development economics or environmental economics. Or you could study public choice theory, political economy, behavioural economics or many other modules. There will always be something to hold your interest on an economics course.