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Economics @ Marietta College

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"I really did not know what I could do with an Economics degree.  Now that I am in the 'professional' world, the question is "What CAN'T I do?"
                                          Derek Stek, '96.


What is Economics?

In the most broad sense, economics is the science of decision making. The student of economics is taught how to identify the costs and benefits of a decision. While it may seem obvious that one would always want to compare the benefits and costs of a decision, the problem is that they can be very difficult to identify and measure. Things are not always as they seem. The economist has the skills to identify the real consequences of a decision. That's the skill employers so highly value.


Is Economics Interesting?

What are some of today's burning issues? The budget deficit, cost of health care, environmental hazards, poverty, social security, international trade, unemployment, abortion, support for education, crime, technology? It may surprise you to learn that these are all economic issues. If you find these uninteresting, you will find economics uninteresting!

Economists use models of behavior to guide them in the identification of the consequences of policy decisions. These models can be presented in mathematical form, although they do not have to be. Indeed, at the undergraduate level, we keep the math to a minimum. Once consequences have been correctly identified, we often need to measure them. For this, we make use of statistics. If you are seriously turned off by math and statistics, you may not want to major in economics. On the other hand, if you've taken math and statistics and you can't see what good it did you, economics may just have the answer. Economists use math and statistics as tools to answer real world questions, to help make the world a better place to live. That can be pretty exciting!


What Can You Do With An Economics Major?

Basically, you can either get a job or go to grad school. For most entry level jobs in "business," the economics major is a remarkably versatile major. What's more, an economics major can be used as a "signalling" device to potential employers. That is, having an economics major signals to employers that you have successfully completed a rigorous program of study.

  1. Get a Job
  2. Politics (elected official)
  3. Government (local economic development, analyst with a state or federal agency)
  4. Banking and Finance:
    • Real estate appraisal
    • Stock broker
    • Credit analyst
    • Financial planner
  5. Insurance (actuary)
  6. Business (management, marketing, sales)
  7. Teach at high school level
  8. Economic journalism (business writer or TV/radio)
  9. Graduate School
    • Law School (JD)
      Two most popular majors for law school are political science and economics. See how economics majors measure up in terms of LSAT test scores.
    • Business (MBA)
    • Public Administration (MPA)
    • Economics (MA or PhD)
      For a list of the types of jobs available for PhDs, check out Job Openings for Economists.