Economics is a social science that involves the study of how people, governments, companies, and nations make choices regarding the allocation of scarce resources for satisfying unlimited wants. Economic majors study about the production, distribution, and consumption of resources, goods, and services. It could broadly be classified into macroeconomics and microeconomics. The former is concerned with the behavior of the aggregate economy, and includes issues like unemployment, inflation, and growth. The latter involves the study of individual consumer behavior like saving and consumption patterns.
Degrees in economics are offered at various levels including associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate. The one that you decide to pursue will depend on your prior education and future career objectives. In addition to training in core economics, many economics degrees allow students to specialize in other areas like finance, econometrics, agriculture, development, and the environment.
The coursework usually involves principles, theories, concepts, and models of modern microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and quantitative techniques. Programs also focus on the practical application of economic principles and models. Students are encouraged to develop skills of critical analysis, so that they are able to think about real world economic problems that the world is faced with. Many degrees require students to work on a supervised thesis or dissertation too.
If you want to study a selected area of economics in detail, you could pursue a specialized degree in any of the subfields of economics. Some commonly pursued degrees include:
Since a continually increasing number of people are turning to online education, many institutes now offer economics degrees online. Online programs may help you cut down on costs, and allow you to study within the comfort and convenience of your home. They are a good option for working professionals who want to continue managing their professional responsibilities alongside their education. However, online degrees are equally rigorous in terms of course content and curriculum. As far as careers related to economics are concerned, graduates may go on to become professional economists in the public as well as private sector. They may take up positions in research centers, and get involved in conducting research on matters of national and international economic concern.
Economists or economic analysts are also responsible for collecting and analyzing relevant data with the help of mathematical and statistical models. Based on their research and analysis, they predict trends, come up with forecasts, and provide advice to people, firms, and governments on economic matters. Some economists may be involved in the design and formulation of economic policies. Another career choice for economics majors is becoming a college or university professor. In addition to teaching, many professors are involved in research and help enhance the academic knowledge base by contributing to scholarly journals and articles. In 2012, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), economists earned a median annual salary of $91,860.