How useful is an Economics Degree- And is it worth pursuing?

Economics is a fascinating field of study that can help you understand everything from the global financial crisis to the way your local grocery store prices its products.

But is an Economics degree worth it?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the value of an Economics degree and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

The Benefits of an Economics Degree

1. Job Opportunities

An economics degree is a flexible and useful qualification that can prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities. Many employers value the analytical and problem-solving skills that students of economics develop, as well as the ability to think critically and communicate effectively.

These skills are applicable to a wide range of industries and can be useful in both the public and private sectors.

Some specific career paths popular among economics graduates include roles in finance, consulting, research, and data analysis. Economics graduates may also pursue careers in business, government, education, or non-profit organizations.

The largest employers of economists in 2021 were:

Federal government, excluding postal service28%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services17%
Scientific research and development services12%
State government, excluding education and hospitals10%
Finance and insurance5%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of economists is expected to increase by 6% from 2021 to 2031.

Besides, you may even go on to attend graduate school and pursue advanced degrees in economics or related fields.

Overall, an economics degree is a valuable asset that can open doors to a wide range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities.

2. Increased Earning Potential

The earning potential for graduates with an economics degree will vary widely depending on factors such as the individual’s level of education, job title, industry, location, and years of experience.

According to BLS data, the median annual wage for economists was $105,630 as of May 2021. However, wages can range from less than $62,460 per year for the lowest 10 percent of earners to more than $193,690 per year for the highest 10 percent of earners.

The median annual wages for economists in 2021, in the industries in which they most commonly worked, were:

Finance and insurance$163,640
Federal government, excluding postal service$125,950
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services$117,510
Scientific research and development services$101,910
State government, excluding education and hospitals$82,220
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Typically, economics graduates with advanced degrees, such as a master’s degree or a Ph.D. have greater earning potential than those with only a bachelor’s degree. Also, graduates pursuing management, business, or finance careers may also have higher earning potential than those working in other fields.

Note that earning potential can vary significantly by industry and location. For example, finance and insurance industry economists tend to earn higher salaries than those in the education sector.

Principally, the earning potential for economics graduates is pretty excellent!

3. Understanding of the World

An economics degree can promote an understanding of the world in several ways.

First, economics is a social science that studies how people, businesses, and governments make decisions about the allocation of scarce resources. By studying economics, you will understand how the world works and how different economic systems operate.

Second, economics will provide a framework for understanding and analyzing current events and policy issues. For example, an economics degree will help you understand topics such as the causes and consequences of inflation, the impact of trade policies on global markets, or the effects of fiscal and monetary policy on employment and growth.

Third, economics will help you develop critical thinking and analytical skills that can be applied to a wide range of real-world problems. For example, economics graduates may use their skills to analyze data and develop recommendations for improving organizational efficiency, analyzing market trends and forecasting demand, or evaluating the costs and benefits of different policy options.

Economics graduates are also well-equipped to pursue further studies in areas such as law or business. With an economics degree, you will have a broad and versatile foundation for understanding and engaging with the complex world around us.

Pursuing an Economics Degree- Factors to Consider

I. Financial Costs

Consider the financial costs of pursuing an economics degree for several reasons.

First, tuition and other fees for an economics degree program can be a significant financial investment, and it is important to ensure you are prepared to meet these costs.

Depending on the specific school and program, the cost of an economics degree can vary widely. Some schools may have higher tuition fees than others, and you may also need to factor in costs such as textbooks, supplies, and living expenses.

DATA USA data shows that the average tuition for economics majors at in-state public colleges is $8,136, while the average tuition at out-of-state private colleges is $45,000.

Second, it is important to consider your overall financial situation and whether you will afford the costs of a degree program. This may involve considering factors such as your income, savings, and any other financial commitments or obligations you have.

Finally, think about the long-term financial benefits of an economics degree. While the upfront costs may be significant, this degree can also open up career opportunities and increase your earning potential over the long term- so, pay attention to the ROI.

II. Time Commitment

Deciding to pursue a degree in economics is a big decision that requires a significant time commitment. Before embarking on this academic journey, how much time can you realistically devote to your studies?

Economics is a challenging subject, requiring a lot of hard work and dedication. Economics courses often cover complex topics (Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Game theory, etc.) and require high analytical thinking and problem-solving skills.

As a result, if you’re not prepared to commit a significant amount of time to your studies, you may struggle to keep up and may not get the most out of your education.

Another reason to consider time commitment before pursuing a degree in economics is that economics programs can be quite time-consuming. In addition to taking coursework, many economics programs also require you to complete internships, research projects, and other experiential learning opportunities.

These activities can take up a lot of time, especially if you are working or have other commitments outside of school.

Generally, carefully consider time commitment before pursuing this degree.

III. Prerequisites

Prerequisites are courses or skills that you must have completed before being eligible to enroll in a particular course.

You should consider the prerequisites before pursuing an economics degree.

Understanding the prerequisites can help you determine whether you are academically prepared to pursue a degree in economics. Economics programs often have strict prerequisites that must be completed before you can enroll in upper-level courses.

Most require that you have completed at least two years of college-level mathematics, including calculus. Additionally, you will likely need to have a strong background in the social sciences, including economics, political science, and sociology.

If you have not completed these prerequisites, you may struggle to keep up with the coursework and may not get the most out of your education.

Considering the prerequisites will help you determine whether you need to take additional coursework or obtain certain skills before enrolling in an economics program. For example, you may need to take math courses to improve your quantitative skills or complete a writing course to improve your writing abilities.

So, be sure to check the prerequisites of the schools you are considering to ensure that you are eligible to pursue a degree in economics.

So, Is an Economics Degree Worth it?

In conclusion, an economics degree can be an excellent investment in your future. With its flexible and applicable skillset, an economics degree can open doors to a wide range of career opportunities in various industries, both in the public and private sectors.

Besides, economics graduates often have strong earning potential, with median annual wages in the field exceeding $100,000. In addition to providing job opportunities and increased earning potential, an economics degree will also provide you with a deeper understanding of the world and the ability to analyze and solve complex problems.

An economics degree is a challenging but rewarding choice that can pay off in the long run.

Related Readings:

Best Books on Economics and Finance to Get you Smarter- With Authentic & Unbiased Reviews

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The 9 Best Accounting Books for Beginners

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