Why Economics is one of the Best College Majors

A great explanation from David Colander as to “why” an economics major is one of the best choices. Economics is the most popular major at Harvard.

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37 Responses to “Why Economics is one of the Best College Majors”


  1. 1 SMCecon March 29, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    I may be biased but I think the econ major at the liberal arts colleges is one of the best majors. It offers a tough course load in econ classes that incorporate both quantitative and qualitative analysis and research. It is not as rigorous as science and math are but rigorous isn’t always a good thing especially when it doesn’t allow students to appreciate other activities whether they be school or extracurricular activities. As a current econ major at a liberal arts school I don’t fill pigeon-holed by my major as science and math majors feel.

  2. 2 Tracy Thomas March 31, 2009 at 7:02 PM

    I think that this blog is very accurate. Economics major is just the perfect balance of intellectual thought and excitment that drive people to excel in many other fields such as business and politics. It’s not too general and not too specific. It’s deals with many aspects to run a society and i think that draws the appeal to economics. Unlike many majors you aren’t limited to what you can do with an economics major.

  3. 3 nancy moussa April 5, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    An economics major is a hard major to accomplish, but a good one. It deals with a lot of our day to day questions and answers. An economics major would have lots of job options, instead of having to settle for one thing.

  4. 4 Melissa Schmitt April 6, 2009 at 10:11 AM

    it makes perfect sense that at this time Economics is the most possible major. There are many job opportunities for people that study economics and this long term recession is rising interest in the topic. There must be a high demand in compnaies as well for economists to help people survive this recession and prevent them from bankrupcy.

  5. 5 el Bouzkouri Youssef April 7, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    I Think that it is obvious why economics is such a popular major nowadays. Everyone wants to understand what’s going in the economy and how we came across his crisis. But the questions is, is this major still going to be as popular when the economy recovers and everything comes back to normal? I don’t think so! I agree that economics is a good major but it is not something practical is a based on lot of theories that aren’t accurate all the time!

  6. 6 B's April 15, 2009 at 9:08 PM

    Although I am not an Economics major I feel that it is one of the most important majors that is offered. This is a major that can be directly applied to everyday life and we also see the economic effects when certain decisions are made. Because of this I do think it is the most important major. People should be forced to study Economics during school because of the big impacts it has on our everyday life. If more people we educated on the basics of economics then maybe we wouldn’t be in as bad of a recession as we are now.

  7. 7 jenna s April 15, 2009 at 9:33 PM

    I think is a very true statement considering our economic situation. Many students are fascinated by what is happening to our economy and its impact on the rest of the world. Today’s scholars are perhaps trying to figuring out a way to solve this crisis and ensure that this does not happen again. Economics is such an attractive major because this is the perfect time to studying it. Today’s students will try to test the theories and come up with new ones as they watch what is going on in the economy. Many people are turning to economists for the answers, for a way out. Students are working to try to figure this all out.

  8. 8 NicoleMB April 22, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    I’m planning on majoring in economics. When I first started taking classes towards a major I was focusing on accounting. However, I made that decision because I never really felt connected or inspired by the accounting courses I’ve taken. The thoughts flowing around in my head were that as an accountant, of course there are a lot of job opportunities – I could work in a department for a company, going around and around doing the same kind of work, I could always go out on my own. But the economics courses I have taken have shown me that economists have a role in decisions that can be life changing. I feel like economists can make more of a positive difference in the world than accountants can and that makes something inside of me spark. I’d also like to have more freedom when it comes to my career (whatever that may be) and I felt like this was the way to go.

  9. 9 Claudio M Ramirez April 22, 2009 at 3:30 PM

    An Economic’s Degree is a great one to persue…but at the same time i think people are more focused on the financial aspect of being a business major and making as much money as possible but times have changed. The world is going to revolve more around scientist and engineers as the innovation of society is going to be more technology based.

  10. 10 Michael DeBoer St. Mary's April 22, 2009 at 11:37 PM

    I believe one with an econ major will get a job faster than most other majors. this is because a lot of businesses would rather higher a college grad with an econ major for 50k a year rather than keep an adult with a business grad for 100k a year. at a time like now, it is more profitable for a company to go for the cheaper labor with a higher knowledge of economics rather than the more expensive labor with the same knowledge.

  11. 11 mrrodenas April 27, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    Love this article! Mr. Colander is on point about rewarding what is done right and asking others to follow that model. As a returning student to college after my B.S. and Master’s, I have found in Economics the foundation for a new way of looking at the world. My Bachelors, though in Liberal Arts, was too specific, I worked very hard and when I got out into the world I had way too many questions. I got really frustrated and decided graduate school would give me more direction, but again, it lacked a real connection to the world. I have found in Economics an understandable logic, a comforting and intelligent familiarity that makes me be a better citizen, and most definitely a less frustrated one. I am glad I kept searching -knowledge is the key to be more involved in your surroundings, to know where to turn to professionally, and how to set your goals. Economics integrates it all: psychology, sociology, cross-cultural studies, logic/math.. I would make it a core subject in any degree. Could Middlebury administrators please pay serious attention to this well-informed professor?

  12. 12 Leonardo Sanchez ECON 101 April 29, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Yes so far the article is precise. i do agree that economics is a huge benefit in our colleges because it makes our eyes open to

    how and why price / deman / supply may affect our daily lives. For example prices at times maybe extremly high like when the

    new Blackberry Curve came out. Not only was it expensive but
    rare to get at times. you name a product that people wait in

    line for hours and i bet that product is way more $200-4300 or more! My point where im getting is at that companies know we

    want that product even though it may cost like 2-3 paychecks. The demand is high and the supply is is low because people buy

    like crazy. With economics it makes one think of why prices are the way they are or why we may even want them.

  13. 13 Luis A. May 5, 2009 at 5:48 PM

    i agree, not to say other majors suck, but right now since our economy isn’t doing so well, it is nice to know there are people that understand what is going on in order to fix are current problems. Also, it helps to understand how supply and demand work together when you are living in the real world.

  14. 14 Santi Orona May 9, 2009 at 9:29 AM

    Money is a language the whole world can speak. I believe students feel an Economics degree will help them find jobs after college. In my case, I believe an Econ degree will give me the opportunity to work anywhere in the world. While I am interested in Anthropology and Sociology, I wasn’t sure what I could do if i majored in one of those areas. I’ve decided to minor in Anthro. I believe I have a solid foundation with Econ, and then another aspect of the world with a minor in Anthropology.

  15. 15 Emily Bonzi May 9, 2009 at 2:23 PM

    I think for some economics may be the best major, but it is not meant for everyone. A lot of times economic focuses so much on the outputs and prices that it fails to see the people that produce those outcomes. When reading the text book, I become frusterated at times becuase although explotation is acknowledged it isn’t accessed in full depth. I am required to take econ for my major but think that an ethics class should be required instead of econ at times.

  16. 16 phanh May 11, 2009 at 11:09 AM

    economics may be a good major but i still wouldnt see myself majoring in this subject i dont enjoy as much as other people but i do agree it is a good area for people to do their major in but its not for all people

  17. 17 Audrey Hepburn May 11, 2009 at 4:34 PM

    I think a major in economics is a great major and opens a lot of doors in the work field especially now. Companies need employees who can help them from loosing their company. I am a business major and economic minor and see a lot of similarity and think it will be very helpful having both because i will have a wide range of knowledge for owning my own business. It is good to know every aspect of business and that includes knowing how your business will do in the economy.

  18. 18 Hyo Kim May 12, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    Once we get to learn how money flows in this economy,
    there is more things that we can do with the money,
    sucha s estate, stocks,..etc. so as more of job opportunities.

  19. 19 Lucy Hwang May 13, 2009 at 3:34 PM

    First, it’s fun!

    Second, it can be applied a lot of field. The flexibility of econ. is attractive. I remember few years ago, in Korea, there were tons of books naming “The economics of …..” For instance, the economics of coffee, the economics of love etc…

    Conclusion : I LOVE ECON!

  20. 20 Gabriel Mayora (Macro-Theory SMC) May 13, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    Economics has become so popular apparently because of its broad appeal, and importance to understanding the world. It is no wonder why economics is popular at Harvard. The best and the brightest should be interested in helping the economy and society. It is a beneficial course for understanding government and society.

  21. 21 Nirbhik Trehan May 13, 2009 at 10:53 PM

    i think the popularity of economics as a major has increased over the years because there is more demand of economist as there are more economic problems exists in today’s world and we need people to Analise them and come up with solution for them

  22. 22 Jim Castilone May 14, 2009 at 2:53 PM

    I agree that economics is a fantastic major. The courses offered are rarely boring and have always kept me thinking. Also, the friends I know who have graduated with an economics major have had great ease in finding a job because this major is so diverse; it can open up jobs in business.

  23. 23 Casey Kingdon May 14, 2009 at 7:32 PM

    Econ Majors seem to be the way to go, especially nowadays. We as students are living economic history as we speak with GM, Ford, Chrysler and all the American car companies going under. Students are now motivated to become economists in order to help something like this recession never happen again, experiencing this horror first hand.

  24. 24 Courtney G. May 14, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    Economics is a great college major. It allows so many opportunities elsewhere. You can even go and teach with an econ major. Being an economist has such a great opportunity to express the way you feel because you can have your opinion and be respected for it.

    Many students are finding the economy extremely interesting right now. It is a great major for current students.

    You can do whatever you want with it.

  25. 25 Kevin Clark st marys May 16, 2009 at 2:23 PM

    In a time where it is extremely interesting to be studying business and the study of economics its no wonder why so many people are gravitating towards these majors. People see the opportunity to make money and understand how the economy is running at this present time. Therefore it is obvious why economics is such a popular major nowadays. Everyone wants to understand what’s going in the economy and how we came across his crisis. But the questions is, is this major still going to be as popular when the economy recovers and everything comes back to normal? I don’t think so! I agree that economics is a good major but it is not something practical is a based on lot of theories that aren’t accurate all the time!

  26. 26 Walter Munill May 17, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    Economics is one of the best majors not only because it takes a logical problem solving person to achieve it, but also that they will have taken so many economy classes that they will have a broad view for life. They will be able to adapt to any circumstances because there are many times when they are forced to try and find solutions to problems in economies and sometimes this means to think outside the box.

  27. 27 Britany Linton May 17, 2009 at 7:44 PM

    I agree with economics being one of the best majors due to the constant need for people with current knowledge about what is going on in the economy. Economics is something that will never stop happening. It is constantly changing each and everyday keeping majors on their toes. It is a hard major to conquer but if done, one would be very successful in this field.

  28. 28 Craig K May 20, 2009 at 9:35 PM

    Economics is undeniably one of the most important majors a student can take. It is critical to surviving in the real world, and contains basic knowledge people must have to be successful. However, I still feel as though Business classes and a Business degree will offer more opportunities to see and understand the world as it is run. International business being my focus, I would like to actually experience the different economies and have an effect on them instead of simply understanding how they work.

  29. 29 Amanda Smith July 17, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    This article was very interesting to me. I have been thinking about an economics major for myself because it seems obvious to me that it is one of the most important subjects to be familiar with in the present day. Knowing about this subject can inform us on what is really going on with our nation and its economy, and can help us to survive and make wise and educated decisions on how to use our money, if and when to sell our house, and what stocks to invest in. It can also educate and inform us on propositions or delegates that we may vote for when elections come around, so that we can confidently vote for someone or something that matches our values and beliefs.
    Not only that, but having an economics major can almost guarantee you a job when you get out of college. Economists’ jobs are never in short supply. They are always looking for more. And in today’s job market, everyone is looking for security within their career. I wanted to go for a biology major, but I soon switched to a business major when I realized that there arent many jobs out there for biologists. And the few jobs that are out there dont pay well at all. But many jobs are always available for business majors…and economics majors.

  30. 30 Wen-Li Chan July 30, 2009 at 4:56 PM

    I had to take this class because it is one of my pre-requisite, not because I was very interested in economics. I started to like this subject after the second lesson. It just makes so many things in life make sense to me now. I can see why economy is a good subject.

  31. 31 Hailey Cook August 6, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    The only note I want to make about “economics being one of the BEST college majors” is simply, whether or not it is your college major, during an economic hardship we should be well informed and rehearsed about the details that are surrounding our life. Also if we are experiencing an economic hardship, trying to gain a career in the field is a necessity, obviously the economic field needs some “fresh meat”.

  32. 32 Michelle Benton September 1, 2009 at 1:46 PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article. I have always liked the managing style of the General Manager of the company I work for, and now I know where his style is rooted: economics.

    I work full time and have been concurrently taking classes for 3 years now. The company I work for lets me adjust my schedule each semester so that I can take the classes I need. At the start of this semester, I went to my General Manager to let him know my schedule, and he asked which classes I was taking this semester. I told him Economics and his face lit up. His exact words were, “You will start to look at things differently and with a broader mind.” Come to find out, he is an economics major. His decision making skills and management style, which I have always been so impressed with, was described exactly in this article explaining the cause of its recent popularity: “intellectual rigor, broad appeal, and importance to understanding the world.” He not only knows the science of how things work, but he also takes in to consideration why things work, who makes things work, and how to make those things better. He takes each department manager’s focus and brings them together to accomplish a bigger goal. I think it is amazing.

    Employers do want well-rounded employees that not only have the technical knowledge but also have the intellect and analytic capability of applying that knowledge to the data or task at hand. Economics courses provide that well-roundedness that many other areas of specialized studies in the sciences don’t until you couple them with practical experience.

  33. 33 jeff baluyot September 19, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    what economics students think of the economics major?

  34. 34 Tiffany Molinar December 13, 2009 at 11:44 PM

    I think it’s nice that people say Economics is one of the best majors for people, however I know that I could never be an economics major. I don’t grasp the concepts well and I have a hard time with a lot of the points. I hope to oneday become a teacher and I plan to help the kids who are having difficulties with their classes. I don’t see myself being an Economics major but I have a lot of respect for people who are able to major in econ and succeed in it.

  35. 35 Nicholas Dwyer January 25, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    As a second semester senior, ready to graduate with my B.S. in Economics, I feel that it is one of the best majors out there, of course I am going to be biased, but lets face the facts. Economists are used in every field imaginary from the government, to private sectors and there’s been a huge boom in economists working as consultants recently. Economics is a good transition between graduate school, law school and even a career in politics. I have found that many of the business students at my university are coming to economics majors with questions to their upper division business classes because we cover their entire degree in the matter of a few classes. The salary is very nice to have starting out of a bachelor’s degree. Economists start out in the top 7 salaries after graduation. I believe engineers, mathematics and accountants (which is up for discussion) are the other leading salaries outside of graduation. Another point is that you’re never short of different economic theories and practices in the media, especially today. I hope my (somewhat biased) opinion helps!

    Just remember, Economists do it with Models!!!!!

    http://www.economistsdoitwithmodels.com (funny economic geek website to visit)

  36. 36 1sureman April 4, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Some of the models that economists have been working with lately seems to be in need of botox inflation, going-bust reductions and more demand of elasticity!
    Good arguments in favor of Econ 101 and more. dependence on mathematic models needs to be primed with a good dose of Political Science,Sociology and Psychology. Combining Economics with a foundation of applied math and business sense should be required in Universities.
    Economists are often found lacking in writing skills and the ability to clearly communicate their theories and rationale. Hope the good schools, particularly UC San Diego, are working on this.
    Verfy concisely and clearly written article by David Colander – the exception that proves my argument!

  37. 37 Ana Ahnen May 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Money is one thing that every country has in common. Econ is something that even a non-econ major should have a good grasp on because it allows for one to understand relationships between people and nations. I am not an econ major, but i couldnt agree more that econ is a good major for someone that is looking to work in a huge range of jobs. Econ applies to many different things that there is really no limitation to it as a major.


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