Economics is a study of choices – it studies how individuals, firms and governments faced with certain constraints and incentives make choices to achieve their desired objectives and how these choices then impact individuals, industries and economies of entire countries.


Economics is distinguished not so much by the questions it asks, which are often the same questions addressed by other social sciences, but mostly by the methods it uses in answering them – the so called "economic way of thinking." While studying economics, students do not learn a set of facts, but rather they acquire skills and master techniques they can later use to answer a variety of questions – from "What causes unemployment?" to "How do people choose their marriage partner?" (There has been economic research on these and many other topics.)

Economics courses help students develop an impressive set of skills:

  • Analytical skills – the ability to identify the central elements of an issue and important connections among various parts of an issue
  • Critical thinking skills – the ability to critically assess merits of conflicting arguments
  • Research skills in gathering and understanding data and in interpreting research results
  • Communication skills – the ability to explain an argument, a chain of reasoning or a quantitative result, both orally and in writing
  • Quantitative skills – mathematical and statistical techniques
  • Computer skills

These skills are valuable for a wide variety of professional fields including traditional business (banking, real estate, insurance, marketing research, small business development), financial business (stock market, financial and data analysis, forecasting), consulting, government and public policy jobs, law firms, as well as further graduate study in economics, law, political science and other fields.

Get more information on Economics for College Students.