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Economics as an entry into business careers
Businesses hire economics majors because of their ability to adapt diverse theoretical models to handle new products, fast-growing industries, and changing market demands.
The field of economics explores theoretical models of consumers, firms, markets, economies, and policy. While getting a taste for mathematics, statistics, and quantitative reasoning, an economics major also develops skills in communications, critical thinking, and the broader exploration of behavior theory. Because of the diverse array of knowledge that economics encompasses, students graduate with an understanding of the nuances and underlying forces that drive successful business decisions.
In 2018, LinkedIn examined the profiles of over 12,000 CEOs across 20 countries. The data found that economics was the second most common field of study among business leaders, following only computer science – which comes as no surprise with the boom of tech companies in recent times. According to PayScale’s 2019 College Salary Report, the average starting salary for economics undergraduate degree holders is $56,700. Economics majors frequently go into roles in finance, business consulting, investment banking, accounting, business strategy, and more.
What makes economics a valuable degree in business careers?
Economics majors are analytic thinkers who have a curiosity to explore the driving forces behind business motivations, consumer demand, and market dynamics. As a social science, economics combines critical thinking with a concrete toolset for data analysis. In business careers, this versatile application of theoretical principles makes an economics major uniquely prepared to develop viable business strategies that suit the specific needs of your organization.
Cornell University has found that students in their social science fields who also have real-world data science skills are increasingly recruited by tech companies. For economics majors, the big-picture understanding and communications skills that come from studying social science and quantitative data application go hand in hand.
As companies are more focused on hiring professionals with a background in data analysis, the skills gained by studying economics are more important than ever before. Economics majors specialize in gathering and interpreting data using mathematical formulas, charts, and graphs. However, economics also requires solid communication skills and the ability to translate complex data findings into language that is easily understood. In a business role, the ability to present complicated information clearly is imperative when sharing data findings with business stakeholders, teams, and even consumers who are less familiar with complex terminology and quantitative methods
Saint Vincent College students excel in the field of economics. Economics and mathematics major, Isaac K. Therrien, was among five finalists for the 2020 SVC President’s Award. During his time at Saint Vincent College, he has held a work-study position in the McKenna School as an assistant to dean Dr. Gary Quinlivan, a tutor for economics, and a recruiter for the school. He has also interned at Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and following graduation, he will enroll in the Ph.D. program in finance at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Saint Vincent College undergraduate economics programs are offered through the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government. The programs provide a strong academic foundation for understanding the complexities of economic activity and decision making within both the private and public sectors and for understanding the relationship between the economy and society as a whole. McKenna economic majors pursue jobs in banking and finance, insurance, consulting, research, and more.