Why Major in Economics at Saint Michael's College?

1. Whatever major you pursue in college it should be one that you find enjoyable and stimulating. If this is the case with economics, then that in of itself is reason enough to major in the field. You'll find a group of dedicated faculty within the department, each of whom brings a unique philosophical and pedagogical perspective to the classroom, who care deeply about student learning and the education of the whole person, and who try to make economics fun.

2. Economics will provide you with different ways to understand the world we live in. Whether it's becoming more sensitive to the unintended consequences of public policy and personal decision making or exploring the economic trends that are transforming our society and changing the way we live, you will become a better informed citizen and better equipped to know how to respond to the rapidly changing environment that confronts us on a daily basis.

3. Economics will open up many job opportunities. While few majors can guarantee you employment in a job directly related to your undergraduate field of study, economic majors are in demand. In part, this reflects the set of "tools" and a way of thinking that you will acquire as an undergraduate that many firms find useful. It is also a challenging major that sends a strong signal to prospective employers that you do not shy away from hard work and that you are capable of abstract and analytical thinking, skills that are in demand throughout the economy.

Bob McTerer, the former head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas noted:

"My take on training in economics is that it becomes increasingly valuable as you move up the career ladder. I can't think of a better major for corporate CEO's, congressmen (and women), or presidents of the United States. You've earned a systematic, disciplined way of thinking that will serve you well."

4. Among the most important skills that you should learn in college is how to think, write and speak more clearly and forcefully. These are skills that are most effectively taught in the type of small personalized classes that student will find within the department.

5. In light of the subject matter that students of economics study, and the tools used to analyze these subjects, the major provides an ideal background for those who hope to pursue advanced degrees in business, law, public policy or economics.

6. Economists address a wide range of issues that are of interest to both the public and to government officials. Questions that you will explore during your undergraduate years include: What impact does immigration have on our workforce and standard of living?  What can explain growing income inequality in the U.S.? Why do some countries grow quickly and others more slowly? Why has the Federal Reserve Board kept interest rates at historical lows? Is American industry becoming more concentrated and is this important in today's globalized world? What impact will health care reform have on the economy? Are trade deficits a threat to our economic well-being? What are the long term consequences of budget deficits? Is higher education still a good investment?

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