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fspilot747
Topic Author
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 1999 2:58 am

Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 3:43 am

I came into college with the intention of majoring in Biopsychology, but I realized soon into the semester that I don't think it's really that practical.

After researching and talking to a couple people here, I decided to major in economics (something good to fall back on in case the airlines don't work out for me). Plus, the Economics department in Michigan is really strong.

The only exposure I had to Econ was in High School when I took AP Macroeconomics. It wasn't too much fun, mostly because my teacher was retiring that year and he didn't bother trying to teach it well. I'll start taking the econ courses next semester.

My basic question is, is economics something you work with in a Bachelor's degree, or is it something to need to get a Masters in in order to actually work with?

Hopefully we have some econ majors here that can help out.

Thanks,
FSP
 
Qb001
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:42 am

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:23 am

I started an economics major. And changed to Math-Computer science later.

Economics is just a big bunch of crappy theories.

Macro-economy is totally useless, so is micro-economy. An economist is no better at predicting the evolution of the economy than an astrologer is. And it's been proven time over time.

If economists were really good at predicting anything, they'd be all millionaire, right? Guess what, they're not.

I don't know about biopsychology, but if you're good in science, I suggest you keep a scientific path. Biochemistry is really hot these days...
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
cptkrell
Posts: 3186
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2001 10:50 pm

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:55 am

Economics 101: Buy low and sell high.
Economics 102: Figures don't lie, but liars can figure.

...jack
all best; jack
 
andersjt
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:50 am

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 5:27 am

For some, economics is a boring discipline, but when you think of the practical applications, that is what keeps it exciting.

If your interest is airlines, then you could not have a better venue for applying economics. Yield management and setting fares, hedging against fuel costs, currency valuations, all of these are really important to airline management, and all involve economics.

If you pursue this, look at getting your Masters. You'll have a better chance of getting looked at when applying for jobs.
Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 5:54 am

I got a BA in Economics, before going on to a couple of Masters degrees (in other fields - not Economics).

I would argue about it all being "crappy theories". Sure, some of them are a bit on the flaky side (I took a course on Marxist Economics - that was a laugh). But overall, the theories tend to work. Understanding why they work is interesting and, yes, useful.

The tough part is that if you go to a major university, you will have professors who have never worked outside of academia, and have no clue of what the economy is REALLY like. And as a young student with no significant work experience behind you, the whole thing can seem a bit nightmarish at times. But if you have good teachers, it can be fun and interesting.

If economists were really good at predicting anything, they'd be all millionaire, right? Guess what, they're not.

Most of them are not very good economists, perhaps. I myself averaged a return of some 25% per year on my investments since spring 2001, in spite of the recession.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
North County
Posts: 681
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2001 11:52 pm

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 6:34 am

I have the following:

BA in Econ History
Minors: General Econ and Political Science.

Business Adm 3 years later.

The key is that you will have a business degree from a respected University.

People take note of the school you attended. I did all my course work at the University of California, San Diego.

My first employer out of school was a Savings and Loan - I ended up in the Home Mortgage Business.

Each of my employers said that a strong factor in my being hired/promoted was my education at UCSD.

The three things that you should "get out" of a higher education is the status of the school you graduated from, the ability to think at a higher level, and the proof that you finished what you have started.

Also look at accounting as a minor or double degree.

 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 7:45 am

Economics is a very useful major. It will provide you with a set of strong analytical skills. Actually there are some well-founded economic concepts theories that you can easily observe in real life: comparative advantage, monopoly, supply-and-demand, oligopoly, and so on. If you are quantitatively oriented, taking courses in econometrics and mathematical economics would make your very marketable.

In order to be a professional or academic economist, you may need a masters or PhD. If you choose that course of action, I would actually consider a major in math (or least get a minor in math) because economics has become extremely quantitative. Check out some economic journals in the library to see what I mean.

With a BA/BS in economics, I think you would have a number of opportunities with banks, consulting firms, and other firms.

If there are economists out there that are predicting the future successfully, chances are that they are smart enough to not advertise their success.


 
fspilot747
Topic Author
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 1999 2:58 am

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:37 am

Thanks for the insight. I have no intention of going to graduate school in Economics, though. If I went to graduate school for anything, it would be for a Law degree. I actually really don't like math courses, which is why I didn't go into econ to begin with. But after speaking to some economics students here, I have the understanding that it isn't really much mathematics, just very conceptual.

And also, not sure if this would come as a surprise to any of you but I didn't mean going to the airlines as in administration. I meant I want to work as an airline pilot, and hopefully invest as well.


FSP
 
pacificjourney
Posts: 2659
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2001 9:12 pm

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:40 am

The great thing about a degree in economics is that when you are subsequently unemployed, you will know precisely why !
" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
 
Qb001
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:42 am

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 11:58 am

Economists could easily be beaten by monkeys at trying to predict the evolution of the Dow Jones index...

And if you don't have a monkey under hand, try this. Use a dart board. Put stock names on the dart board; throw the darts; buy the stocks on which the darts landed. One time out of two, your portfolio will outperform the portfolios of the best Wall Street analysts, who happen to be, guess what, economists...
http://www.investorhome.com/darts.htm

Economists, what a joke... And to prove it, here are three.

Why did God create economists?
To make weather forecasters look good.

How many economists does it take to change a light bulb?
None. According to the economics theory, if the light bulb needed changing the market would have already done it.

Three economists went hunting, and saw a large moose. The first economist fired, but missed, by a meter to the left. The second economist fired, but also missed, by a meter to the right. The third economist didn't fire, but said, "Well on average, we got it!"
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 12:51 pm

PJ is exactly correct.

FSPilot,

I am not a math oriented person (although I took econometrics and math econ) and can attest that economics is pretty cool for as a liberal arts degree. It is a also good background for law school. Whatever major you choose, make sure it includes a decent amount of writing.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:33 pm

The tough part is that if you go to a major university, you will have professors who have never worked outside of academia, and have no clue of what the economy is REALLY like.

Damm ain't that the truth. And Economics isn't the only field that is true.

Thank god my econ instructor (I took both Macro and Micro from him) had worked in places outside the univeristy.

He summed up the fundemental theory of economics with one sentance...."Getting the mostest for the leastest"

I have an uncle who actually uses his masters in economics!


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
G-KIRAN
Posts: 710
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2000 1:55 am

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Sat Oct 18, 2003 6:15 pm

I remember looking at some graph on the BBC website showing which graduates earned the most after graduation. Economics graduates were right up there behind Law and Mathematics. So looks like I am in good company.

With economics you have alot of doors in the financial sector opening up, just maek sure your up to scratch with your mathematic.

Nowdays you need decent a decent level of mathematics to get into a good economics course. In know for a fact that Cambridge, Oxford, LSE and UCL all want AAA with A in A level Mathematics being compulsory. In fact they dont make A level economics an entry requirement. As for the maths there is not much. I reckon that at the most you will be eneding an undertstanding of calculus and probability. I cant see much use for vector equations or complex numbers on an Argand diagram.

I am taking my A levels this year, economics is one of them. Its my favourite subject and the most relevent. Who really cares about protons, reletivity or the similarities between Keats and Donne?
 
LJ
Posts: 5463
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:59 am

With economics you have alot of doors in the financial sector opening up, just maek sure your up to scratch with your mathematic.

If you know that 1 + 1 = 2 than you know enough. However I see too many times that people working in the financial sector don't understand this (and usually these people are better iin math than I am).

In the end, most people working in the financial sector (like myself) don't use math and sometimes being good at math is a handicap rather than a bonus.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Any Economics Majors Out There?

Mon Oct 20, 2003 2:50 pm

In the end, most people working in the financial sector (like myself) don't use math and sometimes being good at math is a handicap rather than a bonus.

True enough. It is quite rare to use advanced math like calculus in business. Most of the time it's quite simple stuff and the real nerds might toss in some statistics equations.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.

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