CollegeAdvisor.com presents its majors series webinars on Economics in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with college students and alumni. Our CollegeAdvisor panel will share their insider perspectives on how they chose their majors, how they applied successfully to colleges, and how they pursued their majors in college. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
Hi, everyone. Welcome to the college advisor webinar in economics to orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with the presentation, then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. And in the public chat, you can download our slides in the handouts tab, and you can start submitting questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists. Hi everyone. My name is Eleanor. I’m a current senior at brown university doing a concentration in economics. I also take a lot of coursework in French as well on this actually a picture of me from when I was studying abroad in Europe. I’m learning a lot more about the French language and history, and I’m really excited to get to talk to you guys more today about being an economy.
Hey everyone. My name is Brian. I’m a sophomore at Harvard college. I studied econ with a secondary in history of science and a language citation in Korean. Originally grew up in LA, but living in New York at the moment, I’m really excited to share a little bit more about Yukon with you all.
Okay. So in terms of what led me to being an econ major, it was definitely not the most straightforward journey. When I originally was coming to brown, I was pretty sure that I wanted to do international relations, but at the same time, I did want to still have that level of. And that level of something a bit more analytical, and I just really fell in love with basically Brown’s equivalent of econ 1 0 1, which is called principles of economics.
I really liked how it blended a lot of different things, the private sector, the public sector sort of soft skills and the social sciences with math and being, having that data-driven focus. So in my freshman year, I think it was about the middle of freshman year. I decided to go ahead and pursue an econ major.
Yeah, for me in the soft, somewhat of my junior year, like I had an opportunity to go to summer program and I was debating which class I should take. And, econ and business, seemed really cool. And I chose that class and for five weeks know, I learned. But the fundamentals, different theories, Annabelle stocks, and had a really great time.
I was thinking what econ may be like a potential major for me in college. And I pursued that and yeah, and I guess, econ reflects entirety of our, how we live our lives. I think, Literally a backbone of whatever we do in our daily lives. The fact that you all came here today to spend time with us to learn more about econ.
I’m sure you outweighed the cost benefit analysis. And see where it’s opportunity cost of, coming here instead of doing something else. So I think in that sense, econ is literally. Everywhere. It’s the backbone. So I think, like it’s a really cool subject and, for Harvard specifically, we don’t, you do apply under a certain major, right?
For myself, I apply as an econ major, but you don’t really declare your major until your sophomore fall. So you have an ear and your entire freshman year to explore different classes, different majors, and see if that. Pre intended major is what you really want to study now for my case, econ, I love, I fell in love with tins econ since summer of my junior year.
So that was the right choice for me. But yeah.
Like I mentioned, when I was in high school and heading into college, I was really interested in alongside economics. I was just more broadly interested in political science and international affairs. And so with that in mind, I was a huge model UN nerd. I was a secretary general of my school’s model UN club, and I actually went to model UN summer camp.
In Boston, which was a great time and it was actually hosted at Harvard Brian, I got to check out the campus. In addition to that, it’s really important to also have a creative outlet. And I played the oboe. I was really into music from fourth grade up until my senior year of high school.
And I think that was a really great way for me to continue to pursue my creative side and to have kind of an outlet away from just purely academics. In addition to that, I was also the president and founder of my school’s global citizenship club, which you guys just connecting to that interest in the social sciences more broadly, especially politics.
And I are, I was on the varsity math team and the varsity cross country team. So to the lesson, especially math team, I don’t know if that really counts as a sport, but it was varsity nonetheless. And then one of my favorite experiences in high school was I worked as a library associate at my local library, and that was such a great way to get to know my community.
And again, it was an outlet a more peaceful and restful way of spending my time as opposed to doing academic clouds or sports. I think it’s really important if you’re someone that’s interested in economics, you’re probably someone that has a lot of different things that interests you because it’s such a wide ranging major.
And I think that my kind of high school experiences definitely reflect that. Yeah, for me, I’m still in government was my thing back in high school. I served as class president for the first two years and I fell in love with it and want to continue doing, being part of that organization.
I was fortunate to serve as student body VP junior year and senior president in my senior year. So I had a lovely time, being part of student government at my school and yeah. And soccer was all. You know my thing as well. I love soccer. I want to see, recruit, become like a college athlete, as a soccer player, I’m in college. But yeah, I loved playing soccer back in high school was also part of, NHS, it’s a pretty niche organization, so I’m sure you all know NHS, but that data as well and academic to California as well, like I think. I love learning. And you never stopped learning.
So the fact that I get to study different topics in depth, and I love that so much. I did. Yeah. And the four organizations that I was part of student government soccer, NHS, academic to Catholic did that all four years in high school. Yeah.
So what was my college application process? It’s weird to think back on that now it feels so far away. I was in a position where I knew I needed it. I wasn’t going to be able to pay the full sticker price for college. Because my family, we had a lot of kind of unusual costs that didn’t always show up in those financial aid documents.
And because of that, I wanted to really try to maximize her merit aid. Cause I didn’t always qualify for the financial like need-based aid, even though I did need it. And so with that in mind, I really focused on targets and safeties. Cause I was trying to apply for a lot of scholarships. And it was honestly really hard because I was applying to quite a lot of schools.
I was applying to, I believe 16 in total. And I went to a very small public high school where most kids would just go to the state public flagship. I didn’t really have a lot of support. Although I was very lucky to have two parents who had gone to college and were able to help me a bit. Although of course the process had changed a lot, so it was definitely a struggle to keep track of deadlines.
And down on top of everything, I remember I definitely submitted some application essays on the day they were due, like literally by a couple hours, sometimes even less than that. And so with all this in mind, getting into ground was honestly a huge shock. I applied regular decision. So I had spent most of the year thinking that I was going to go to one of my early action schools.
So looking back when I think about what I wish I had known throughout the whole process, I wish that I’d had maybe a little bit more confidence in myself and set my sights high. Like maybe I could have applied early to brown and just saved myself a lot of stress. But, I was more worried about focusing on getting in a lot of safety school applications, and while that’s really important, it’s also important to take some risks and to, be ambitious.
So I think that would be one thing. And then the other was, I think that I didn’t really appreciate the importance of the essays and looking back, I think I definitely could have spent some more time really planning that out and outlining and having much more thoughtful of supplements and better common app essay.
Yeah. Yeah, for me I, myself as a first gen college student, so I had a tough time kind of navigating the entire college application process. My parents didn’t go to college obviously, so I wasn’t quite sure as to what I needed to write and to get started with the application process.
I had, I struggled a little bit, No going through the EDI process and leading up to the RD or regular decision process. But yeah. And one of the things that I I shouldn’t have the tongue right. Was applying to, more than 20 schools. That’s what I did.
I personally thought that, I really, myself didn’t even have a dream school per se. So I ended up applying to, I would say like top. 15 schools from the U S best news report and just, add those schools, my common app. And that’s what I did, which we don’t do that ever, but that’s what I did.
So I learned from my mistake. And yeah, as I say more schools, right? It means more assays that in your writing and more essays means, you need to spend more time and you’re not applying. To college, or that’s not, it’s not your number one thing, because just because you also have classes, you, I’m sure you have sports, other clubs, activities that you’re currently a part of in your senior year, so you don’t need to balance your time.
So I’m trying to find the right colleges, the right fit, that’s really important. And yeah, so as I was going through the RD process I received a, like a nomination 40 chancellor’s scholarship from UC Berkeley. I got that nomination. Back in mid January. So I think, I, then I knew I was going to Berkeley, UC Berkeley, for sure.
Just because I got in early and yeah, just Berkeley is a really good school. They have a really strong econ department, so I was pretty much set, but then that exactly a month after that, so mid February as received a likely letter from Harvard as well. And I had no idea what that. Was so I actually had to call the admissions office the following Monday, and I asked him if I actually got in and I did.
So I don’t, really, it was like a funny story, but so yeah, like I wasn’t expecting to receive like an early admission from those schools. But I wasn’t dreading, for the day some of my peers, were going through, but yeah, I had a, a little bit of a. Easier time going through the RFP process and yeah, what I wish I had known the importance of it, personal narrative, finding your personal brand, your differentiating factor, these colleges receive tons of applications, right? Similar activities, similar GPA sat all that test scores. So finding your personal brand. And showcasing that through a DSA parts of your application. Think that is the single most important factor.
And I wish I had known that earlier on, like my junior year, sophomore year. So I can focus on that, but I think again, your personal narrative, you’re finding your differentiating factor, right? That’s the most important part of the application process?
Okay. So in terms of extracurriculars in college, I’m someone just personally who I like to do one thing, get really into it. And then often ended up getting a little bit bored and wanting to move on to something else and tackling a new project. And you can see that in this little list of things.
When I was a freshman at brown, I was coming again, remember coming in as I R I was coming fresh off of being the biggest model UN nerd. So I obviously did model UN at brown, and I had an amazing experience with that ended up becoming the head delegate, which is basically like the team captain for the travel team.
And I had an amazing time getting to travel all over the country. As well as actually going to Peru to attend Harvard’s model UN conference. And that was such a great time. And I learned a lot through that about, both not being nervous in public speaking situations like this, as well as learning a lot about, diplomacy and international affairs.
And then honestly, one of the biggest, like most defining things that I’ve done in college has been being a college advisor, both here for college advisor.com, but also as a freelance leading up to. It’s been such a great way to learn a lot about what it’s like to work at a startup and to understand, being a mentor to someone and getting to learn more about, all the different people that I need.
So that’s been a really amazing experience. I’m also the co-founder of Brownsburg student run think tank, which is called the brown initiative for policy. And that’s such an incredible experience. In fact, we’ve actually currently running a trial program in which we’re getting public high school teachers and Rhode Island CPR certified, which has been a really cool experience to do.
And yeah, that’s been awesome. And it that also definitely sparked an interest in, entrepreneurship and leadership. Thinking about that, both in a private and a public context. I also work as a teaching assistant for the economics department. And prior to that, I actually worked for the engineering department, but that’s because that brown, any entrepreneurship class is within the engineering department.
So it wasn’t like scientific type of engineering. It was like about management. And then in, just in terms of internships, which we can probably talk about later during the Q and a, but I’ve had weird journey with that. I interned first at a think tank and my first summer at brown down in DC. And then I worked in Boston, out of management consulting firms.
And then most recently I interned at a furniture startup this past summer. So yeah, that’s some of the main things I’ve done to spend. Yeah. For me, I think I spoke a little bit about soccer earlier, but I wanted to walk onto the men’s soccer team, Harvard and while I was training and one of my roommates, what it means to go check out the new boathouse, that’s our men’s crew outhouse and cause he wanted to walk onto the CRO team.
So I went with him and I just fell in love with the boathouse and ended. Dropping like soccer and ended up walking onto the lightweight rowing team on campus and, fell in love with the whole boathouse. The sport by rowing is a very niche sports. I feel like it’s like a lot of, I’m sure a lot of people in the east coast and it was all about rowing on the west coast.
I’m from LA. Like rowing is a very, like a unique sport. So yeah, it’s been great so far. I walked on. Sophomore fall and between the varsity team that following semester, and then, yeah, it’s been a great thing so far. And yeah outside of the boathouse, outside of training I’m also part of the global research and consulting group to GRC, what we do is we do consulting for nonprofits and NGOs.
So yeah, it’s a really cool group. Love everyone there and yeah, and, also. Like how most part of the investment association on campus. And as a small group, actually, we have around 15 members in total and we manage around like 30, 40 K worth of equity and we invest buy stocks and all that stuff.
It’s been really fun so far. I love it. And yeah, and last one, at least half PI, which is Harvard university foreign policy initiative. What we do is for my project specifically, I’m working with the ambassador in Seoul, South Korea, U S ambassador in Seoul, South Korea. And we’re trying to find ways to strengthen our okay.
U S relationship through like climate change initiatives. I, I’m really, I’ve done a lot of research on climate change, so integrating that experience with trying to strengthen, us and Korea relations. I think that’s really cool. Yeah, it’s been really fun so far, and those are like the four main things I do in camp.
In terms of sort of common classes for an econ major. But I can talk about maybe I know I did the junior year classes. I can talk about maybe first in junior year, if you want to take sophomore and seniors. So first year classes are generally going to be introducing you to the two big, broad branches of economics.
Which are micro and macro. And I won’t get into the nitty gritty of that, but effectively microeconomics is whenever we’re looking at what’s going on either on an individual person level on a business level or on a specific market level. Like maybe the market of agricultural goods, for example, or, retail.
Macro economics on the other hand is when we’re looking at things on like a Countrywide level. And that’s a lot of the times when we’re thinking about, public policy, the government, things like inflation, more broad, a more connected to how the government is impacting the whole overall us economy or the global economy or the economy of other different countries.
So that’s your two intro classes that you’ll most likely take at some colleges as a freshman, you might take just an intro to economics class that combines the two, and that’s the way it is at brown. So we combine those into one accelerated class and then you’ll move on to like advanced, micro and advanced macro.
Perfect. So going Eleanor. So your sophomore year, you need to take a mathematical econ. Dive in a little bit deeper, right? Know, you took intro to econ you’re fresh first, first year, so learning worldly, quantitative background, the quantitative side of econ by taking that course and senior year that’s where you have more opportunities to take elective courses, right?
Just because you already took most of your core requirement classes. For, at least at Harvard and what you do is you have two different contracts. You have the regular ed contract and you have the honors track and, you can, that’s, available at most colleges I believe.
And, especially a Harvard, what you do is you write a senior thesis your senior year. And you also knew you’re taking honors exam at the end of your senior year to get the honors degree. And elective wise that you can take sports economics, pretty straightforward economics of the current, the virus.
This is a really cool class, integrating coronavirus and econ. I think it’s a really cool class, corporate finance, it’s for those, who wants to learn more about like the finance, econ, just because Harvard, it’s a liberal arts college, so we don’t really provide any like pre-professional degrees or kind of classes.
So I think that’s like the class, that you need to take, if you wanna go into the investment banking route and you also have immigration economics, which is really cool. The fact that you could apply econ for literally about anything in the world, to Kronobars to immigration, to like international relations to whatever.
So I think you can take some of those really interesting electives your senior year.
Yeah, I think Brian makes a really good point, too. Just about this idea of how I can all mix is so broad. You can really apply it to anything. I think sometimes when people hear about economics, you think, oh, it’s about money, but really the way I can omics is defined is that it’s just all about how people allocate scarce resources.
And that has a lot of really important implications. When we talk about, anything related to. No policy thinking about climate change, thinking about immigration, as well as obviously the private secretary thinking about investment banking, maximizing profits. So if you’re someone that, you have broad interests, or you want to explore both private and the public world, I think econ can be a great choice.
So it’s a little tangent there, but in terms of my favorite class related to my major, it would definitely be labor economics. And this class is all about understanding. Why the labor market works the way it does. And especially the way my professor taught it, we threw out the textbook and we thought about what is actually happening in the real world beyond just, the theory and the models that economists like to come up with.
And we talked a lot about, what does it mean that firms have more power to bargain over wages than workers do? And so it was really interesting, especially in the context of COVID and in the context of, there’s so much debate right now about the minimum wage. So we did a lot of discussion about, how things like single-payer healthcare, things like raising the minimum wage to how those would impact the labor market, both on their impact on earnings as well as on unemployment.
So if you’re interested in any of that stuff would encourage you to try to take a labor economics class when you do end up at school. Yeah for me. My favorite class is act 10 a and B, which is, principles of econ. And you take those two courses, your freshman fall and freshmen spring.
And yeah, they’re like intro to econ basically, and the reason why. And those two classes are my favorite classes or just because one it was taught by professor Mankoo, who is a very renowned professor in the econ world and to my first lecture, he said, econ is not a set of answers, but rather a method of reasoning.
And I think that was a really cool, just because, most people in take econ. Too, I don’t know too well in the stock market or, the thing that econ will, give you answers to, basically, every problem in the world, but unfortunately it’s not the case.
Econ will teach you how to think right. To, to increase your critical thinking skills for you to okay. Think about a problem and the ability to solve that problem, you’re using the different methods. So I think in that sense, like econ for the first time, like back in high school, what I usually do is I studied just for the sake of my grades, to get an a plus, that’s the only reason why I started back in high school, but, for the first time, like I sat down and had the opportunity to reflect and think, wow Gang getting top of professor Mankoo, but at the same time, most importantly, I’m learning how to think. I think that was a really powerful thing in has a freshman in college.
Yeah, that’s my favorite class and yeah.
So there are a lot of career options available to you. If you pursue economics, I’m getting the sense probably because it’s something we’ve talked about a lot already, so I will. Beat this dead horse. But like I said, it’s a very broad field of study with that. In mind, you have a lot of different options.
I would, if I had to distill them into three categories, I would say there’s the public sector is academia, and then there’s the private sector. So if you’re interested in public policy, econ is very applicable to, anything related to law, the politics. To think tanks, which think tanks, it’s just doing research often times about public policy in terms of academia, working at a university as a professor, doing research, teaching economics publishing interesting research papers, a huge part of economics, which we haven’t touched on too much is statistics.
Econometrics and advanced statistics are all classes you’ll probably end up taking as an economy. So you might find yourself doing research into really anything, there’s economics research papers about the impact of your height on your earnings. There’s impacts about, health outcomes, research about the impact of minimum wage increases.
There’s a bunch of different stuff. The career that I’m going to be pursuing after college. Cause I’m a senior now. And I’m actually thinking about that, which is crazy. I’m going to be going back to from where I interned at doing what’s called management consulting. When I was in high school, I had literally never even heard of that.
So I’m not sure if you guys are familiar, but it’s like being almost like a doctor for companies where companies will hire a management consulting firms to help solve. For example, maybe if a firm, a company is seeing a decline in profits and they can’t really understand why they might hire a consulting firm to help them try to figure it out and get to the bottom of things.
And so that’s a lot of the economics skills related to critical thinking, problem solving and being able to, be a little bit good at math, but also have soft skills. And then let’s see, what else, Brian, maybe, do you want to take the other two? I think you can talk to me be more on those.
Yep. Sounds good. So you know, the typical route, as an econ major would be, know Tufts upon Madmen consulting. So consulting is only a huge like we’ve got to create a pathway as an econ major. The second, path, typical route would be going into finance, right?
So you have an investment banking, sales and trading and private equity. And yeah so those are the two typical tracks that a lot of econ students, once you get going into I personally, you know, once you of startups and entrepreneurship all of my past internships, have been all related to like startups in research and entrepreneurship.
So that’s what I do and long-term, but as Eleanor mentioned, you can literally do whatever you want, with me, Like by myself, it’s, I’m not going to quit going to a startup right after college. I plan on joining the military and, serving, a few years there and then, get an MBA and do whatever I want to do.
But, at the end of the day, as Eleanor mentioned, you can do anything. I couldn’t do research. Yeah. Try to professor teach consulting, investment banking, startup, you can do. Literally anything wouldn’t you agree. And that’s the beauty of your study.
Econ. It will prepare you for literally anything. So I think that’s a beauty of econ, but yeah, I’ll just add too. It’s very common to move in between these different career fields. It’s not like you graduate, you get a job doing consulting and then you do that for the rest of your life.
Most people that study economics, I would say. At least, experienced two of these buckets, if not more I can think of several examples just off the top of my head as people I know who, they started out at a startup and then they ended up going to law school and now they work in as a politician or, any kind of thing like that.
There’s a lot of different paths and you can move in between these different jobs and find what is really your passion. Okay.
Am I still muted. So that’s the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides in the handouts tab or from the link in the public chat, moving onto the live Q and a I’ll read through the questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them into the public chat.
So you can see and read them out loud before our panelists give you an name. You can direct your question to one specific panelist or all will answer as a heads up if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions. Double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page.
Okay. So our first question is how can you compare this major with international business?
I can take that one. Maybe Brian, if you don’t have a comment, just because I did something I thought about. So I would say if you’re thinking about economics, as opposed to international business, a big thing that at least in my own sort of personal consideration was. Economics is definitely more broad and it will not box you in quite as much to specifically working in the private sector.
If you are, I would say with international business, you definitely could still get a job. That’s not necessarily international, or you could get one that’s international. It’s not like it’s that boxing you in. But with economics, you’ll definitely have more of a focus on public policy as well. And in addition, Not so much comparing the two majors, but thinking about it more in terms of, your college experience, the kinds of colleges that offer just a broad economics degree versus the types of colleges that have a level of specialization to the point at which you could do, international business versus a few different tracks.
That’s probably going to be a bit of a different culture. And so that’s something to keep in mind as well. If you’re doing economics just more broadly, I think you’ll end up having more of that liberal arts experience where you it’s a bit more into interdisciplinary. And I would also just add that, what I’m doing is I’m just studying economics with a language, and that can be an option too, if you are interested in international business, but maybe you want to keep your options open.
Yeah, I can’t speak too much about international business just because I don’t really know much about it. Our school, the only business related major would be econ. But yeah, I think Eleanor touchdown, like it shared a lot of really good points about it, but I personally just can’t speak too much about international business.
All right. Our next question is what kind of stuff. In terms of soft subject strength, soft skills, et cetera, do best in economics.
Yeah, so I can go ahead first. I would say, passion, right? Again, you can say that, before finding majors, but I would say, just because econ isn’t as niche as pre-med or, engines or like physics or engineering, you have like half to a bit of a broader mind, willing to learn, you think.
And just explore different paths. Just because again, you can, you’re most likely to take intro to econ your freshman year, but I would say branch out a little bit, you don’t have to, take all econ classes your freshman year, you can take different classes and see if you can, connect, what you’ve learned in the other class.
Cause econ class. Because econ is all about integrating things, different things, right? So maybe if you take a class and they’re like a pre-med class and they’re trying to connect what you can do, how you can apply the theory, the theories you’re learning your econ class to that pre-med class that you took.
So I would say be open-minded, I’ll be, willing to learn new things and venture out a little bit and take different classes as well. I would say. Yeah, like just, pat being passionate and be willing to learn new things. I would say also math is honestly pretty important and economics, calculus and statistics play a very big role, especially when you’re taking advanced level courses.
So if you’re someone that you really hate calculus, or you really hate stats, I would be a little bit more wary. And then in terms of soft skills, Something. I tell the students that I teach freshmen in econ 1 0 1 now, and something I always tell them is you need to be someone who’s willing to try to understand things, basically visually, conceptually and mathematically.
So you need to be someone who you’re willing to study something to the point where you’re able to explain it with a graph, explain it with your words and explain it with numbers. So being, having that ability to understand things on multiple levels, which connects to Brian’s point about, having that interdisciplinary and very open-mindedness.
Great. Okay. So the next question is, which might actually tie in with what you were talking about, Eleanor, what high school courses do you feel would be valuable to take, to determine if economics is a degree you might pursue at university?
Probably AP microeconomics and macroeconomics or any sort of, if your high school offers economics, that would be the number one, but actually my high school did not. So when I think back to what was the most helpful, I would say calculus statistics and then taking on AP us history. I would probably say those three were like the most valuable to me, but also any class where there’s a big emphasis on critical thinking skills.
Yeah, echoing Eleanor. Also, if your school doesn’t offer any econ classes, you don’t really have to go to a summer program to take classes or do an online class. You can simply buy a book right. And read. I know you couldn’t, cell phone or your econ. And I don’t think. In a tough major, you can just buy a book, learn more about it.
And if you like it, perfect. Maybe you’re interested in econ, but if not, that’s fine. I would say buy a different book and try to figure it out. But I think reading will help you a lot. Find the simple intro to econ book and just read it and it takes some time reflect it. And is this something that you wanted to study in college and now try to go for it.
Okay, our next question is what does studying economics in college look like day to day?
It’s hard to give an answer to that because I’m in COVID times, it’s just sitting in front of a laptop. When I think back to, a more normal, like my freshmen and half of my junior year. In terms of my day to day, you guys already saw this sort of combination of classes that we take.
It’s going to be very different for each person, but I’ll say this much economics, I would say is the type of major where there is a large variation in the level of difficulty of the classes. It’s possible to graduate with an econ concentration and only take classes or like mostly take classes that are, easy A’s and maybe you won’t have learned that much and maybe your days will be spent, not very stressed and with a lot of free time, it’s equally possible to grind and take a really hard course load and become like a super, super smart, know everything.
And then hopefully what you’ll end up doing is somewhere in the middle. So it’s hard. It’s it’s hard to answer that question because unlike some majors where it’s either, regarded as being a little bit of a lighter course load, or it’s regarded as being very demanding econ, it’s really what you’re going to make of it.
So I hate to give like a non-answer, but it would really depend on the specific classes that you want to do. Yeah. Eleanor said it very well. I agree with her. Yeah. 120%. It’s all about the classes that you personally take. Again, if you go take the honors route, it be a bit more time consuming, a bit more work.
But if you go to the typical econ route non honors track, the class load, it tends to be a lot lighter compared to other majors such as engineering or, math, or that, bit more math, heavy course load. Yeah. One thing I will just add is your day will probably be spent doing a mix of problem sets and essays, and that’s a bit unique compared to most other majors, right?
It’s either kind of one or the other econ, one of those few where you might have a problem. But that problem is that, is you writing like little paragraphs to answer each question? Yeah, I think that’s probably the best answer we can give for that. Okay. We’re partway through the Q and a as a quick break.
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And we’ll go back to the Q and a. So our next question will be what careers require a major in economics?
I can’t think of a single one that requires economics. As a major, the reason for that is because the only careers that you might think of would be right, like being an econ professor. But even that you could do something different for undergrad than you would just, pursue economics at a graduate school level.
Econ is not one of those majors where, it’s not like you do accounting right. As your major, and then you go on to become an accountant. There’s a lot of careers that except econ majors, but I don’t think there’s most colleges or sorry, most careers that would accept econ majors would probably also accept people that do like math or political science or something that, you know, in a similar vein of the social sciences.
Yeah. I agree with Eleanor. It’s not like pre-med or, like in order to go to med school in India, Take some pre-med courses. Even if you wanted to, get an MBA, down the line, you can still major in stem or stem related fields or pre-med or anything, not econ major and still even get an MBA.
So I think yeah. Even, management, consulting and investment banking, right? Like those are the two typical routes that you take after, majoring, econ, but even art history majors can, get an internship from like a consulting company or investment banking firms. Yeah.
So yeah. Can I give you like a specific end? They’re going to a direct answer, but yeah. Sorry about that
one. That might one that might maybe would come to mind would be there. Internships or career paths if you’re doing like you’re working for the federal reserve board or some sort of very specific public policy role that was maybe that’s related to like economic regulation. That’s really the only thing I can think of.
And honestly, even with that, there’s probably some flexible.
So that sort of connects to the next two questions. I think you answered the first one a bit, but the second one will be interesting. The first is what is the job outlook for econ economics majors slash what do you two hope to accomplish in the job market with your economics degree?
I can take it by me because I’m a senior, I’ve had a bit more like my friends and I have gone through it. I’m very lucky in that I’ve had a great experience. I actually signed my full-time job offer when I was a junior in my first semester. That’s unusual. It was cause I, because of my internship.
But I, so it can be there. I think economics is generally a very good, very employable major to have as long as you’ve done well in it. And as long as you have achieved a level of specificity, you do need to graduate with some sort of, a bit of a focus I’d end of your senior year and your economics degree, even if your college doesn’t specifically require that.
So me, for example, like a lot of the classes I’ve taken have had a big emphasis there’s on theory and models and testing them. Whereas maybe enough that you can major my graduate, having taken a lot of coursework related to studying investments and the stock market, et cetera. And neither one is better than the other.
It’s just important to have some sort of consistency and some sort of level of expertise. And as long as you’ve done that, I think the market is honestly quite good for economics because, even in times like these in an economic downturn, there’s a need for people that can think of ways to try to get us out.
And that’s what economists in theory should be doing in terms of what I hope to accomplish in the job market with my degree, my current, five-year plan is work in management consulting for a few years, go to business school, maybe come back to management consulting for a little bit, so that they’ll pay for my business school degree.
And then hopefully go on to found my own ed tech startup, which is something I’m really interested in, because of working at companies like this that are in that. Yeah. So I think Yeah, I go at Eleanor in terms of as like typical econ major, I think, econ is a very broad major, so you do need to have some kind of differentiating factor, right?
Whether it’s having a, some sort of CS background or knowing a lot about, having a very, math intensive, you’re taking a math intensive courses, whatever that is, you can also utilize your. Option two, may I minor in computer science, engineering, or a bit more math, heavy, concentration.
So you can also take that route as well. And yeah, so I’m personally, not doing that. My, all of my major and my minor, they’re both, very theory based and non math heavy, but that’s just me personally. I’m just really into reading, thinking all that stuff. I would recommend that route if you want to get into a bit more.
Math heavy. Chop route like investment banking, private equity or hedge fund, but it’s a really good Point and, personally, I’m a bit weird. Not weird, but like interesting, just because you’re not specific rabbi. And as I mentioned is investment banking and your nonprofit or consulting, but I’m personally, I personally would have joined the military after college to spend, four or five years in the army.
And then get an MBA afterwards and start my own nonprofit. That’s what I want to do. And yes, I’m actually working on a nonprofit right now. I’m taking a year off from school so we can have nonprofit, helping underserved kids, go to, become the first one from their family to go to college.
So I want to do something like that. I’m in my late twenties, starting my own nonprofit. I think that would really cool. But.
Our next question is, can this major relate to marketing? It definitely can. I’m just going to dive in cause I’ve done some marketing internships. So in short, yes. Oftentimes not in the most direct of ways, but a big part of marketing is market research and that relies on a lot of economic. Skills.
And just in terms of this understanding, like the math behind it and understanding how to run tests of different marketing campaigns definitely relates. And especially if you take econ classes that are a bit more focused on business, you can very easily pursuing marketing. Although you might want to take some classes outside of your econ major as well, that involve a bit more of the English side and a bit more of the creative stuff.
Econ can definitely be useful in a marketing degree. I’ve myself have Oregon social media marketing at a few different internships. And I definitely found myself drawing on skills that I had developed through economics, but not necessarily the spirit as I had learned, if that makes. Yeah, I agree with Eleanor.
One of my roommates actually has a marketing internship right now and is an econ major. You can do again, whatever with an econ degree, but yeah, although in econ, you don’t really get to learn, like the fundamental marketing skills, you can use what you learned, seeing your major and apply those in certain internship.
You’ve touched on this a little, but our next question is what is the difference between a finance major and an economics major?
Yeah, I can talk a little bit more about that. A typical finance major. You would be a part of like their undergrad business school. So for example, there’s, you pens, Wharton school of business, and then, you would major in finance, major in finance there, right?
Same thing with NYU stern, they wouldn’t deep business school we’ll have an undergrad program and those undergrad program will offer like a finance major. And those finance, as a finance major, you are, it’s a bit more niche major compared to econ. Econ is bit more, it’s going mile wide and inch deep, like finance major, you go, in Schwab and, mile deep. So it’s just you’re going very in depth. Preparing you for like investment banking, tip related chops. Compared to finance majors, he has an econ major, you’re simply learning the theories, right?
It’s not really like a pre-professional major outside. You just give you like a background as to how you think and all that stuff. In terms of, those seats are a bit more different, I would say, if you’re interested in, if, for sure that you want to get into investment banking, I would say, being a finance major, it helps.
But if you’re unsure, you want to just want to learn more about the business world. You wanna explore a little bit more. I would recommend you choosing the economy. Yeah, I think Brian nailed it. Don’t really have anything else to add. I think he summed it up well with, econ is more broad, more about theory and especially a bit more emphasis on research and public policy stuff.
Whereas finance, you’re going to be learning all about, the stock market, the bond market and the business world.
All right. So we’ll do a few more questions. Don’t forget to keep submitting them in the Q and a tab. Our next question is how can I apply this major to my political activism?
I can touch on that if you want. So I can only see so important. And political activism, because this can give you the tools to actually do the research and to understand this data and all the statistics behind, the different arguments that people are making. So a classic example of this would be that my understanding of economics has given me such a better.
Way of talking with people about and justifying my personal views about the minimum wage. As an example, I’m not going to dive into that because it wasn’t like a political conversation, but it can really inform your politics and it can teach you how to research these different impacts of different laws.
So for example, in my labor economics class, we spent a lot of time reading over a research paper that was basically evaluating. What would be the impact of universal guaranteed income, for example, which was something that Andrew gang and some other politicians have been pushing forward and being able to actually understand not just the moral argument for something, but being able to prove no, this would achieve the desired outcome.
And this is how it would benefit everyone. This is how it would make society better. And being able to use numbers is a really good way of convincing people that maybe, empathy alone, isn’t enough to convince them. Yeah. Back when Eleanor, also gives you, some other technical skills.
Do you conduct research that you personally want to, conduct? So for example, I think we touched upon your previous slides, your junior, sophomore, and junior year, you have the option to take econometrics, which is a class for you to learn more about like our, and like dosing data Then analysis that, like tools, with those skills you were able to conduct research and able to analyze data in a more in depth in a way like in the actual research. So I think, taking those classes would also help you prepare for any sort of researching with conduct.
Okay. I think this is going to be our second to last question. What are the best colleges for economics as a major, and which of them give scholarships or tuition help, or any other kind of financial assistance? Not the easiest question, but there we go.
I can go ahead. I would say any of the IVs, or, like when it should be your top options filming, going into the econ route, I would say like Stanford, U Chicago is also really good school. UC Berkeley, UCLA on top UCS are also really good option for you, but yeah, I would say any of 30 schools, in the U S best news, they’re all great options, especially the IVs.
And yeah, so I think those are really good options and, yeah that’s where I would say I would add into something to think about is the type of econ that you want to do. So if you’re more interested in business, You could have a really good experience and set yourself up very well by going to a big public state flagship school.
A lot of those have really good business programs, the argument UVA, but also, schools that are lesser ranked as well can have really good programs, especially because a huge part of business is networking. And so at schools that does have a lot of students and that have, they’re big schools, they have a lot of resources.
We have good professors, any big state flagship public school can be a good place to look into, especially if you’re a little bit more concerned about affordability. So that’s something I’d recommend if you’re interested in like the business route. In terms of, if you’re more interested in like research and theory and maybe like the political science side, then you can look into maybe some smaller liberal arts colleges.
That will have a big emphasis on the more interdisciplinary theory and political side of things. But I think honestly your best bet is just to do some research online and consider it’s still personal really, because it’s factors that impact me can be, just as simple as what state you live in.
So it’s a little hard to answer that, but I hope that helps. Yeah. And adding on a little bit in terms of financial aid and scholarships I would say most of the, the small liberal arts colleges, as well as all the IVs and top, 15, 20, schools on the U S best news, they all offer great financial.
And they’re also need-blind. If your parents need, if your family needs a hundred percent railing, and if you need a full ride to attend that school, those schools, you will tend to be very generous and offered that need that your family needs. They’re very helpful in terms of financial aid, especially the top 10 liberal arts colleges, the IVs, as well as other, top private schools, as well as public schools, they tend to be a bit more.
It’s a bit harder to get, like a full ride or some sort of financial aid scholarships from them. But, generally the private schools are a bit more generous in terms of financial aid and scholarships.
Okay. Our last question will be, what kind of projects did you complete as an economics?
I can go ahead first. So summer of my freshman year, I did some research at HBS and what we did was when you start on the gig economy, right? So that was when Uber and Lyft. And it was like the rising star, in terms of our economy and all that stuff. So I did some research. Not HBS with the future of the gig work team, which was really cool.
And had a fun time doing that and also the sophomore summer. So this past summer I did some research on COVID-19 medical supplies and how that works in terms of the economic perspective and international crisis. So that was a really fun. As I mentioned and you can connect econ.
The gig world, pre-med and related, stuff like COVID-19. So you can literally do research anything, with an econ degree or econ background, but those are the two, like a major projects that I completed as an econ major. I’m trying to think at brown, the economics present is not super project heavy.
But I do have a couple of examples that I can think of. One project I did. It was basically like a business proposal for an expansion for the Marriott hotel chain to enter into a different sector. And then another project I’ve done has been basically researching for economics of education researching the question of does preschool actually drive outcomes later on in life.
So does preschool actually matter in terms of health? Kids, gain knowledge and helping them have higher scores later on when they’re a fourth grader and when they’re in high school. And that was a really fun project that I really enjoyed.
Okay. I think it seems that we don’t have any more questions, so we’re going to end a few minutes early. That’s the end of our Q and a thank you for all of your questions. Here’s the information about our wonderful panelists. If you missed it at the beginning, and this is the end of the webinar, we hope you had a good time hearing about economics and that this webinar was helpful to you and you feel more prepared with your college applications and goals.
We have a brand new webinar series for February about specific majors, which you can see here. And thank you so much for coming out to tonight’s session. Have a great night. .