A Career in Economics... It's Much More Than You Think!

The American Economic Association has recently put out a fantastic video detailing the careers you can pursue with a degree in economics, which you can check out by here:

They also keep track of data related to earnings and specific career placements.  That information can be found here.

As you can see, economics is so much more than just applied finance, but is instead fundamentally about people.  As you leave an economics class, you should be laughing, smiling, and saying that this is the most fun you've had in any class, period.  We can use it to analyze absolutely absurd and comical things, like how come some sumo wrestlers sometimes lose on purpose, why people for over 250 years put insects and rodents on trial in actual court rooms with lawyers for destruction of property, and how pirates were able to overcome their innate nature of being thieves and scalawags to work together peacefully.  These things are unbelievably fun and incredibly enlightening to read and think about.

But we can also talk about deeply serious topics that ultimately have implications for life and death, as the fate of entire civilizations crucially depends on getting their economic policies right.  How have we done at exporting democracy and freedom to the rest of the world?  Why are some states failed and weak and what can we do to help them?  How have we done at steering international development efforts and quelling oppressive dictators?  The answers to these questions matter not just as mere intellectual curiosities; understanding them is of vital importance to actual, living human beings.

It is this duality of purposes (highly fun and entertaining and deeply serious analysis) that makes economics the greatest subject on the planet.   In one breath an economist can make you laugh by explaining the rationale behind some previously nonsensical historical phenomenon.  In the next, we can provide a sobering analysis of current policy efforts to help the oppressed and least-well-off members of society and the world.

The point of all this is simple: if you want to have a high-paying job that's fun, interesting, and matters, there is no better subject to study than economics.  It provides you with a framework which you can use to analyze the world around you, the analytic tools to figure out emerging trends in consumer data, and the ability to understand the trade-offs necessary when making difficult decisions.  It is, bar none, the single greatest subject and intellectual adventure you can ever embark on.