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How to be involved in economics?

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I like math and i think that i'm pretty good #college #math #economics #accounting #college-major #economics

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Paul’s Answer

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Hi James:

There are many possible options for you to study and research when it comes to the subject of economics. Math is one area that is definitely required to be successful in this field (as John Nash demonstrated).

But I would also look at other areas as a possible way to get more involved in the subject.

One is to pursue a degree in Economics. Many bachelors programs will balance a program which includes mathematics, micro and macro economics, policy analysis, finance and market studies, and economic research.

You can also look at many possible careers, should you decide to pursue a degree an economics. these include:

Actuary: Insurance corporations have a current need for these individuals. They basically apply advanced mathematical and statistical skills to determine and make calculations involving events like fires, deaths, illnesses, and business failures. Like economics majors, they need to consider a great number of variables when analyzing risk profiles to establish a profitable structure for insurance policies. Actuaries also utilize computer software to help with their analyses. They subsequently generate graphs and charts to convey their decisions to members of the management team.

Market Research Analyst: These individuals use the knowledge of industry trends to determine how products or services might perform under specific economic conditions. They are trained to design studies and to gather and analyze data, and they must also be able to quantify results and present this information to clients.

Economic Consultant and Specialist: These individuals use analytical and research skills to perform studies on particular economic scenarios and conditions. They analyze business industry trends to help organizations improve their performance. They work for organizations in a diverse number of industries, including business, finance, healthcare, education, the government, etc...

Benefits Manager: These individuals must be able to utilize numbers, because they evaluate options for pay and benefits. They also research trends in the labor market and assess supply and demand for various classifications of jobs.

Financial Analyst: Individuals who work within this occupation research companies, industries, stocks, bonds, and other investment options for finance departments. This requires using advanced quantitative skills which an education in economics will provide.

Public Policy Analysis: This occupation will research and analyze issues that impact the public and will enable you to submit recommendations and legislation for government action to address these problems. Knowledge of economics will enable you to develop the skills needed to analyze issues in healthcare, taxes, energy, the environment, and international trade policy.

Lawyer: An attorney will utilize use critical thinking and analytical skills to prepare for cases and make articulate arguments in a courtroom setting. Knowledge of corporate law, tax law, antitrust law, personal injury, and medical malpractice involve the application of micro- and macroeconomics.

So, as you can see, there are many areas of business, the public sector, insurance, and the legal profession that you can potentially become involved in to become more involved in economics.

I would research all the various areas of the private and public sector, and determine which one you are interested in pursuing. Your future education could involve classes not only in mathematics, but also in business, public policy analysis, actuarial processes, and other areas which would enable you to develop your math and business skills in relation to the subject of economics.

I hope this has been helpful in assisting you in your future career and education.

Paul G



Paul recommends the following next steps:

  • Research the different occupations in the public and private sector and determine which one would help you to reach your goal for economics
  • See an academic advisor at a local college or university and determine which educational pathway to pursue
  • Visit a local college employment office and see if there are any internships in areas like insurance, business or other areas which will allow you to get greater exposure to how economics is utilized in these positions.
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Adam’s Answer

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A love of math is an incredibly useful tool! There are many routes you can take in school to further that passion and create a career suited to your talents.

I felt the same way when I was your age and chose accounting as my field of study. I love how accounting uses many principles of mathematics, while keeping it relatively grounded in arithmetic (i.e. adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing). Additionally, accounting is highly valued in the business world. The career is well respected and critical to the function of nearly all businesses. In that sense, it is a very practical choice.

While I am an accountant, I also achieved a minor in economics due to my interest in how markets operate. Economics is a very good field to apply your love of math as it revolves around modeling behavior to predict outcomes. Economic theory becomes progressively more intricate as you delve further into the study of economics, so this may be a good choice if you prefer more in-depth math than what accounting offers.

Finally, actuarial science may be an option as well! I am not an actuary, nor do I have any experience in it. However, my mom is an actuary, as well as many of my friends. Math involved in actuarial sciences is complex, but very rewarding. A career in actuarial sciences is in many ways similar to a career in accounting: highly valued and necessary for numerous businesses, like insurance. Being an actuary may be something you consider if you like a little challenge in applying mathematical concepts.

I hope this helps! Good luck in whatever you choose - you're off to a great start.
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Andrew’s Answer

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In this case, you may want to consider econometrics as a discipline.

Let me quote the definition of econometrics from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Econometrics) below for your reference.

Econometrics is the application of statistical methods to economic data in order to give empirical content to economic relationships. More precisely, it is "the quantitative analysis of actual economic phenomena based on the concurrent development of theory and observation, related by appropriate methods of inference".

You may want to take on a double major in economics and mathematics, or a major in economics and a minor in mathematics.
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West’s Answer

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Hi James!

Great question.

I too found myself being good at math while in school. There are a myriad of courses you can take to see what you find to be the most interesting. If you're leaning towards the economics side of things; Micro-economics and Macro-economics are great starting blocks for economic classes. They will give you the base knowledge needed if you wish to specialize or focus on economics long term. There are also several classes which lean towards the financial market side of things if you wish to pursue that.

Finally, I would recommend at least trying an accounting class. Having a base knowledge of businesses and how they work will set you up great for future life outside of school.

I hope this helps and good luck!
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Paul’s Answer

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When I was in high school I took an Economics course and that was all she wrote. I grasped the concepts and material very well and earned my first A+ in a course other than Physical Education. I went on to major in Economics in college and earned my B.A.. So to answer your question directly, if you have Economic courses offered at your H.S. take as many as you can to see if you really have a strong interest in the material. If you do well and you have a desire to learn more, take some courses in college even if you're not sure if you want Economics to be your major.
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