Why You Want To Switch Your Major To Economics

Why You Want To Switch Your Major To Economics

The shadow subject people overlook
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"An econ major? Man, I could never do that, too many numbers and stuff". That's the most common response I've heard when someone finds out I major in economics. At my college, finding an econ major is like finding a $20 bill in your pocket; always hopeful but never there. Students often pass over the subject without giving it the second thought. Many students who do take economics courses do so to fill credit requirements for other majors, like business or political science. Even more automatically assume it's a dull subject on math and the stock market, with a long period of education just to get a job. Or they think you have to be in the business or finance schools to even understand Economics. However, a lot of these are misconceptions that hopefully I can shed some light on. Here are a few reasons you might want to consider switching your major to economics.

1. Economics isn't only a math oriented subject.

That’s like saying every history class is just about written facts and boring readings (sorry history majors). Economists do tend to use empirical data in order to prove points, but different branches of the field may not even deal with numbers. A behavioral economist might simply study the irrational decisions of individuals in a society, like watching people spend extra money on chocolate sauce instead of laundry detergent. More and more people are double majoring or minoring in subjects like psychology or sociology before pursuing a degree in the field.

2. It’s never going to be a "dead/dying field".

The reality is that the job growth rate for economics is about 6% each year, regardless of our advancements in technology. Computers may be able to analyze trends but they’re not at the point of understanding people yet (Skynet anyone?). In reality, the field itself can never die out. As long as individuals, governments, or communities make decisions on how to cope with scarcity, economics will live on. So will your job.

3. It's not about the money, but it also is.

You should go to college and major in what you love, I agree with that in a sense. I personally find it fascinating to see how communities make decisions facing tough choices (one of the reasons I major in econ). Regardless of our personal interests, we do live today in a society in which you can graduate and not be guaranteed a job whilst having student debt to pay off. Isn't it also important to do what you love and what supports your quality of life? Economists with a Masters degree tend to make a median wage of $100,000 (as stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2015). I've never heard someone say they wouldn't mind a little extra cash in their pocket.

4. You don't have to go through 10 years of school to secure a job.

Most people graduate with masters or higher to get a more comfortable position with economics. However, a lot of people secure a job in the field with only an undergraduate degree. Also, many schools offer five-year programs in which students can secure their undergrad and masters in one clear sweep.

5. It seems boring, but it really isn't.

It's not just a look at society's numbers; it's a serious look into how people act. Example: If you put three options with increasing price increments to buy a product; consumers are more likely to buy the middle option in order not to feel cheap. To understand how people, make decisions concerning their financial stability and how communities use resources is the best way to creating change in society. You can’t fix a problem without understanding it.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Just Because You Chose A Specific Major Doesn't Mean You Can't Explore Other Passions

Those same passions that you found at whatever point in your life, are not static. They are, for a fact, going to change. And that is completely OK.

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As children, we all grew up with a favorite hobby or activity and kept up with them as we got older. Whatever these hobbies and activities were turned into the things we turned to when we needed a break from all the drama of school and work. These were the things that turned into passions that we live to do and talk about. These are the passions that we wish we could turn into futures.

Well, I'm going to assume that quite a few of us feel that way.

Thought, not everyone is lucky enough to find their passions during their childhood. For others, such passion takes a little longer to develop. But the time that this occurs is not as relevant as the fact that you find something you absolutely adore doing. It is more important that you find something that you love and enjoy, something that motivates you, raises your spirits, and encourages you to learn more.

So, you should go out there and explore everything the world has to offer! There are thousands of things, each more different than the last, that you could be interested in. The things that make your heart race, increase your need for knowledge, or simply make you overjoyed should be things that you pursue. These are activities and hobbies that influence your life from the minute you find them.

Not all passions are created equal.

A majority of the passions we find ourselves in are artistic and creative in nature and not truly suitable for a future job. When brought up to our parents, they are turned down, usually with the phrase "But, can you get a job with that major?" or "How successful are you going to be in a field like that?" Our passions end up being something that we look forward to doing, not forever, but for the time being. However, the opinions of others (even if they are your parents) should never get in the way of you chasing your dreams. If your passion is truly the field and career you would like to pursue, then I say go for it!

My parents said, "While I encourage you to look into computer science, it's not something we're going to push you to do. You can major in whatever, as long as you enjoy doing it and can provide for yourself."

That is the advice that my parents gave me as I entered my junior year of high school, the year most significant to the college application process other than the actual application itself. Before all of that and my entrance into Rutgers, I was just a student within my high school's animal and botanical sciences program looking to study environmental science. But, after much thinking about how I generally do not like bugs and dirt, I listened to my parents' advice and started looking into computer science.

By my senior year and the time when applications roll around, I had decided that computer science was something I was truly interested in! I found coding and everything that came with it to be fascinating to learn, and I looked forward to every AP Computer Science class I got to attend. Looking at the jobs and career fields related to these studies only encouraged me more. At the end of the year, I had already decided that I would like to work an exciting government job in cybersecurity (impressive, I know).

Now fast forward to now, I'm a full-time student at Rutgers and I am no longer interested in computer science. Although, to be fair, I am less interested in the mathematical aspects and courses that come along with everything else. I am currently looking to major in Information Technology and Informatics, with minors in Critical Intelligence Studies and Linguistics. It was a small change, but simultaneously a significant one. While my goal is relatively similar to what it was before, not everything is the same.

The passions and skills that I have developed in my short time at Rutgers have changed some things. I am no longer as interested in coding as I used to be, but rather the analytical aspects of cybersecurity; I would rather be active in my job, constantly interacting with people as opposed to just sitting at a desk as my 9-5.

Those same passions that you found at whatever point in your life, are not static.

They are, for a fact, going to change. And that is completely OK. College is the time for you to discover what makes you tick, the things that push you to be at your very best at all times rather than a fraction of that.

Here at Rutgers, you have the opportunity to explore hundreds of majors and minors, making the combinations and possibilities endless. You have the ability to customize your courses and activities to pursue a specific path, as well. Everything that you do from the moment you step on campus will impact your future. It is simply up to you to figure out what it is exactly you want to do.

Even then, while your passions may not be your future, that does not mean you have to completely disregard them.

You still have the ability to keep them within your life through extracurriculars and free time. Never, at any point in your life, should you being willing to settle for anything less than something you are passionate about even as they change over time.

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