Why Study Economics?
Economics is essentially about human decision-making - how to make the best use of available resources - including in more complicated settings such as under uncertainty and in games and strategic behavior. Consequently many economics majors obtain employment in business-related fields such as accounting, auditing or bookkeeping, management, sales and marketing, insurance, securities, real estate and business services.
The elective courses offered by the U.C. Davis Department of Economics study important policy topics from an economics perspective. These topics include finance, industry organization, energy, environment, economic development, health, migration, education, inequality, poverty, international trade and business cycles.
Students are trained in modern methods of empirical and data analysis that are needed in the business and professional world. The U.C. Davis major in Economics is a U.S. government designated STEM degree. Additionally these methods provide a basis for more advanced study for those who are interested.
STUDENTS MAY COMPLETE A MAJOR IN ECONOMICS AT UC DAVIS USING EITHER OF TWO APPROACHES:
- Complete the General track Economics Major.
- Complete the Economics Major with a Specialization. If you wish to declare a specialization, then please submit this declaration form to the advising staff.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN PURSUING A MINOR IN ECONOMICS?
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE REQUIREMENTS HERE.
Most graduates in Economics obtain employment in fields that make use of their analytical training, especially business-related fields, rather then being employed as economists per se.
At the same time, some graduates pursue additional training in economics and economics-related fields. The American Economics Association website provides considerable detail on economics and careers.
What is an Economist?
"Economists have all kinds of jobs, such as professors, government advisors, consultants, and private sector employees. Using theoretical models or empirical data, they evaluate programs, study human behavior, and explain social phenomena. And, their contributions inform everything from public policy to household decisions.
Economics intersects many disciplines. Its applications include health, gender, the environment, education, and immigration. You can check out the field’s classification system (called JEL codes) for more topics that economists study."
- American Economic Association.
Undergraduate degrees in economics most often lead to employment in accounting, auditing or bookkeeping (22 percent), management (14 percent), sales and marketing (11 percent) and insurance, securities, real estate and business services (11 percent). Experienced workers aged 35–44 with an undergraduate economics degree, but no advanced degree, had median annual earnings in 2023 of $100,000, which is high compared to graduates of other majors. Students who pursue further study after obtaining an undergraduate degree in economics most commonly enter MBA or law programs.
The principal goal of undergraduate economics education is teaching students how and when to "think like an economist," as economics scholar and author John J. Siegfried observed. Graduates understand that scarcity drives our decision making. When presented with a question, they have the tools to weigh the alternatives and make well-informed decisions. Rigorous mathematically based analysis of models and the testing of theories using data are the key tools learned in a B.A. program in economics. Graduates may apply these tools to business, policy, government and other types of organizations given the great variety of occupations open to graduates in Economics. In the incredibly fast-moving global economy, economists are needed to make sense of consumer decision making, market interaction and the impact of government intervention.