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HOT TOPIC Has Anybody With a Degree in Economics Got Any Value From It?

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VicFountain

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So I just finished my exams for the first year in University. I chose to study Economics but ended up regretting it. Not because it's hard, but because with every day that passes all the things I've been studying this year look so abstract and useless.

I thought more times of dropping out and study something more practical such as computer science, however, I'd have to restart from scratch and I'd have basically lost one full year of my life.

So, shortly, I was wondering how many of you with a degree in Economics got any value from it. I'm going to be honest, I don't even know what am I going to do with this degree even if I wanted to land a job as part of my fastlane journey. The only job that would resonate would probably be a "manager", however I heard, at least in Italy, you get paid like shit and have to work shitty jobs before moving up into the ladder. That's definitely not what I want to make of my life.

Anyways, I live in Italy and university here isn't as expensive as in the USA. But it also sucks more compared to the "American college" concept.
 

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VicFountain

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Stay with it, you could have your own TV series.
Do you remember Savoir Faire?

Better still, what was that woman that went to prison?
She had her own brand.

Martha Stewart!
Yeah, I'm not saying an Economics degree is useless. It's probably more useful than a degree in History, for instance. But at this moment I honestly can't see the value.

Maybe that's because I'm still at the first year and all I've studied so far was a shit-load of math and statistics and the only thing I've studied that has to do with actual economics is microeconomics.

I'm trying to figure out the best and most efficient path to the fastlane. That's easier said than done, too. I erroneously (or maybe not) chose Economics thinking that "Well, it has to do with money, so it's probably useful for any fastlane business".

I'm not even sure that was money chasing, as I was just unsure on what to choose and simply assumed that a degree that studies wealth cannot but be useful for any business owner.
 

AceVentures

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Idk where you're studying, bust most 1st year university courses don't teach you rocket science.

What does the rest of the curriculum look like? Post up some of the courses you've got ahead.

Are you getting paid to go to school, or are you paying out of pocket?
 

Knugs

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Its not a wasted year if you only came to that conclusion now.

I think going into economics with the outlook of doing fastlane is the wrong approach. You are much better suited studying an entrepreneurship degree which focuses on creating and building companies. I used to think these are bs too (such as business and economy degrees) but my cousin was learning similar principles that I was learning at my VC accelerator. They also push you into going entrepreneurial, taking risk and networking with the right people. Sure, the degree itself is kind of useless but the content is pretty good. Anyway, you could also learn all of this on your own as its the case with everything else.

Why did you go to university in the first place?

Alternatively I would say coding is a definitely a good skill to have in the fastlane world. However, you might as well just do an intensive udemy course and learn more code than 3 years at university.
 

InspireHD

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I have a degree in Economics. My college path went Criminology > Finance > Economics. I was interrupted a couple times with the military. I’m currently a police officer. I’ve never formally worked in the Economics field. I wish I did.

When I asked people what kind of job I could get in Economics, people would say, “It applies to a lot of fields. You can do almost anything.” Okay, that’s a useless answer.

What I see in my college newsletters that get sent to me is that they often go into banking, some kind of management role, or go into teaching.

My reasons for majoring in Economics were different but I enjoyed the course material. I had an awesome professor in my intro classes that made me realize how cool the subject was. From it all, I feel like I gained the ability to think logically, critically, and reasonably. It helped me to see patterns and connect the dots.

I’d probably major in something more quantitative if I was to do it over again. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the field of Engineering but I don’t think going back to school is in my near future. I’m not ready to undertake school loans.

For a few years in my current job, I was given a 4% salary education incentive for having a 4 year degree. They did away with the yearly incentive and instead just gave everyone a 4% raise so now we don’t get the benefit of the degree like we used to.

If you’re going to stick it out with college, then do something that will provide you with a skill at the end. Don’t just continue with Economics because you’re already a year in. That’s called a sunk cost. Make your decision going forward with the information you have today.

I’d like to find a new job but I feel stuck. I don’t have experience in the Economics field and I don’t really have a skill beyond being a police officer. Maybe I could dig deep and come up with something but I definitely wouldn’t feel confident. I have many interests. I believe I could succeed doing many things. With so many people out of work, I wouldn’t think I’d be on top of the lists with a 13 year old unused Economics degree.
 

VicFountain

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Idk where you're studying, bust most 1st year university courses don't teach you rocket science.

What does the rest of the curriculum look like? Post up some of the courses you've got ahead.

Are you getting paid to go to school, or are you paying out of pocket?
I definitely understand that on the first year they just teach you the fundamentals, that's why I hope it will be different in the next 2 years.

So far, I had the following:
- Math for Economics
- Statistics
- Private & Public Law (not sure what's the USA equivalent)
- Principles of Accounting (double-entry bookkeeping only)
- Microeconomics

So I definitely learned something, but compared to what I've learned by myself in the same interval of time (1 year) is seriously very little.

Why did you go to university in the first place?
I know this sounds childish, but my parents kind of "forced" me to go. I'm not going to say I couldn't have said "No, I'm not going" and leave the house and look for a job, but a part of me thought I had to give this road a try given that my parents were willing to sustain the economic price. At the end of the day, I had no direction so it looked like the most rational thing to do.

I thought of moving to the USA once I finish this 3 year degree, cause here in Italy the environment is definitely not favorable for entrepreneurs but you've probably heard it 10.000 times already here.

I think going into economics with the outlook of doing fastlane is the wrong approach. You are much better suited studying an entrepreneurship degree which focuses on creating and building companies. I used to think these are bs too (such as business and economy degrees) but my cousin was learning similar principles that I was learning at my VC accelerator. They also push you into going entrepreneurial, taking risk and networking with the right people. Sure, the degree itself is kind of useless but the content is pretty good. Anyway, you could also learn all of this on your own as its the case with everything else.
I don't think we have such Entrepreneurial courses in Italy for undergraduates, only for doctorate/master programs. Even at that point, entrepreneurship in Italy is an obscure term.
But as you said, you can literally learn everything you want by yourself.

In fact, I've been learning to code in the past 3 months just by buying courses (from great teachers) and reading a few books and documentations.

But you can do the same with any subject. In today's age you can get knowledge everywhere, that's why I despite the university system. You can learn 1000 times more by yourself and at a much faster rate.

I have a degree in Economics. My college path went Criminology > Finance > Economics. I was interrupted a couple times with the military. I’m currently a police officer. I’ve never formally worked in the Economics field. I wish I did.

When I asked people what kind of job I could get in Economics, people would say, “It applies to a lot of fields. You can do almost anything.” Okay, that’s a useless answer.

What I see in my college newsletters that get sent to me is that they often go into banking, some kind of management role, or go into teaching.

My reasons for majoring in Economics were different but I enjoyed the course material. I had an awesome professor in my intro classes that made me realize how cool the subject was. From it all, I feel like I gained the ability to think logically, critically, and reasonably. It helped me to see patterns and connect the dots.

I’d probably major in something more quantitative if I was to do it over again. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the field of Engineering but I don’t think going back to school is in my near future. I’m not ready to undertake school loans.

For a few years in my current job, I was given a 4% salary education incentive for having a 4 year degree. They did away with the yearly incentive and instead just gave everyone a 4% raise so now we don’t get the benefit of the degree like we used to.

If you’re going to stick it out with college, then do something that will provide you with a skill at the end. Don’t just continue with Economics because you’re already a year in. That’s called a sunk cost. Make your decision going forward with the information you have today.

I’d like to find a new job but I feel stuck. I don’t have experience in the Economics field and I don’t really have a skill beyond being a police officer. Maybe I could dig deep and come up with something but I definitely wouldn’t feel confident. I have many interests. I believe I could succeed doing many things. With so many people out of work, I wouldn’t think I’d be on top of the lists with a 13 year old unused Economics degree.
What stopped you from pursuing a career related to economics? You mentioned the military thing, but how did that happen, exactly?

Anyways, I see what you mean by sunk cost and I agree. I'm just wondering whether my current thoughts are rational or not.

The point is, if I could go back I'd study CS, but as someone said previously, you don't need to go to university to learn about coding. University definitely gives you a greater mental system to become a developer, I don't deny that. But if you truly want to learn something, you can do it by yourself.

The only reason I haven't dropped out yet is because of the job opportunities. I know this sounds slowlaneish, however, my goals all aim to the fastlane. A high-paying job would definitely be more beneficial as a business funding compared to a job at McDonald's.

If you had to earn €15.000 at McDonald's, you'd have to work for 19 months (salary in Italy is €800/month), while if you were working a job with less market offer (such as a corporate manager, for say), you could earn that amount in 2-4 months on average. Clearly, to get a high-paying job you spend at least 3 years in university, so at the end of the day I'm not sure the expected value is positive.

But I might be highly biased and as I said on the initial thread, I heard in Italy you have to do shitty HR jobs before working the jobs you were intended to do once out from University.
Not sure how true this is in the USA.
 

Knugs

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I don't think we have such Entrepreneurial courses in Italy for undergraduates, only for doctorate/master programs. Even at that point, entrepreneurship in Italy is an obscure term.
But as you said, you can literally learn everything you want by yourself.

Italy is still in Europe. The UK has some degree courses.
 

InspireHD

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What stopped you from pursuing a career related to economics? You mentioned the military thing, but how did that happen, exactly?

Anyways, I see what you mean by sunk cost and I agree. I'm just wondering whether my current thoughts are rational or not.

The point is, if I could go back I'd study CS, but as someone said previously, you don't need to go to university to learn about coding. University definitely gives you a greater mental system to become a developer, I don't deny that. But if you truly want to learn something, you can do it by yourself.

The only reason I haven't dropped out yet is because of the job opportunities. I know this sounds slowlaneish, however, my goals all aim to the fastlane. A high-paying job would definitely be more beneficial as a business funding compared to a job at McDonald's.

I joined the military while I was in high school. I got deployed while in college. Came back and changed my major. Got deployed a second time and, after returning, went through the police academy. After doing that, I changed my major to Economics, which helped consolidate all of the credits I took over the prior years and allowed me to graduate in a reasonable time. Looking back on it, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have gotten back into law enforcement. Although, the job I have now has opened many doors and put me in the financial position I'm in. It also put me in a position to meet a non-LE friend who introduced me to who is now my wife.

I got into LE part-time, finished college, quit, got back into it full-time, quit again, and then got back into it a third time and got hired where I am now. I had a few opportunities to move on, which is what I said the first two times, but it ultimately sucked me back in. And with the way the world is now, it's not a good place to be.

If your goal is to get a degree to get a job, then do it. I don't think you should drop out just to pursue something that might not materialize. Pursue a course of study that will provide you with a skill at the end. That's all I'm saying. As Dave Ramsey says, (paraphrased) "Don't get a degree in German Polka History." Since you're in Italy, you probably know the job market more than anybody. I've honestly never had a "real" professional job. I've never gotten a job based on someone looking at a piece of paper (my resume) and deciding I was worthy of their time.

I'm learning to code now in my free time. It's not easy but it's not super hard either. Just takes time to learn and create a portfolio. There are so many resources out there now that it's possible to create projects and show off your portfolio and get hired as a programmer.
 
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seb451

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I think you could get a decent value from it, you are living in a great country with probably a lot of opportunities and a business degree can get you some good money that will serve as a solid foundation whenever you decide to start your business (if you want some security). In the other hand, if you are totally commited to start now, I don't see the point in going to college as you said, it is up to your preferences.
 

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I have one!

It’s not some giant opportunity magnet or anything, but it does make you competently able to understand the business world and the forces at play.

I have always been an economics oriented guy though, so a large chunk of it might be self education as well.
 

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mon_fi

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Have a look at the program in 2nd and 3rd year and if it still sucks, quit and start IT. I almost started brand new IT studies at 26, then i stumbled upon a gold thread where some dude became an IT engineer by himself, so....

Btw I have a bsc in communication, so don't worry, you didn't choose the worse ;)
 

JordanK

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The real question is.. do you want to be standing here now saying you wasted one year or standing here in a few years time saying you wasted four!?

Change to Comp Science/Software Dev if thats what you like.
 

VicFountain

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Have a look at the program in 2nd and 3rd year and if it still sucks, quit and start IT. I almost started brand new IT studies at 26, then i stumbled upon a gold thread where some dude became an IT engineer by himself, so....

Btw I have a bsc in communication, so don't worry, you didn't choose the worse ;)
This is what comes with the 2nd and 3rd year, more or less. These are the courses in English, while mine are in Italian and look a little different.

33589

The real question is.. do you want to be standing here now saying you wasted one year or standing here in a few years time saying you wasted four!?
This makes sense. I just wanted to make sure I was being rational and not just justifying "an economics degree is useless" since I'm still at the first year so honestly I can't tell. That's why I was looking for people's opinions who actually had similar experience.
 

mon_fi

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is what comes with the 2nd and 3rd year, more or less. These are the courses in English, while mine are in Italian and look a little different.

That looks quite cool, i would personally stay, but the decision is yours entirely. Don't forget that your bsc will lead to a lot of different masters ;)
 

kleine2

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So I just finished my exams for the first year in University. I chose to study Economics but ended up regretting it. Not because it's hard, but because with every day that passes all the things I've been studying this year look so abstract and useless.

I thought more times of dropping out and study something more practical such as computer science, however, I'd have to restart from scratch and I'd have basically lost one full year of my life.

So, shortly, I was wondering how many of you with a degree in Economics got any value from it. I'm going to be honest, I don't even know what am I going to do with this degree even if I wanted to land a job as part of my fastlane journey. The only job that would resonate would probably be a "manager", however I heard, at least in Italy, you get paid like shit and have to work shitty jobs before moving up into the ladder. That's definitely not what I want to make of my life.

Anyways, I live in Italy and university here isn't as expensive as in the USA. But it also sucks more compared to the "American college" concept.
I have a degree in economics, even before I finished my degree I transitioned into software development.
Having the degree itself has value for getting jobs, but the stuff you learn in economics is as you say not very useful unless you go into a career as an economist at a big company or a bank.
So, if you are excited about something else like computer science, I would say go for it.
But if you goal is just to finish a degree then keep on and you can add courses more relevant to entrepreneurship within your economics degree.
 

Kevin88660

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So I just finished my exams for the first year in University. I chose to study Economics but ended up regretting it. Not because it's hard, but because with every day that passes all the things I've been studying this year look so abstract and useless.

I thought more times of dropping out and study something more practical such as computer science, however, I'd have to restart from scratch and I'd have basically lost one full year of my life.

So, shortly, I was wondering how many of you with a degree in Economics got any value from it. I'm going to be honest, I don't even know what am I going to do with this degree even if I wanted to land a job as part of my fastlane journey. The only job that would resonate would probably be a "manager", however I heard, at least in Italy, you get paid like shit and have to work shitty jobs before moving up into the ladder. That's definitely not what I want to make of my life.

Anyways, I live in Italy and university here isn't as expensive as in the USA. But it also sucks more compared to the "American college" concept.
I did Economics degree.

There are degree/postgrad that are designed for a professional path-Medicine, Law, engineering, computing and accounting.

And all other are general degree. This is a better framework to look at things.

Among general degree I would say Economics is the most useful. It is the physics of social science.

As a trained economist I see the world differently in different angles that are invisible to the rest.


When people protest about police brutality, what they fail to see that policemen are actively calculating the risk of getting convicted in court vs the risk of getting shot by someone whom they just encounter on the road.

Changing the law to remove immunity or fire policemen more easily in the short term will discourage then from taking more risk to be aggressive, but in the long term will just make the career unattractive. High jail risk and high fatality for the pay. Better go and do something else, maybe private security officers in a rich neighborhood. Defunding police department just will exacerbate this.

Back to business you see airbnb profiting early in the business stages while other “sharing economies business” tend to struggle more.

It doesn’t seem that Airbnb founders are much smarter than Uber executives.

I would say its better business Economics. Airbnb was utilizing untapped resources with no opportunity cost. The spare room that you have is not generating any revenue to begin with and it can offer much cheap accommodation than Hotel competitors.

Uber in comparison is just a taxi company running on mobile phone apps. The private cars, and drivers, the so called factors of production were not idle to begin with. Most people have to buy or rent a car to do it. The drivers have to spent time to earn that money, and if the time is spent elsewhere they could earn money elsewhere too.
 

csalvato

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I did Economics degree.

There are degree/postgrad that are designed for a professional path-Medicine, Law, engineering, computing and accounting.

And all other are general degree. This is a better framework to look at things.

Among general degree I would say Economics is the most useful. It is the physics of social science.

As a trained economist I see the world differently in different angles that are invisible to the rest.


When people protest about police brutality, what they fail to see that policemen are actively calculating the risk of getting convicted in court vs the risk of getting shot by someone whom they just encounter on the road.

Changing the law to remove immunity or fire policemen more easily in the short term will discourage then from taking more risk to be aggressive, but in the long term will just make the career unattractive. High jail risk and high fatality for the pay. Better go and do something else, maybe private security officers in a rich neighborhood. Defunding police department just will exacerbate this.

Back to business you see airbnb profiting early in the business stages while other “sharing economies business” tend to struggle more.

It doesn’t seem that Airbnb founders are much smarter than Uber executives.

I would say its better business Economics. Airbnb was utilizing untapped resources with no opportunity cost. The spare room that you have is not generating any revenue to begin with and it can offer much cheap accommodation than Hotel competitors.

Uber in comparison is just a taxi company running on mobile phone apps. The private cars, and drivers, the so called factors of production were not idle to begin with. Most people have to buy or rent a car to do it. The drivers have to spent time to earn that money, and if the time is spent elsewhere they could earn money elsewhere too.

And how does this relate to the original question?

Has this analysis (or the ability to make similar analyses) added value to your lifethat otherwise wouldn’t be there? And is it the result of your training as an economist?

Not to be a dick or anything, but if this is all you got for your economics degree I’d say it’s not super valuable to you (at least how you’ve presented it)
 

Kevin88660

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And how does this relate to the original question?

Has this analysis (or the ability to make similar analyses) added value to your lifethat otherwise wouldn’t be there? And is it the result of your training as an economist?

Not to be a dick or anything, but if this is all you got for your economics degree I’d say it’s not super valuable to you (at least how you’ve presented it)
I cannot see why the examples I gave were of no value.

General degree are not professional degrees or vocational training. It is not something that help you do your work assignment instructed by your boss, or help you do a freelance work that give you a cheque the next month. That is why some people say all general degree are useless. It depends on how you judge something is useful.

I think Economics helps you to get a big perspective on things. (That is not Why people do Economics degree anyway).

When OP said “computing science” is practical, what he really means most likely is computing science is more fashionable. Mechanical engineering is practical. Civil engineering is practical. Pharmaceutical science is practical..They all have a professional career path..

Ten years ago when I studied Economics (in Singapore) people who studied Economics, Business and Real Estates mostly have the mindset of studying something general and join the corporate world to learn real skills as soon as possible, because as an engineer or computer programmer you will always be replaced by Chinese and Indians who are cheaper or more qualified than you.

The word “useful” is somehow useless unless well defined.

if OP is thinking about real world application, in doing a specific task, the fact is most things are learnt at the work place. Mechanical engineers rarely apply calculus learnt in schools. Computer Science degree does not focus on coding but on mathematical foundations. You can get First class honor in computing science and still struggle to code.

But if OP is looking to enter a specific field in the above-mentioned area, then it is a paper requirement that he must have studied computing related degree to be employed as an computing engineer in a company.

There is no immediate easy answer to his question.
 

csalvato

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The word “useful” is somehow useless unless well defined.

So, how has it been useful for you?

I don't have an economics degree, but can pretty easily put together supporting or refuting statements to what you posted above.

So what part of your economics degree helped you see things there from a different perspective?

I also like to play the piano, and that gives me a different perspective, too. But I play the piano in my downtime and didn't need to pay $X0,000/year to get that perspective.

Perspective is cheap to obtain. You get that by just existing. So I'm curious: how has the training in economics has provided a ROI for you (in terms of time, money, fulfillment, love, etc.)?

All I'm getting is "my economics degree informed these opinions on current events".

So how has that been useful, for you, specifically?

Just wondering.
 

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I got my undergrad in economics and have since moved to software development. Can't say I got much value from the econ degree - I spent most of my time working restaurants and entry level jobs not related to the field when I graduated.

It (like everything) is probably one of those things that you get out what you put in - I was a mediocre student spending most of my time partying in college and not taking school too seriously, but rather doing it because it seemed like the thing to do. Unless you're passionate about the field and plan on pursuing further education (masters, whatever) I'd say bail.

After several years of working dead end jobs I decided to pursue software development and went to a coding bootcamp. Not only did my quality of life improve substantially with the better paying / more interesting jobs, but I have learned the skills necessary to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. Couldn't agree more with the dude who said to hop on Udemy and learn to code - many of the courses on there are similar, or probably better than the bootcamp that I did in person, not to mention a fraction of the cost.

If you commit to it, you could be employable as an entry level developer WAY faster than the three years it will take you to finish school, AND your jobs will probably be better in terms of work life balance and pay, and there is the added benefit of learning on the job, which will prepare you for your own ventures.

The thing about software is that it teaches you to learn. By nature it prepares you to efficiently pick up new skills and gives you massive confidence in that arena. Whereas before I would see problems and think that they were too hard to tackle, I now feel that there are few challenges - business or other, that I am not prepared to take on. Guess you could say that it shifted me to more of a growth mindset.

I have convinced several friends to go into software (friends who were working great jobs in other fields at that) and not a single one of them regretted it.

Anyways, obviously take this with a grain of salt, this has just been my experience and your mileage may vary. Personally learning code was one of the single most important decisions I have made, but I have no doubt that you could succeed and excel in economics if that's the route you decide and you commit.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Good luck!

Edit: I just realized that I spoke a lot about getting a job on an entrepreneurship forum where the goal of many is to escape that. I think the job is beneficial in that it forces you to learn faster / pickup things you might not have otherwise gotten, while teaching you best practices and such. The job is just a stepping stone on the path to entrepreneurship and will teach you skills that are needed once you do decide to make the leap. That's not to say that you can't make the leap before getting a job though.
 

Kevin88660

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So, how has it been useful for you?

I don't have an economics degree, but can pretty easily put together supporting or refuting statements to what you posted above.

So what part of your economics degree helped you see things there from a different perspective?

I also like to play the piano, and that gives me a different perspective, too. But I play the piano in my downtime and didn't need to pay $X0,000/year to get that perspective.

Perspective is cheap to obtain. You get that by just existing. So I'm curious: how has the training in economics has provided a ROI for you (in terms of time, money, fulfillment, love, etc.)?

All I'm getting is "my economics degree informed these opinions on current events".

So how has that been useful, for you, specifically?

Just wondering.
Economics teach you to construct models and analyze things using a framework. And this is also true for other social sciences. And such skill can extend even to things in other fields.

Fast-lane’s Barrier To entry to entry is fundamentally an concept from Business Economics.

I am in the space of financial sales when I plan for my business direction I do read industry reports on the trend of sales. This is an area where Business and Economics have no clear boundary.

In my personal investment understanding Credit cycle, debt cycle and monetary history help me make better investment decision.

The helps are largely complimentary and of course I could do self-study without an Economics background.

Back to your question the OP is not paying school fee for the “Economics knowledge“. Dropping out is not an option due to his obligation. He is paying school fee for the degree, same as most people who went to college. So he isn’t paying extra money to get that Economics perspective (and here is one reasoning using Economics).

I have rarely met anyone who said “Oh this is what I learnt in college and it helped exactly in my job and business!”
 

csalvato

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“Oh this is what I learnt in college and it helped exactly in my job and business!”

I agree. I don't hear that.

What I hear from every engineering degree holder is that engineering school taught them how to learn, and how to think – specifically about how to break down problems and solve them. I agree, that's the main value of an engineering degree, and an engineering mindset, even if you never have to create a calculator on a breadboard from scratch again.

Most economics degree holders I know say their degree was utterly worthless. The ones who find value, I had no idea why, but knew there must be.

So thank you for sharing your perspective that you found value in being able to understand how economic forces will impact how you evaluate whether you pursue a specific line of business.
 

Kevin88660

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I agree. I don't hear that.

What I hear from every engineering degree holder is that engineering school taught them how to learn, and how to think – specifically about how to break down problems and solve them. I agree, that's the main value of an engineering degree, and an engineering mindset, even if you never have to create a calculator on a breadboard from scratch again.

Most economics degree holders I know say their degree was utterly worthless. The ones who find value, I had no idea why, but knew there must be.

So thank you for sharing your perspective that you found value in being able to understand how economic forces will impact how you evaluate whether you pursue a specific line of business.
The reason why Some Economics Major will say Economics is useless because Economics, Business and Finance major tend to pursue career in financial industry in which the only practical hard skill is accounting In valuation. The next useful thing will be doing nice PowerPoints presentation.

Economics knowledge in isolation is definitely not as “practical” as coding, accounting or any other practical skill that has a direct use. But it is like a strategic knowledge in the arsenal that help you to become a person who is sharper in interpreting facts, argument and figures related to business/economics/finance.

Back to OP’s question do not mistake computing science as coding. If you think statistics are “not practical” wait until you learn linear algebra, stochastic, and differential equations. There is a reason why universities are “academic institutions” not vocational schools.
 

JasonR

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I have one!

It’s not some giant opportunity magnet or anything, but it does make you competently able to understand the business world and the forces at play.

I have always been an economics oriented guy though, so a large chunk of it might be self education as well.

This. But I would have probably learned most of these concepts on my own.

But man, what a waste of time using Calculus and theory to calculate the optimal profit point of your product if you're operating a monopoly or oligopoly, or the sustainability of a fish hatchery. When am I going to use that?

If I were to do it all over again I'd probably choose something different.
 

epham

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I graduated from UCLA with an economics degree back in 2012. The knowledge acquired from the degree hasn't served me much at all in my post college career. The mental models and frameworks may have helped me in some indirect way, though not really; that's a stretch.

In my opinion, the degree is only relevant to your first and maybe second job coming out of college. After that, it's all about your work experience from there. Generally speaking, no one talks about degrees after your first or second job out of college. The exception is that if you're in the medical, legal, and maybe engineering industry.

My advice to any college student would be to pick a major that excites you. The more excited you are, the more engaged you will be, the better performance you'll deliver. That will be your competitive advantage. However, if there's a specific industry you want to get into, such as engineering, accounting, medical, or some science field, then you'll have to exercise a bit more strategic thinking.

In hindsight for me, I would have pursued a degree in philosophy or engineering because I believe they would offer me long term value in shaping the way I think.

I'm absolutely grateful that I have a degree from an esteemed university and wouldn't trade my college experience for anything. Could I have gone through life without it? 100% yes. Would I be left wondering what if? Probably yes as well. The grass is always greener on the other side in any case.
 

Sanj Modha

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I studied business and economics at university and it was useless in the real world.

Universities should advertise for what they really are - a chance to party and get laid for 3/4 years.
 

WJK

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So I just finished my exams for the first year in University. I chose to study Economics but ended up regretting it. Not because it's hard, but because with every day that passes all the things I've been studying this year look so abstract and useless.

I thought more times of dropping out and study something more practical such as computer science, however, I'd have to restart from scratch and I'd have basically lost one full year of my life.

So, shortly, I was wondering how many of you with a degree in Economics got any value from it. I'm going to be honest, I don't even know what am I going to do with this degree even if I wanted to land a job as part of my fastlane journey. The only job that would resonate would probably be a "manager", however I heard, at least in Italy, you get paid like shit and have to work shitty jobs before moving up into the ladder. That's definitely not what I want to make of my life.

Anyways, I live in Italy and university here isn't as expensive as in the USA. But it also sucks more compared to the "American college" concept.
There's a whole bunch of us out there who aren't working in the specific field for which we got degrees. I'm one of them and I have used my education well. College is about learning to do critical thinking and the ability to solve problems. The math and stat analysis will help you later to see the world differently from the people around you. It a way of thinking about things. When I was in law school, they tried to get me to think like a lawyer. They failed -- I still think like a business person. BUT, I understand how a lawyer thinks and I built and operated an expert witness businesses for many years around that understanding. I had the advantage. I was a commercial real estate appraiser testifying about real estate issues. I knew my business and the legal business. The opposing attorneys didn't know the in and outs of appraising -- but, I knew where their line of questioning was going before they even ask.

Educate yourself as broadly as possible. Look at different ways that your education can be applied. See how to apply that math to investing in the stock market. Make it a game where you don't risk money -- just your ego. Try making predictions in different segments of the consumer market. Can you see the trends and direction of different segments? Where are we in the different cycles -- the business, credit, and real estate markets? Each has its own track. How do things -- like this virus -- interrupt those cycles? What effect(s) do changes like demographics have on economic trends? Start asking the obvious questions which will bring even more questions.
 

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