Economics is the study of how scarce resources are allocated among competing uses to satisfy human wants. Economic analysis is directed at a wide range of problems, including inflation and recession, environmental problems, taxation decisions, regulatory and antitrust problems, forecasting, and managerial decision making.
Students master the three fundamental activities used in economics: collection, analysis, and interpretation of economic data. Using logical thinking and economic theory to understand data patterns, students predict future trends and present their conclusions. Economics majors are required to become familiar with sources of information about business and the economy, to analyze data using theoretical models, spreadsheet programs, and statistical techniques, and to present their conclusions both orally and in writing.
A degree in economics prepares students for careers in public policy, consulting, and a wide variety of business organizations. Specific employment opportunities include careers where the ability to analyze and interpret data is valued. In recent years, a large number of Virginia Tech graduates have found employment in the financial services sector. By developing logical thinking and problem-solving skills, the study of economics also helps prepare students for business school, law school, and other graduate studies. The additional courses in business, help students in the Economics Business program secure employment with companies and government agencies who value their combined skills in economic theory as they are applied in the business and governmental settings.