Santa Clara University

What They Said About Studying Economics

Many of the respondents to the Economics Department surveys of alumni took the opportunity to make some personal comments about the value of their degree in economics. Among those comments:

Economics prepares a well-balanced person able to expose him- or herself to anything the business world might have to offer you. ... Santa Clara has provided the basis and connections, your own ability and personality will see you through. Thank you Santa Clara. ('90, Account manager, winery)
(My) economics degree was an excellent preparation for business/government as a whole. No, ... I don't ever use calculus, but the overall breadth and depth of my degree background has been invaluable in my 16 years in business.('77, Territory manager, DuPont)
An undergraduate degree in economics is, in my opinion, the most powerful tool available for those who have no idea what they want to do specifically - but know that they have a future in business! The “big picture” foundation which an economics degree has provided serves me well in evaluating the global economy and its underlying effects. (‘87, Self-employed broker/dealer in corporate financial instruments)
I found that my general understanding of business gained through my economics degree at Santa Clara provided me with a foundation to build a career in business. Frankly, most money is made by those with an understanding of business, not a specific functional skill. ... In the long run it is those with an understanding of business and its economic underpinnings who win, and become leaders of industry. ('84, MBA '89, President and CEO, company unspecified)
I have never thought twice or second guessed my decision to study economics. If you are a big picture thinker you need to understand how the market system works. The study of economics sets the foundation for business. ('87, Account representative selling corporate employee benefit plans)
Economics gives one options!! And more importantly a way to view and to think about what is going on in the world. It allows one not to be at the (mercy) of events, but to be able to respond to events. ('70, President & owner, $2.5 million company)
I could not have asked for a better education or field of study. (Economics) taught me how to think and analyze situations. I firmly believe this education is what has allowed me to succeed at my current job.('88, Major account representative, PG&E)
Seventy-five percent of my coworkers have economics degrees, not marketing degrees. ('92, Regional marketing specialist)
Economics was a great background for law school because law practice requires a business-type background. Also, the concepts in economics of efficiency, limited resources, and looking at costs and benefits at the margin are so valuable. Econ grads are more in touch with the practical realities of the work-world. (‘87, Attorney)
Economics, particularly when coupled with a good arts/sciences curriculum, is the best major to prepare oneself for running companies. If you want to be a “technocrat” major in accounting, engineering or computer science. If you want to be able to think, problem-solve and lead people to places they never thought they could go, major in econ with a healthy dose of history, poli-sci, math, philosophy and other courses which require you to communicate orally and in writing. (‘80, Exec VP/CEO, Pioneer Farm Equipment)
Most of what I do at work was all learned on the job. Just because it is an audit position, it doesn't mean you have to be an accounting major. I think that a majority of the people are non-accounting majors, such as economics. ('92, Auditor)
I've been involved in Human Resources since graduating. Surprisingly, I know quite a few people in the field with econ backgrounds. This is not a field I knew anything about in school; so, it might be good to let students know there is a non-research, people-oriented option available. ('91, Compensation consultant, William Mercer, Inc.)

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