Economics Advising Guide

College of Business: Economics Concentration

Print Friendly and PDF

What is Economics?

Economics is the study of how individuals and societies use scarce resources to produce valuable goods and services and distribute them efficiently to consumers.  Although microeconomics, also known as price theory, is based on the economic behavior of small economic units such as consumers, workers, savers, firms, and markets, it deals with some of the most important social issues of our times.  Examples include health care and insurance, environmental protection, employment, labor unions and wages, and other hot topics such as energy, taxation, and housing.  Macroeconomics, on the other hand, deals with the behavior of the aggregate economy and focuses on topics such as inflation, national income, and growth.

 

Career Opportunities in Economics 

Economists typically work for corporations, banks, research firms, or think tanks; however, many economists work in federal, state, and local government.   In general, it is their job to collect and analyze data to inform decision makers (corporate managers or government policymakers) on the economic impact of governmental laws and regulations.  Economists who work for corporations help managers understand how changes in the domestic and world economy may affect their business.  They analyze consumer demand, product supply, and a multitude of different factors to help the company maximize profits.  Some economists who earn a graduate degree become college professors.  Since economics teaches problem solving, analytical and quantitative skills, and critical thinking, a concentration in economics provides a solid foundation for graduate studies in many fields including economics, finance, analytics, law, business, politics, and public policy.

 

Salary Trends in Economics 

According to the “Occupational Outlook Handbook” provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, the 2015 median annual salary for economists was $99,180.  Based on the industries in which economists worked, the median annual salaries are:

 

Finance and Insurance                                                                         $118,410

Federal government, excluding postal service                                    $110,470

Management, scientific, and technical consulting services                 $105,510

Scientific research and development services                                       $95,710

State and local government, excluding education and hospitals          $67,930.

 

Additional information on career tracks in economics and salary information is available from the American Economic Association: http://www.aeaweb.org/students/Careers.php

 

High School Preparation

Students who want to major in economics should take college-prep mathematics courses in high school. In addition, high school graduates should have excellent writing and public speaking skills, in addition to knowledge of U.S. and world history.  For those students wishing to later pursue a graduate degree in economics, courses in statistics and especially AP courses in mathematics would be beneficial.  The University’s Office of Admissions evaluates such matters and handles assigning undergraduate college credit where appropriate. 

 

How to Major in Economics 

Every student majoring in economics will complete the general education requirements for all business majors as well as the 200 and 300 Level Business Core.  All economics majors must complete the Professional Readiness Engagement Program (PREP) and an internship prior to graduation.

General Education Requirements for Business Majors

200 Level Business Core

300 Level Business Core

PREP Program (3 Hours)

Requirements for a Concentration in Economics

Take the following five courses:

ECO 315 Intermediate Microeconomics

FIN 343 Money Markets & Financial Institutions

ECO 316 Intermediate Macroeconomics

ECO 330 Current Global Economics Issues

ECO 491 History of Economic Thought (W)

Choose four from the following:

ECO 318 Principles of Managerial Economics

ECO 322 Economics of Industrial Organization

ECO 323 Public Finance

ECO 363 International Economics

ECO 343 Labor Economics

ECO 372 Urban Economics

ECO 383 Economic History of the U.S.

ECO 451 Mathematical Economics

ECO 453 Introduction to Econometrics

ECO 490 Special Topics

ECO 494 Directed Study in Economics

FIN 420   Investments

FIN 430   Derivative Securities

Complete the PREP Courses

Complete Two additional electives

Complete MGT 485 and 486

 

 

Special Programs, Internships, and Directed Studies 

The Professional Readiness Engagement Program, PREP for short, is a new student support initiative in the Mitchell College of Business, designed to meet the professional development needs of undergraduate students majoring in business as they transition into the workplace.  PREP provides quality experiential activities, career interest exploration, and advanced educational experiences, including professional development courses, internships and mentoring experiences, and workshops.

All business students are required to complete three one-hour courses to learn critical soft skills, including business and office etiquette, networking, presentation skills, interviewing skills,  resume design, and much more. The program culminates with every student completing a required internship. There are also regularly scheduled professional development workshops on a myriad of topics, as well as other activities to expose students to the norms of workplaces and the development of professional attitudes and behaviors: professional dress fashion shows and seminars, dining etiquette events, the Mitchell Mocktail Hour, personal branding workshops, company tours, and an emphasis on job shadowing and mentoring relationships.

PREP ensures that all Mitchell graduates enter the workforce with the skills required for a successful career in business.

 

 

Study Abroad Opportunities 

Consistent with the University’s priorities, the Mitchell College of Business offers a range of international study opportunities for its students in various regions of the world.  Options include semester-long study abroad experiences in fall and spring semesters and shorter-term options, such as faculty-led short-term courses, usually offered in the Maymester or summer.  Please check with the MCOB Director of International Studies for details.

 

 

Academic Plan

Following an academic plan will help you stay on track to graduate in four years. 

To see a sample academic plan for this major, please click here.  Degree plans provide only a suggested schedule; make sure to meet with your academic advisor to find the actual schedule that is right for you.

For additional degree information, visit the undergraduate bulletin.

 

For More Information

For more information on this program, contact Dr. Ken Hunsader at (251)-414-8259 or khunsader@southalabama.edu.

Find us on campus at:

Department of Economics and Finance
5811 USA Drive South
Mitchell College of Business, Room 330
Mobile AL 36688

 

Website: College of Business: Economics

 

*The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other majors, please refer to the USA bulletin or contact the department/College directly.