Why Study Economics?

Why study economics?  What's in it for me?

Most students frown on economics subjects in high schools and college. Even with my own kids, I had difficulty convincing them to take up economics as major or degree course. Economics is often viewed as a difficult subject, second to mathematics!

But many don't realize that economics is an important and an exciting subject as well. Talk about issues on poverty, joblessness, inflation, recession, environmental degradation, financial crisis, subsidizing health care and many others; they all boil down to economics.

Why should you be interested in studying economics?  Economics deals with many matters where we are personally affected.  Here are just a few examples of decision-making scenarios where understanding of basic economic concepts come into play:

  1. Employment/Skills: what kind of jobs are available?  how much do these jobs pay?what are the skills needed?
  2. Income/Savings: how much income do I need to support my family? how much do I need to set aside each payday to be able to build my dream house?
  3. Product Choices: what to buy given an array of product choices
  4. Technology: what modern gadgets to buy?
  5. Election: whom shall I vote based on economic agenda?
  6. Business and Investment: what type of business to invest into
Even the decision on where you will settle is an economic decision:  the same place where you work? reasonable cost of living? good business environment? Survival itself can depend on economics?

Even in childhood days, we know something about economics, whether consciously or unconsciously. We study economics not for its own sake but for the light it sheds. An understanding of basic economic concepts is a helpful tool in deciding for our survival or for pursuit for a good or better life.