What is the Difference Between a Business Degree and an Economics Degree?

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A bachelor’s degree in economics or business prepares a student well for a successful career in many industries, but understanding the distinctions between these two degrees may make it easier to find a job in a student’s chosen field. Interestingly, some universities that offer graduate level study in business don’t even have an undergraduate degree in the same, so some students decide instead to take economics.

Large Economic Concerns versus Small Business Details

One of the key differences between the scope of an economics degree and the information taught in a business program is that economics offers large-scale information about the world’s markets and the monetary fluctuations that occur. A business degree, on the other hand, tends to focus upon the smaller details of a single enterprise (or business) and the standards for starting or running a business.

Business and Economics Degrees are Related

The way in which these two disciplines relate is that they’re topics that apply to the commercial sector. As a business owner or executive, it’s essential to understand common business practices; however, a business owner or employee must also understand how the economy may impact how the company is run. By understanding business from an economics point of view, a business owner may be able to make changes to save the company money in advance of an economic downturn.

Different Focuses, Different Jobs

A student with a business degree will be well-prepared to tackle the “nitty-gritty” of the business world where every small decision counts, especially during a startup phase or when a business is new and has just been created. A business major may start as a low-level executive in a company and work his way up the chain toward chief executive. Additionally, potential employment is available in any industry because every industry requires business.

A student with an economics degree, on the other hand, may find employment in jobs that have a much broader influence upon business and industry. For example, common types of employment for economics majors include jobs like financial analysts, loan officers, budget analysts, statisticians, or research economists.

Outlook for Business and Economics Majors

Business and economics majors benefit from the immense number of jobs available in many industries, but the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that individuals who study economics may experience job growth that exceeds the average expected over the next decade. Jobs related to financial examiners offer impressive paychecks that average almost 75,000 dollars a year.

However, a student must choose career paths carefully when majoring in business, because some sectors aren’t expected to see such heavy job growth. For example, upper level executives and top positions like chief executive officers are types of business employment that may show just a few jobs added nationwide each year, according to the BLS. Business jobs remain a strong facet of the economy, but the top jobs are often difficult to obtain.

It’s essential for students to understand that business majors and economics majors do participate in the same areas of business, but that each degree prepares a student for a different type of career. A student of economics should want to study business from a very broad point of view while a student of business will find the small details of running a business interesting.

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