Courses in economics are an important element in a program of liberal education. They offer an understanding of how the economy operates and provide a basis for informed opinions on many public issues. In addition, there are varied employment opportunities for economists. Although employment as a professional economist generally requires a graduate degree, an undergraduate major in economics provides good preparation for careers in government, business, organized labor, trade associations, or teaching in the social sciences. It also provides an excellent base for graduate work in any of the social sciences or in professional schools such as law and business administration.
So what is the difference between a BA vs. BS?
At any given university, a Bachelor of Arts Degree is intended to present a broader education in subjects with a focus on the arts and humanities. A Bachelor of Science Degree, on the other hand, is intended to present a more specialized education that has a stronger focus of the subject matter in subjects with a focus on technical and scientific areas.
Therefore, the BS degree option has a stronger quantitative component that is valuable preparation for graduate work in economics or for more analytical areas of government and business. Whereas, the BA degree option is less quantitative and focuses on a broader range of concepts that would be more valuably applied humanities areas. Both degrees still provide an excellent base for graduate work in the social sciences or in professional programs such as law or Master of Business Administration.
Economics is a unique field, since it includes a focus on both science and the humanities, which is why the course requirements for both degrees are mostly the same, with just a handful of variances to distinguish the difference.
Bachelor of Arts in Economics
The core curriculum includes introductory and intermediate courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics that have an algebra-based approach. Additionally, an elementary econometrics course completes the core curriculum.
Bachelor of Science in Economics
The core curriculum includes introductory and intermediate courses in microeconomics and macroeconomics that have a calculus-based approach. Additionally, courses in mathematics, statistics and econometrics complete the core curriculum.
Minor in Economics
An economics minor is a good option for political science, journalism, communications, education, finance, management or any students who need to learn how economics affects their industry. An economics minor can help further qualify applicants for a specific position, particularly in areas of business, global marketing or engineering, which can increase the ability to secure a job more quickly or with a higher salary.