Thursday 19 November 2015

Econ testimonials

In today's mailbag, a note in appreciation of the Econ major from one of Susan's cousins I haven't seen in years but who found me on LinkedIn:
If I recall correctly, the last time we spoke I was a freshman and you were selling me on majoring in economics. You were explaining that employers expect people with econ degrees to be smart and able to see the big picture and that it's flexible meaning an econ major could get into finance or accounting or really any aspect of business; all of which was appealing to me.

As you can probably tell from my profile, I landed in Supply Chain, BUT, I recently learned that was because I was an econ major.

At the time I was hired, there was a belief at XXX & XXX that you needed to be a supply chain major to succeed within supply chain. The manager who hired me didn't believe this and wanted to prove otherwise which is how/why I was able to get a job despite the job market in the US (and probably everywhere) being extremely competitive due to the layoffs and fear surrounding the 2008 financial crisis. I went on to have a pretty good run at XXX & XXX and the experiences there helped me land my current role at XXXXX Chemical.

All in all, the first 7 years of my career have been pretty successful but it all traces back to you convincing me to major in econ that allowed it to work out this way and for that I've been wanting to say thank you. Hope all is well down there.
Glad to have helped! Michael would have done well regardless, but economics likely helped at the margin.

Economics remains the best generalist undergrad degree. Most real on-the-job stuff you have to pick up on-the-job, but economics provides a framework that you can use in a really broad range of careers. The rigour is not only useful in its own right but also signals that you're smarter than the drones majoring in management.* Economists can think.

* I still utterly fail to understand how 'management' exists as an undergraduate degree. I can understand why there's demand for it - students who don't really know better and wanting to do something in business sometime. And I can understand why universities will provide degrees that meet customer demand. But if there are 22 year olds out there who are fit to manage anything, they're likely doing it already without having bothered with a degree. I get management as a post-grad degree on top of a real degree; I get management as a post-experience degree to figure out how to do the people stuff that still baffles me. I don't get it as an undergraduate degree.

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