Quick quiz: Suppose several producers of Your Favorite Product suddenly go out of business, causing a serious shortage of Your Favorite Product. Nonetheless, everyone still wants to buy the same amount of it. What will happen to the price of Your Favorite Product? If you predicted a price increase, you may have a knack for Economics: the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. More broadly, Economics is the study of how individuals, businesses, governments, and societies choose to spend their time and money, and otherwise allocate their resources. Even more broadly, Economics is the study of choices. When the federal government decides to allocate a certain part of national budget to military spending and another part to funding for the arts, that decision and its consequences is Economics. Similarly, when you decide to buy a CD instead of a fancy new shirt (or watch Nick at Night instead of MTV, or take the bus instead of your car) that’s Economics, too. Knowledge of Economics is an invaluable component of any liberal arts education, not to mention an indispensable tool for making sense of the intricacies of the modern world. It is also excellent preparation for a future in business, as well as for graduate studies in law, public policy, and international studies.
Economics involves lots of critical thinking and, at times, heavy doses of math. If you think you might major in Economics, try to get as many advanced math courses under your belt as possible while you are still in high school. Experience with computers is good, too, as is any introduction you can get to formal logic. Obviously, if your high school offers economics as an elective, you should take it.