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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Major alternatives to economics

Mel Berilo
UMass Boston student quietly studying in the Healey Library. Photo by Mel Berilo / Mass Media Staff

So, you’re thinking about picking or choosing your major. Maybe you have broad interests in finance, public policy, and political science. While economics is a large degree with lots of options once you graduate, perhaps you are looking for something different but with similar characteristics. Throughout this article, I will outline major options that can replace economics, while also maintaining some basic similarities.


For those interested in a more business-oriented degree, finance may be a viable option for you to consider. Generally speaking, while finance and economics majors both understand similar concepts and study similar classes, finance focuses on a more business oriented angle, while economics focuses on government and public policy. Finance is generally a business degree, while economics, can be included in the college of business, college of liberal arts or college of science, depending on the college. For example, economics is a Bachelor’s of Art at UMass Boston, while the University of Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor’s of Science in economics. The UPenn website specifies the difference between a B.S. in economics and a B.A. in economics in the following manner, “When you are deciding on where to go to college, you should ask yourself whether you want to focus on the theory of economics (B.A.) or the application of economics and business knowledge (B.S. in economics).” (1) Such is the broad nature of economics. Those interested in a more business related degree should consider finance rather than economics.


If you find yourself more ambitious and have goals to build your own business, you may consider getting a degree in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship may allow you to create new ideas and pursue new business ventures. Entrepreneurship is a very specific degree, so if you were planning on pursuing it, then you should be certain of your plans after college. Entrepreneurship is great for anyone who needs to be their own boss and has excellent financial skills. It is not for everyone, but if you succeed, you might find yourself on Shark Tank. As a young person, you have a lot of time to create a new business idea and with time on your side, you are better positioned to create a long-lasting business venture. But be warned, most new business ventures fail quickly.

International relations 

While they might not sound similar at first, international relations and economics share many similarities in general courses and introductory material. As an economics major, I have taken many economics courses that have a very specific focus on international relations. Economics and international relations go hand in hand in many college classes, and many introductory economic classes have a special focus on international relations and trade. As the world operates in a global economy, understanding international trade is key in understanding basic economic principles such as supply and demand. As the world continues to operate more and more on a global economic scale, international relations will continue to be extremely key in understanding economics.

As you consider what you will study in college, it is imperative that you calculate your own strengths as a student and observe what classes you may do well in. In the end, your degree will open the door to many jobs, and you want a key that opens many doors as well as focuses on your strengths as a student and future employee. As you continue to analyze your career choices, try to keep your degree broad to help you gain more interviews and more job opportunities in the long run.

  1. https://undergrad.wharton.upenn.edu/academics/bs-in-economics/

About the Contributors
Matthew Reiad, Opinions Editor
Mel Berilo, Photographer