To a midshipman considering a major in Economics
Economics is a social science concerned with the way people go about organizing the use of resources in order to provide for their existence. Economists study the behavior of consumers, business firms, and financial institutions. They examine government policy and international economic relationships. Thus, economics covers a very broad spectrum of human activity from how wages are determined to the price of beef, from how much to spend on health, education, and welfare to how to obtain the greatest number of ships and planes from a given budget.
Economics is concerned with efficiency, growth, population, pollution, inflation, recession, poverty, productivity, taxes, monopoly, unions, conglomerates, and competition.
Economics studies capitalism, communism, and socialism. An academic program in Economics is different from an academic program in Business, although Economists are interested in a number of subjects taught in Business Schools, such as accounting and financial analysis.
Economists extensively use the tools of mathematics and statistics, but as in other social sciences, Economics is not strictly quantitative. The subject matter of Economics overlaps some of the subject matter of Political Science, History, Sociology, Psychology, and Operations Research, but Economists look at the world differently than the professionals in those disciplines.
Economics will not only prepare a midshipman for a career in the Navy or Marine Corps, but it will open many opportunities following his or her military career. An undergraduate Economics major prepares students for careers in management and business, law, finance, and quantitative analysis. Frequently undergraduate Economics majors go on to obtain M.B.A. degrees and law degrees, in addition to many other possible paths.