5 Character Traits of Economics Majors

As an economics major, you have a unique set of character traits. You’re a whiz at crunching numbers and have an innate knack for math. You’re a crackerjack when it comes to writing concisely. You’re comfortable with computers and get a charge out of learning new software.

What concerns you is whether your personality is a match for the field of finance. You’ve met fundraisers, stockbrokers, and market analysts who are thrilled with the work they do. But what about you? If you pair the right qualities with an accredited education, you’ll graduate with strong financial skills. Here are five character traits that are vital for an economics major.

An Economist’s Exciting Role

To discern if you’re suited to this field, let’s first define the valuable work you’ll perform as an economist. In this career, you’ll assist clients in resolving financial problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services.

Research will be your right arm. You’ll assess indicators of economic performance, such as material costs, business inventories, income, expenditures, and unemployment rates. Then you’ll analyze the data, identify trends, and create financial forecasts.

You’ll also gain an understanding of economic policy for specific fields, such as real estate, healthcare, transportation, and environmental protection. You’ll use mathematical models and surveys to prepare client reports.

Your skills will be highly valued by banks, insurance companies, labor unions, trade associations, securities firms, and government agencies. CollegeGrad.com elaborates on the role of an economist here.

1. Analytical

Do you have an investigative perspective? It takes a calculating mind to sift through data and create a portfolio that best serves a client. You’ll be assessing a company’s financial situation and future potential. For this, you need an insightful eye to evaluate monetary factors.

This analytical capacity is called “critical thinking.” Do you derive satisfaction from solving problems? In your course of study, you’ll learn how to break down an issue into separate components, logically evaluate them, and arrive at a solution. It’s a highly rewarding process for the economics major with an inquisitive nature.

2. Even-Keeled

Do you remain calm and composed under pressure? As an economist, you’ll have a structured work schedule that may involve overtime to meet tight deadlines. If you don’t get rattled by time constraints, you have one of the required traits of an economics major.

Your routine may be periodically interrupted by urgent requests for data. While in the midst of a project, you may be asked to attend a conference. Your job may also require some travel.

Are you patient when giving explanations? You’ll need to present your findings to a client in terms they understand. Economics majors must exert self-control during conversations, not interrupting clients when they’re speaking.

The Financial Planning Association explains the merits of the “5-second pause” to glean valuable information. Silence invites a client to volunteer data you might miss by being impatient. You can read more on the benefits of the 5-second pause here.

3. Detail-Oriented

As an economics major, being thorough is vital. Do you have an eagle eye for specifics and fine print? If you’re not careful in collecting data, it can cause losses for your clients. You run the risk of making poor decisions and dispensing unsound financial advice.

However, if it’s second nature for you to be meticulous, you’re primed for career success. Majoring in economics will further develop this character trait, one that’s highly sought by clients. Do you maintain the habits of a detail-minded student? Here are three sample indicators. Ask yourself:

  • Am I organized?
  • Do I have good time management skills?
  • Do I thoroughly proofread my work?

As an economist, you’ll have substantial data to analyze, such as financial statements, budgets, and policies. To make the best use of research, you need to be methodical and orderly. If you love creating goals, lists, and files, these are the signs of being organized.

Effective time management is crucial for meeting deadlines. To help you make steady progress toward goals, use apps, day planners, highlighters, and calendars.

The reports you present must be accurate and well-written for clients to understand them. Many students don’t carefully review their work before submission. Grammarly, a proofreading software program, is a reliable editorial assistant for both school and work.

4. Observant

As an economics major, you must be adept at making connections between financial variables. Clients will be counting on you to understand supply and demand, perceive relationships, and discern economic patterns.

Though you must focus on details, you can’t get too lost in minutia. Doing so will prevent you from seeing the forest through the trees, the big picture. Assets are complex and ever-changing. Your education will give you the tools for integrating information into a holistic framework.

On the job, you’ll describe economic changes and measure them over time. To predict future market behavior, you’ll use mathematical analysis and models of expected trends. Then, just like a scientist, you’ll test your predictions.

5. Ambitious

The economics curriculum is designed to groom you to be an effective leader. Having a “take-charge” personality is required. According to Edutopia, a good manager embodies seven qualities:

  • diligence
  • adherence to rules
  • emotional maturity
  • respectfulness
  • confidence
  • courage
  • loyalty

To develop these character traits as an economics major, get involved in campus life. Here are a few opportunities you can explore:

  • Assume a key role for a school club, debate team, social organization, student government, or sport.
  • Head up a class project. You’ll learn how to delegate tasks and achieve goals on a tight schedule.
  • Apply for an economics internship. It’s an ideal bridge between your education and employment. Experienced professionals model leadership qualities and introduce you to the field. An internship can help you decide whether economics is the right career choice. To locate jobs in your area, use the search tool at Indeed.com.

Qualities for Career Success

By nature, economists are:

1. Analytical
2. Even-Keeled
3. Detail-Oriented
4. Observant
5. Ambitious

Related Resource: 10 Best Deals on Online Master’s in Economics Degrees

If you possess these five character traits as an economics major, you’re well on your way to a high-paying, fulfilling career!