University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Why economics? Comments from Former Students

The economics program at the University of Calgary has the dual benefit of being both intrinsically and extrinsically valuable. During my four years, I have learned so much more than simple tools to apply to a job; I have learned how to analyze the world around me, been able to engage with incredible professors and instructors, and challenge myself with problems that affect the world today. The value of the program does not end when I graduate either; I know that my classmates and I will be able to make valuable contributions in any area we choose to apply ourselves. Be it with the success of private companies, or making positive improvements to the world around me, what I am learning in my classes today will help me in my career tomorrow.-Branden Cave

"Four years ago I began my undergraduate degree as a Development Studies major. In my first year I had the privilege of sampling courses from a variety of disciplines, including courses in introductory economics. The courses themselves were interesting, but the true importance of economics as a field of study did not dawn on me until I went on a study abroad trip to central Mexico. My study abroad experience raised many questions, some of which were within the realm of economics: What forces caused the proliferation of small family businesses? Why are some public services offered in Canada but not offered in Mexico? How do trade and international business affect ordinary Mexicans? With questions like these in mind, I decided to add a second major in economics. I am glad that I did! As an economics student, I have developed an analytical toolkit which I can use to explore such questions. Throughout my degree I have acquired many practical skills such as partial equilibrium analysis, basic financial accounting, and statistical analysis. More fundamentally, I have internalized a worldview which informs my understanding of economic phenomena and even my day-to-day decision making. For me, thinking like an economist means considering the trade-offs implicit in every decision and the effects that our decisions will have on the interrelated systems (social, economic, environmental, etc.) that structure our lives. Now that I am approaching graduation, I appreciate the diverse set of opportunities that an undergraduate degree in economics offers, which includes a range of job opportunities (from commodity trading to personal finance) and graduate studies." (Austin Thompson, Director for SUE, 4th year Economics and Development Studies double major, graduating 2016)

Unlike most students, I spent only a year and a half studying in U of C Econ Program as an open-studies student. However, exactly like most students, I appreciate everything this program gave me, both inside and outside of the classroom. As a student who formerly graduated in another major and relatively lacked academic background in economics, I was able to catch up a lot with pleasure and now feel suitably prepared for my upcoming studying in the MA program thanks in no small part to the program and a group of friendly, talented, and hilarious professors in this program. In addition, it provided us abundant practical knowledge outside of the textbooks as well to make sure that our studying years will still remain valuable to us long after we graduate. Words pale when I am trying to describe how much I have benefited from my studying here, but I am certain that I am one step closer becoming a quality economics student and a more capable person overall because of what I gained from the program. (PengCheng Tu)

"Before I started the economics program, I was intrigued by many questions about the economy in our modern world. Questions like: "Why is the price of gas always changing? Why do recessions occur? What does a government budget deficit mean?". Economics answers all these questions by analyzing and explaining the millions of individual choices that occur each day. Everything from what you decide to eat for lunch today to the announcement of the federal budget combine to create today's economy, and understanding these things is an important preparation to truly contribute in the workforce of tomorrow." (Gilbert Lybbert, 1st year Economics major, SUE member)


If you are a former undergrad in Economics at U of C and you would like to post a note about your experience of the program, please drop a line to We would like your candid opinion of the program and what it meant for you.

Get Connected