New Major Marries Economics to Career Interests in Business 

Major shifts in our economy affecting industry and intriguing today's students of economics include, left to right, the globalization of markets, where we see a container ship; energy markets, with windmills dotting the landscape; and agricultural markets, where silos are being torn down — an example of creative destruction.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 12, 2019) — Students of economics at UAlbany who want to make an impact in the world of business can now take advantage of a new academic pathway. This fall, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics began accepting its first students.

Michael Sattinger, professor in Economics and director of undergraduate studies for the department

Michael Sattinger, director of undergraduate studies in economics. 

There are now 80 students in the program, which offers an Economics major along with a business minor, in cooperation with the School of Business. The courses offered by both academic units in the new BS degree provide majors with more knowledge in business subjects than they’d get with a BA in economics combined with a business minor, while the additional business knowledge achieved will be reflected in their academic record.

“Economics and business yield a productive combination,” said Michael Sattinger, professor in Economics and director of undergraduate studies for the department. “Economics provides a wider context to understand the operation of business and financial enterprises, including interactions between business and government, industrial organization and consumer behavior.

“Business and finance, in turn, illuminate a major field in which economic principles and tools can be applied. The combined major-minor degree offers students the flexibility to adjust the mix of economics and business subjects to match their career interests.” This flexibility is particularly timely, as technological change is creating major economic shifts affecting business, with “creative destruction” destroying some industries and allowing the creation of new ones.

Sattinger said that the new combined major-minor is a result of longstanding cooperation between the School of Business and Department of Economics. It was during the Compact Planning process that these academic units determined that a program in business economics could be pursued, even without additional resources or funding. The units then agreed on the content of a combined major-minor program that would use existing courses.

The proposal received final approval this past spring in time for enrollment of transfer students and existing students in the fall term. Students can declare the Business Economics major after completing both Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics economics courses with grades of C or better.

Sattinger noted that the program “should be particularly attractive to UAlbany’s many transfer students, who will be able to apply business credits from their previous institution that would otherwise not count towards a major or minor.”

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