Jindal School Launches New Business Economics Concentration

Dr. Peter Lewin

Dr. Peter Lewin

The Naveen Jindal School of Management has launched a new business economics concentration this fall to answer the growing demand for graduates with analytical and applied business skills in fields such as finance, banking, planning and management.

The concentration is part of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program. Dr. Peter Lewin, director of the business economics concentration, said the new track is designed for students who enjoy analyzing how systems work and is excellent preparation for students who plan to pursue a master’s degree.

“To be knowledgeable in the business world and in the world in general, a basic understanding of economics is crucial,” said Lewin, clinical professor of finance and managerial economics. “But an economics background is also a wonderful grounding for law school as well as students going on to get their MBA and other degrees — even engineering. In terms of the business subjects such as finance and accounting, economics is way up there, if not right at the top.”

Lewin and fellow finance professors in the Jindal School researched career prospects and graduate students’ academic performance and found that those who learned economics principles performed better in graduate school and earned bigger paychecks.

The Wall Street Journal recently published data from a study conducted by PayScale Inc., a company that tracks salaries, benefits and compensation for careers. The study showed that economics graduates’ salaries outpace most salaries, with the exception of engineering, and are even higher as the graduates advance in their careers.

The research showed that economics majors earn a median salary of $50,100 as they enter the job market, compared to $49,200 for management information systems majors, $47,900 for finance majors and $46,000 for accounting majors. Economics majors’ median midcareer salary jumps to $98,600, while MIS, finance and accounting salaries move to $82,300, $88,300 and $77,100, respectively.

All Jindal School undergraduates are required to take introductory micro- and macroeconomics, but a business economics concentration requires additional coursework in micro- and macroeconomics.

“Businesses these days are looking for students who not only have technical proficiency in the various disciplines like operations research, finance, behavioral management and marketing, but also are able to engage in critical thinking and independent and bold decision-making, and economics provides those critical thinking skills and also a framework for conceptual decision-making,” Lewin said.

This story was reported and written by communications manager Jill Glass.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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