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Thread: Statistics vs Economics

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    Statistics vs Economics

    I'm currently going after my BS in Political Science with a concentration in public administration and a minor in Geography, then moving on to an MPA in Planning. I have enough leftover credits to minor in either statistics or economics, and I have taken the intro courses for both already. I'm particularly interested in growth management and demographics, so stats would be more applicable. But from what I've been reading on this forum, it seems that econ is more common. Any thoughts?

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Minors are worthless so it does not matter which you choose. Take the classes that will help you obtain the knowledge you need for your career goals.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Economics. Public administration is squat without a good knowledge of public finance. You may want to dabble a bit in real estate development.

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    I don't believe minors are worthless; I've seen plenty of job postings that require a minimal amount of credit hours in a specific subject. A minor shows that one has a relatively decent grasp of knowledge in a particular area. For instance, a tax law firm is more likely to hire a paralegal with a BS in Poli Sci with coursework in accounting as opposed to one with a minor in Spanish, who would be better suited for immigration work. I know that public policy requires a lot of statistics and data analysis, but I'm wondering if economics is used more with regard to planning.

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by LazyActivist View post
    I don't believe minors are worthless; I've seen plenty of job postings that require a minimal amount of credit hours in a specific subject. A minor shows that one has a relatively decent grasp of knowledge in a particular area.
    That is because these days you are expected to work 75 hours a week and do two people's jobs for the salary of one, especially in the public sector. So this is not to disagree with Brocktoon, because these days the more overqualified you are, the better chance (statistics) that someone will look at your resume and consider whether they want to underpay you.

    Nevertheless, IMHO Econ is a little better than Stats if you want to go into public admin. Neither is that useful if you are going to process permits or say New Urbanist development is just super for this area. If you want to be an analyst for a firm or MPO Econ might help a little bit more than stat.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Actually MPOs do quite a bit of forecasting. Depending upon what you want to do with your degree I find to be excellent advice. Study what interests you, then if you're lucky you will get a job that interests you.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by LazyActivist View post
    I don't believe minors are worthless; I've seen plenty of job postings that require a minimal amount of credit hours in a specific subject. A minor shows that one has a relatively decent grasp of knowledge in a particular area. For instance, a tax law firm is more likely to hire a paralegal with a BS in Poli Sci with coursework in accounting as opposed to one with a minor in Spanish, who would be better suited for immigration work. I know that public policy requires a lot of statistics and data analysis, but I'm wondering if economics is used more with regard to planning.
    Thank you for proving my point; in your example the candidate without the minor that has coursework in accounting would be the preferred candidate. No employers asks if you minored in a topic but they will ask you about your experience. I have worked all over this country and have applied for and been offer jobs with both public and private firms I have not been asked or even been able to indicate I had a minor. Take the classes you need to build the case to apply for the job you want...like in the example you provided above.

    I would mix both stats and econ, better yet take an econometric class or two. I use stats and economics all of the time.

    If you want a minor then get one but how many planning directors, city managers or CEOs have their minor's listed on their bio? A minor means you are 12-15 credit hours from a second major...if you want to show you are proficient in a topic then take an additional semester or 2 courses each summer session.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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