THINKING LIKE AN ECONOMIST: AN ESSAY
AbstractA well-trained economics graduate is one that thinks like an economist. As such, a primary purpose of economics education is to train the economics student to think like an economist. A key question is: How does an economist think? Following from this question, what should a university economics student, especially an economics major, learn in preparation for a career as an economics? What ought a university economics department teach its students? Good answers to these questions acknowledge specialization and recognize that the economist is primarily an analyst of what goes on in the economy and the society, especially as related to resource allocation and distribution. Specialization dictates a particular focus of the curriculum. The present essay reviews an in-depth study of the economics major by the Association of American Colleges. The results of the study are compared with the Nigerian Universities Commission economics curriculum benchmark (NUC BMAS, 2007) in terms of the best way to train economists. This essay can be viewed as a criticism of NUC whose stated purpose is to help graduates secure employment rather than train students to think like economists.
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