From a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article by Middlebury Economics Professor David Colander:
“We asked economics students to identify majors as hard, moderate, or easy, and we found that 33 percent viewed economics as hard, 3 percent said sociology was hard, 7 percent saw psychology as hard, and 13 percent thought political science was hard. Since other social sciences were the primary alternative majors that most of the economics students considered, that data is compelling evidence that the respondents perceived those other majors as too easy. Students likely reasoned that taking a "too easy" major would signal to potential employers that the student had chosen an easy path through college, thereby hurting their chances of being hired.”
“On the other end of the spectrum were math and science majors. In the survey, 81 percent saw chemistry as hard, 84 percent thought physics was hard, and 68 percent said math was hard.”
It’s surprising how much this sounded like my thoughts when I was an undergrad. Political Science and Sociology classes can be harder than economics classes, but for me science always seemed too hard. Maybe it was because of the 3 hour labs.
I think students choose their major based on the perceived difficulty and the job prospects they think they will get from it. Students will vary in their ability in certain subjects so difficulty will vary from person to person. At Towson there are about by my guess 10 times as many business majors as economics majors. I wonder if this is a result of a perception that the economics major is too hard or easy; or is that they perceive economics majors are less likely to get jobs.
If anyone would care to comment, did you choose your major based on ease or job prospects?