What is Economics and Finance?

Oct 29, 2018

by Alexandra Faust '21
Student Writer

Professors at Florida Southern don’t hesitate to show just how passionate they are about their fields. When it comes to Economics and Finance (E&F), Dr. Peter Bias is no exception. With over three decades of teaching the subject at FSC, his expertise and love of learning is obvious.

The Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern has earned a prestigious reputation over the years. This AACSB-accredited department houses many majors and concentrations, with Economics and Finance combined as one major. This choice was made to ensure that students get a well-rounded mathematical, statistical, and hands-on education.

“The high standards that Dr. Bias holds his Economics students to helped prepare me for what professors expect from us in graduate school.”
Carl Spansk ‘18

“We’re not the only school that does this,” explained Bias. “It’s uncommon, but it’s designed to give the students an advantage. The econ majors have to have some finance, and the finance majors have to have some economics. That may not be true if you go to another larger university.”

A degree in this field prepares students for jobs in commercial banking, real estate, and consulting. Students who have graduated from the department have gotten jobs from forecasting for the city of Naples to becoming corporate consultants. In addition to successful jobs, many students who graduate from the program often choose to go to graduate school. Students have been accepted to institutions such as Yale, Duke, and London School of Economics.

Carl Spansk ‘18, a recent graduate who is now pursuing a master of science in finance at McCombs School of Business at University of Texas describes his classes at Florida Southern as interactive.

“All the professors I had did a good job at keeping the students engaged,” said Spansk. “The high standards that Dr. Bias holds his Economics students to have helped prepare me for what professors expect from us in graduate school. My academic advisor, Dr. Farrell, was also a great resource, as he was always willing to offer advice and insights about any finance-related questions.”

Part of a rigorous and rewarding curriculum includes courses that evolve and become more challenging as students advance to higher levels. The department built the E&F courses to include lessons about economics on a theoretical, micro and macro level to ensure an understanding about how concepts apply to the workforce. Students analyze real-world situations, such as how the Federal Reserve makes decisions. Within the finance courses, students learn about derivatives, how to invest, and begin building up their portfolios. Students also fabricate various models and run simulations.

The Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise
This AACSB-accredited Business department houses many majors and concentrations and has earned a prestigious reputation over the years.

Bias credits the caliber of this major to FSC’s field-expert professors who are the backbone of this strong department. Within the Economics and Finance major, some professors — including Dr. Bias — have decades of experience in both teaching and working. Their life work enables them to bring theories and practices to the classroom. They are selected for their real-world experiences in a variety of careers.

“I’ve been here for 30 years, it's improved to the point where I'm just ecstatic about the quality of these professors,” Bias said.

Of course, small class sizes only help to give a more personalized learning experience in the classroom.

When asked about the business department, Abby Hoffman ’21 expressed her enthusiasm about the different opportunities provided. “I love it. The professors offer a lot of different opportunities for students to grow. All the faculty are very helpful. They’re more than willing to be patient and take things a little bit slower at higher levels. They definitely take the time to explain concepts to their students and how they will apply to the real world.”