The Development of Transferable Skills in a Variety of Economics Courses

John Deal, S. Aaron Hegde


Surveys of business leaders indicate that they believe colleges generally do a poor job of developing transferable skills (e.g., writing, critical and analytical thinking) in their graduates. Economics instructors often attempt to convey these skills as a secondary benefit of content delivery and efforts to get students to ‘think like an economist’. We argue that the development of the skills that transfer across disciplines and into the job market should be more purposeful, particularly since most students take only one or two economics classes in college. In this paper, we present two examples of projects – an integrated data/writing project for a Principles of Microeconomics class and a real-world simulation project for an Agricultural Finance class – designed to help students develop skills that transfer across classes and into the job market. These projects are designed to build skills in a sequential and integrated manner (i.e., scaffolding), giving students an opportunity to build upon and practice previously developed skills. We provide a description of each project and a brief review of the outcomes and issues (e.g., benefits and limitations) of each project. Our initial experiences would indicate that students perceive value from the approach of placing explicit emphasis on the development of transferable skills.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 International Research in Education


To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

Copyright © Macrothink Institute   ISSN 2327-5499