Brian Hollar, the new director of Marymount’s Economics in Society program, joined the University this spring, bringing an impressive set of academic credentials, including a J.D. and an M.B.A. He is now finishing his Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason University. Hollar worked as a controls and instrumentation engineer for Westinghouse and Mitsubishi for a decade before turning to academia.
Q. How is Marymount’s proximity to Washington, DC, an advantage in studying economics?
A. You couldn’t hope to be in a better place! We have taken our classes to hear Ben Bernanke testify before the House Banking Committee on Capitol Hill, to the Federal Reserve, and to the U.S. Treasury. In the future, we hope to have Marymount students intern with more government agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Patent and Trademark Office.
Q. Why is the study of economics important?
A. Many of the indicators that we consider part of a good life – health care, education, longevity, high standards of living, etc. – are a function of the Gross Domestic Product. The higher the GDP per capita, the higher the levels of these indicators. So understanding economics is profoundly important if you want to help the world.
Q. Is a degree in economics a key to future earnings?
A. According to a 2010 Census Bureau survey, an undergraduate degree in economics is second only to a pre-med program in its ability to catapult you to the top one percent of income earners.