... back in 1991, a commission chaired by Anne Krueger and including people like Kenneth Arrow, Edward Leamer, and Joseph Stiglitz, reported from own experience “that it is an underemphasis on the ‘linkages’ between tools, both theory and econometrics, and ‘real world problems’ that is the weakness of graduate education in economics,” and that both students and faculty sensed “the absence of facts, institutional information, data, real-world issues, applications, and policy problems.” And in conclusion, they wrote that “graduate programs may be turning out a generation with too many idiot savants skilled in technique but innocent of real economic issues.”
Not much is different today. [Source]
I learned economics via the very things that were shunned while I was learning: History and philosophy (including theology). I came away from my studies able to state in the very early 2000s that the US was headed toward another Great Depression and for the exact reasons we ended up with the Great Recession: deregulation. The only mistake I made back then was in thinking that what we had learned about how to avoid the depths of the Great Depression would be applied: massive stimulus until the crisis was lifted. We had a tiny stimulus instead.