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Economics Honours

By Author: Varun Desai
Total Articles: 11

A degree in economics is one of the most sought after courses by students after the completion of formal school education. The subject is gaining popularity because of its importance in understanding a wide range of issues in the social, economic and political setup of a country. The subject also attracts students as it offers a wide variety of career paths, compared to a number of other courses.
For students who are fascinated by the subject, these are some of the questions you would want to ask yourself before taking up your graduation in economics.

Should I study economics?

How are interest rates determined in the economy? Why do countries face recession and boom? How does a producer determine how much to produce and what price to charge? How does a consumer decide how much to consume? What should a government do to cut the budget deficit? If these are the questions that make you curious, then economics is your subject. Economics is primarily the study of human behavior with an emphasis of human decision making. This could be the behavior of an individual, of a firm/business unit or of the government. A major component of the subject is to understand how choices are made. The study of the subject also lends an understanding to analyze various global phenomenon including recessions, Eurozone crisis and the recently witnessed Brexit.

Am I the right candidate?

A graduate course in economics is offered at most of the national and international universities. Students from any of the streams – Science, Commerce or Arts – can take up the course. The admission may be on the basis of merit, or an entrance, an interview or any combination of these. Some of the universities require Mathematics in Class 12th as a pre-requisite for taking up the economics course. However, there are some other universities which do not stipulate this requirement and begin their course by teaching mathematical methods for economics. The knowledge of Mathematics is important because most economic models are worked out mathematically. While it may appear odd, economics at school level is not the essential requirement to take up a graduation course in economics. Along with the mathematical ability, the subject requires analytical thinking and a spirit of enquiry and also inculcates these attributes.

What all I learn in an economics course?

At most universities, economics is offered as a pure economics course like BA (honors) Economics or B.Sc. (Hons) Economics or it is offered along with other subjects as in the interdisciplinary B.Sc. (Hons) Economics and Finance.

The purpose of a pure economics course is to equip one with the tools for understanding social interactions. The course contains essential subjects such as statistical and mathematical methods for economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics and International economics. Some of the optional subjects include monetary economics, public economics, industrial organization, and environment economics.

B.Sc. (Hons) Economics and Finance will help students to understand the basic principles of economics and its applications to financial systems and organisations. The course offers many subjects which are common with the pure economics course. Some additional subjects include corporate finance, quantitative finance, and international finance. At some places, the curriculum also includes financial techniques such as derivatives pricing, risk management and portfolio management.

What are the skills I acquire after learning economics?

Economics as a field has made significant contributions in understanding and analyzing issues in a multitude of areas - business, industry, finance, public policy, politics and social issues. In simple words, the study of economics helps us understand the world around us. In it, we learn how individuals take decisions and how these decisions impact others. For somebody wishing to start a business, economics provides understanding of the effective pricing, competition etc. For a person interested in public policy, economics provides the tools to analyse various government policies and their impact on welfare of the people. Knowledge of econometrics helps making models to be studied with the real data. For an environment enthusiast, economics provides with the methods to incorporate pollution in the measurement of GDP. It also provides a methodology to check if the industries are environmentally efficient. Financial economics lends an understanding of the working of the financial markets.

What are my prospects after studying economics?

An economics degree opens doors to a wide range of career options. The study of the subject adorns one with skills which are required by corporates working in the field of analytics, consulting, research, financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies. A background in economics is also helpful in the field of public policy, journalism and law. For students who wish to go for further studies, a two-year post graduate degree is offered in economics or some of its specialized fields like international economics, quantitative economics, political economy etc. A masters in finance or MBA are equally pursued options. Besides, some universities also offer one-year diploma in economics as a stepping stone to higher studies in economics. A post graduate degree can be followed by a doctorate degree which establishes one as a full-fledged economist who plays a crucial role in the development of the economy.

Why should I choose ISBF to pursue my economics degree?

ISBF, an affiliate center of University of London offers B.Sc. (economics) and also multidisciplinary courses like B.Sc. (Economics and Finance) and B.Sc. (Economics and management). A degree in economics from ISBF aims to develop an approach to logically analyse a variety of economic problems and builds an understanding to discuss possible solutions.

In first year of the degree, the focus is on building the analytical ability and understanding of students by offering foundation courses such as Mathematics and Statistics. It deepens that intellectual platform by offering more advanced courses in the second year along with offering econometrics to enable them to examine relevant policy issues at the micro and macro level. In the third year, students can specialize in their area of interest by choosing from several options including monetary economics, mathematical economics, international economics and developmental economics.

The learning of economics at ISBF prepares one for a variety of career paths. Students are able to secure jobs with investment banks, consulting firms, marketing firms, financial and economics research organizations. ISBF students have also gone on to pursue Masters programmes in economics and related fields and some of them have been able to secure admissions in the most prestigious universities such as Yale, Oxford, and London School of Economics.

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