A sea of opportunities for economics students

A sea of opportunities for economics students

If you are good with numbers and complex real-world problems, a career in economics may just be right for you

Economics has come a long way since being dubbed as the ‘dismal science’ by essayist Thomas Carlyle in the 19th century. Over the years, the subject has grown more nuanced and has become an important area of study. This has led to several related fields of study including management, to come up. The study and in-depth understanding of Economics has become valuable as it lays the base for many coveted and lucrative careers. If you are good with numbers and complex real-world problems,
a career in economics may be right for you.

At the undergraduate level, one of the key advantages of pursuing a degree in Economics is that it helps one hone one’s analytical skills. At the same time, the qualitative component of the discipline ensures that one’s communication skills are of high standards. This allows for students to get excellent employment opportunties in most corporate professions and many non-corporate ones. So, pursuing a degree in Economics can provide you with an array of subject-specific and transferable skills like numeracy and problem solving that are highly sought after by many employers.

At the undergraduate level, Economics is usually offered as a BA or BSc course. The BSc degree may be more desirable for those wishing to pursue higher studies and a career in Economics or related areas. Or, depending on one’s interest, one could look at inter-disciplinary degree programmes such as Economics and Finance, Business Economics. Career-wise, a degree in Economics opens up a window of opportunities as it will help students develop specialised analytical and communication skills. This enables them to successfully enter multiple industries and work in various capacities such as actuarial analyst, economist and investment analyst.

After doing an undergraduate degree in Economics, the most natural course of action is to continue studying the same subject at the postgraduate level. Doing so can help a student specialise in one of its branches like behavioural economics, development economics and econometrics. This will open up a wide array of opportunities for students and can enable them to work in a variety of fields such as research, data analytics, development and academia. 

The field of data analytics, in particular, places a premium on an economist’s proficiency in Mathematics and Statistics and is emerging as a promising career of the digital era. After higher studies in Economics, one could also opt for a career in policy by working with the government — either by writing the Indian Economic Services examination or working in certain short-term capacities with government departments, ministries and other bodies.

The choice to move away from Economics and into related domains is also quite common after a Bachelor’s degree. Several students opt for postgraduate studies in fields like politics, international relations, and journalism. Professional courses such as chartered financial analyst and actuarial science are also increasingly becoming popular in academic pursuits. In fact, the latter involves assessing and pricing risk, where fully qualified professionals known as actuaries are scarce and hence, are highly sought after.

In a nutshell, Economics is an exciting and relevant discipline that can help graduates apply what they have studied to solve important issues that society faces like resource allocation, public policy and economic efficiency. As Robert D McTeer, an American economist, says, “Training in economics becomes increasingly valuable as you move up the career ladder.” So even if you don’t end up applying it immediately after your Bachelor’s degree, you undoubtedly will soon enough. For the time being though, focus on understanding everything you study, so that you have the rigour to apply it when the time comes.