All throughout school, we believe that one of the biggest and most defining challenges of life is the dreaded 12th board examination. Having completed that, we soon learn that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Right after results, we have to make one of the hardest choices of our lives up until that point: choosing a course for a graduation degree. This choice is by no means an easy one. We are expected to choose the right one that would define our careers and, in fact, our lives. This obviously leads to a lot of pressure.
The good news is that a majority of people pursuing different graduate degrees have little idea of what they want to do in life. So, this means that you don’t have to have a blueprint of your life planned out. A good pointer for the right choice might be the subjects that piqued your interest in school. However, the depth and level of understanding of the subject required in graduation may transform your favourite subject into a foe. Another pointer might be the kind of job or the life that you want.
AN INSIGHT INTO ECONOMICS HONOURS
If you have liked studying economics in XI and XII, pursuing it further might be a good idea. XII grade syllabus for economics is a good reflection of what you will study in your first year of graduation. The difference is that in college, there is a lot more statistics and mathematics which has less to do with numbers and more to do with alphabets and Greek symbols (as if we didn’t have enough of our own). But don’t be intimidated by all the alien lettering and fancy terms. It’s much easier than what it seems. However, if numbers are something you just cannot wrap your head around, perhaps you should look elsewhere.
A big dispute exists about the better course: Economics or Business Economics. The answer is that neither of them is better than the other. They both have different characteristics and each comes with a set of pros and cons.
A degree in economics provides a more varied knowledge base and skill set as opposed to a degree in business economics. A business economics graduate will most likely work in a corporate firm, whereas an economics graduate has a wider range of career options. An economics degree opens doors for the public and private sector, in jobs related to, and unrelated to economics. However, studying economics entails that you will spend a lot of time doing statistical and mathematical operations, unlike in business economics.
In pursuit of an Economics degree, you will develop a varied set of skills like data analysis, data interpretation, communication, writing, time management, problem solving, and handling numbers, most of which are necessary in economics and non-economics related fields alike. In addition to a sound understanding of economic theory, you will experience a holistic development in your personality and skill set.
There are many institutions that offer courses in Economics in India (like Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi) and abroad (like London School of Economics). Different institutions have different eligibility criteria.
SUBJECTS IN (HONS) ECONOMICS
For an undergraduate degree, you can expect to study subjects like microeconomics, macroeconomic theory, statistics, mathematics, econometrics, public economics and development economics, among others. While many of these sound intimidating, they are really not. Hard work is something you cannot avoid. But once acclimatised to that fact, all of it is easily achievable.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
While studying economics, it is hard to find time for extra-curricular activities. However, during your first two years, you may be interested in joining clubs and societies in campus. As long as you can multitask and manage both without neglecting either, extra-curricular activities prove to be beneficial in developing confidence, character building, communication, team work, problem solving, multitasking and the most important, networking.
In addition to this, you might want to look into summer internships if you have the time. This expands your work experience and adds to your resume. Work experience is something that most employers look for, apart from academic performance.
Having completed three years studying economics, there will be a wide range of career choices waiting for you.Let’s be honest. All of us are ultimately interested in the money we can expect to make from a job. The good news is that economics graduates are among the most highly paid graduates in campus placements. Having said that, don’t choose economics for the money. You should only choose to study economics if it interests you, and if you want a career in the field. Because if you do not have the interest or aptitude for economics, you cannot expect to do well.
The fields that you may find yourself working in include the public sector, MNCs andbanking and finance, among others. You might be hired as a financial analyst, an investment analyst, researcher, etc. In the public realm, you may try for the Reserve Bank of India, public sector undertakings, public sector banks, Economic Services, Planning Commission, and National Sample Survey. In the public sector, you will mainly be analysing economic trends and testing the economic viability of a particular policy.
There are also a wide range of international organisations which demand economists, like World Bank, International Monetary Fund and United Nations, among others.
Instead of working straight away, you can also decide to study further. Should you wish so, there are a lot of fields of study that you can still pursue.
If you wish to go into research or the education sector, you should do a masters in economics followed by a Ph.D. If you do choose to study economics at a higher level, you can specialise in a range of different disciplines, a few of them listed below:
You can also study for other degrees, such as an MBA, journalism, advertising, actuarial science, banking and finance, marketing, human resource, etc. A graduate degree in economics is a good base for anything that you may choose to do later in life. In unconventional fields, it gives you an edge over other candidates as a basic knowledge of the economic theory is always desirable.
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