Growing in popularity these days because of its widespread applicability, Economics as a subject extends from rural studies, statistics, GDP to banking, finance and development. The subject is rich in information, theories and analytics.
If these themes intrigue you then you may be a budding economist.
Economics Honours is a highly sought-after degree, even though it has always been surrounded with the hullabaloo of difficulty, both in terms of getting admissions and the dedication required throughout the course itself. The alarming growth of cut-offs, various options of colleges and alternative career opportunities may cast confusion.
So, I am here to clear the mist by shedding light on the course structure, scope and career opportunities, so that you get into it with your eyes wide open.
What’s the course about?
B.A Economics is an amalgamation of Macro economics, Micro economics and Statistics.
Macro economics is the study of the national and global economy as a whole, and covers broad concepts of income and employment, government budget and balance of payments. Whereas, Micro economics studys economics concepts at the individual level, such as the study of price determination, types of markets, demand and supply etc.
Statistics is an essential element to the study of Economics as it helps to interpret and make sense of economic data.
The course sows the seeds of ideation, curiosity and interest in the young minds of students, further leading them to make successful careers in banking, finance, statistics, actuary, auditing, marketing, etc.
What will you study?
Economics is a subject that teaches concepts related to markets, finance, principles of business, banking, money and the working of our economy.
Under these themes lie topics of demand, supply, production, national income, history of the Indian economy, international economics, inflow and outflow of capital, operations of loans, inflation and deflation of currency, rise and fall of prices in the market, GDP, as well as statistics.
Since Economics deals with large numbers and data, the importance of statistics is deeply ingrained in the course.
The extensive knowledge of the subject makes you well equipped to understand and analyse trends of demonetisation, the impact of Make in India, introduction of goods and services and tax, the annual budget etc.
How much Maths is involved in studying Economics?
It’s a common question faced by many students. If you’re not very proficient in Mathematics, you may wonder whether Economics is a good choice, and exactly how much Mathematical aptitude you would require.
The answer to that is, you should have a decent grasp of Mathematics as it is essential to the core of economics and Statistics. Maths plays a key tool to the understanding of the subject and it would be difficult to do without it.
Saying that, most colleges require you to have studied maths till 12th but may or may not require the subject necessarily to be included in your best-of-four.
Difference between B.A Economics, B.A Business Economics and B.Sc Economics
The similarity of the names of the courses may have caused confusion in your mind. Here is a brief guide outlining basic differences among the courses.
It is a course focused on the core fundamentals of Economics, its theories and applications. It covers both qualitative and quantitative courses in Economics like Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Economic Statistics, History of Economics, Indian Economy, etc.
B.A Business Economics
It is a commerce-oriented multidisciplinary field which focuses on the application of Economics to business. Themes of this course vary from organisational behaviour, financial management, cost accounting to business communication, macro and micro aspects of economics, marketing, etc.
The syllabus and pattern of this course are similar to B.A Economics. The subtle difference is that B.Sc Economics has more practical lessons, and statistics and mathematics are studied at a more advanced level.
Top Colleges for Economics
Here is a list of some of the top colleges that offer B.A Economics or B.Sc Economics in India.
- Shri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi
- St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi
- Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi
- St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata/Mumbai
- Loyola College, Chennai
- Hindu College, New Delhi
- Ashoka University, Sonepat
- Loyola College, Chennai
- Hansraj College, New Delhi
- Ethiraj College for Women, Chennai
- Fergusson College, Pune
Note – This list is indicative and doesn’t indicate rankings of institutions.
Career Options After B.A Economics
The scope of economics honours is vast and overreaching, but due to the variety of courses, you may find yourself in a fix. Fret not! I am listing out all possible career options available to you.
1. Actuarial Science
Actuarial science is an emerging career option amongst Economics graduates. Actuaries use mathematical skills and statistical methods to determine risk in finance, insurance and other areas. The practical and analytical knowledge embedded by Economics will help you perform in this field with utmost proficiency.
Recommended Read: Numbers Speak: Uncovering Actuarial Science as a Career
The curriculum of Economics harnesses skills of financial intellect and understanding. If you feel Finance and Banking is your thing, then you can go on to pursue MBA in Finance and Banking or an M.A in finance or a Chartered Financial Analyst certification after graduating.
3. Indian Economic Services (IES)
Aspirants of civil services who are also blessed with a knack for Economics can target the IES. Economists in this sector play a part in the creation and implementation of development policy and programmes, besides dealing with other areas such as economic reforms, regulation, price fixation and monitoring.
The combined knowledge of both Economics and Law makes you suitable for careers in corporate law, market research and public policy. After completing your graduation in Economics, you can go forward with a 3-year degree in Law.
Recommended Read: Justice for All: What it Takes to Pursue Law as a Career
5. Economics and Its Related Disciplines
Economics being a social science has its roots in a lot of humanistic themes, such as environment, agriculture, political science, etc., some of which you’ll also study as part of your course. As a result, you can go on to specialise in any of these interdisciplinary fields:
- Agricultural Economics
- Financial Economics
- Labour Economics
- Industrial Economics
- International Economics
- Business Economics
- Banking Economics
- Environmental Economics
- Developmental Economics
6. Rural Development and Public Policy
The aim of this field is to improve the economic conditions of farmers and marginal groups by implementing changes in public policy. The study of the Indian economy and its operations makes an Economics graduate well equipped to deal with such situations and makes it a perfect career option.
A degree in economics coupled with an MBA opens up doors in various domains of management, including sales, marketing, public relations, human resource management, operations, etc.
A lot of consultancy firms hire Economics graduates as economic advisors to their firms. An economic advisor conducts research, prepare reports, and formulates plans to address economic problems. Problems are mostly related to the production and distribution of goods and services, monetary and fiscal policy.
B.A economics is a vast course that provides extensive knowledge about the practical and technical concepts that run the world.
The subject has given out legends like Dr. Manmohan Singh and P.Chidambaram, and it’s time your name makes the list even longer. So if anything mentioned above sparks your mind, you should definitely think of going this route!
Are you considering going the Economics route too? Share with us in the comments!