Economists study how goods and services are produced, distributed and consumed. Economics is a broad field covering several sub-divisions. Microeconomics looks at how individual agents (such as individuals, families or businesses) in an economy or a market work. Microeconomics also looks at things like supply and demand and rational choice theory. On the other end of the scale, macroeconomics looks at how whole economies work on a national or international scale. Macroeconomics looks at things like GDP, inflation and fiscal policy.
Economics is a social science drawing from aspects of sociology, law and politics to explain why and how people act to increase their wealth. Economists look carefully at behaviours of individuals and markets as well as historical trends to try and predict the effect current actions will have in the future. Economists specialise in careful observation and analysis as well as the use of advanced mathematical tools and carefully constructed economic models.
Most major universities offer programs in economics and the subject has seen a steady increase in popularity with students. Economics graduates often go to work for financial organisations like banks or funds, others work in industry as consultants, stockbrokers or investment advisors.
Economists are also employed by governments around the world to work in treasury departments, think tanks, the civil service and central banks, making forecasts and predictions which will inform fiscal policy decisions. Whatever you choose to do you will be leaving university with a wide range of highly sought-after skills. Some economics graduates choose to study further, with the chance to specialise and become an expert in your chosen field, as well as further boosting job prospects.
Ahead of the 6th Lindau Meeting for economic sciences, eight Nobel Laureates advise young economists on research and networking
What you should study at high school to get on to an economics degree course, and what jobs will be available after you graduate