Economists fit within the social sciences group of disciplines and examine the full spectrum of issues that impact on financial situations and decisions. Subjects of study range from production to consumption and economics scrutinises how the world’s resources are utilised and distributed among individuals and organisations. In order to do so, economists study strands of politics, history, geography, law, sociology and psychology at both a local and global level.
Economics is divided into two veins: microeconomics and macroeconomics. The former looks at the behaviour and exchanges between individual mediators, such as households, companies, buyers and sellers. Macroeconomics investigates entire economies on a national or global scale, focusing on employment, inflation, economic growth and monetary and fiscal policy.
Economics students will gain a deeper understanding of the world and its inner machinations, covering everything from how goods and services are priced, to the reasons why standards of living vary so wildly in different countries. The study of economics equips students with valuable knowledge to make everyday life decisions. The emphasis on case-based learning gives students the ability to solve problems such as financial investment opportunities, the likely impact of public policies including universal healthcare and career progression. Many universities offer students the chance to apply their learning with a year in industry while they study.
Most major universities offer programmes 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 decide to do you will leave university with a wide range of highly desirable skills.
Some economics graduates choose to study further, with the chance to specialise and become an expert in a 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