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Are all Economics undergrads career-hungry and centred on making money? watch

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    (Original post by Smack)
    It's similar with engineering. I don't know anyone from my course who went into further study and overall it does seem quite uncommon for engineering graduates to enrol on further study programmes relative to many other degrees.

    And it's probably quite similar with other vocational degrees, too (although economics is not a vocational degree).
    True! But even then a lot of engineers go on to work on stuff that actually involves engineering! And there's a lot of applied mathematicians (and to an extent physicists) that will progress their fields and have a trickle-down effect on engineering (as engineering basically manipulates and uses physics to come up with practical solutions to doing things). Same with medicine, as biologists, chemists and other scientific authorities progress their field, the field of medicine will also progress. So that's where the vocational subjects are okay.

    Economics stands on its own, so it's going to face a hard time in being taken seriously when so few people are going to it for the purpose of doing it.
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    (Original post by High Stakes)
    Definitely sounds like a good plan. Try to do your best in third year and land a 2.1 (or a 1st if you're super-ambitious) - The maths in Economics is all about understanding and practise - You can always use your spare time (e.g. between 2nd and third year) to catch up and you could also tell your uni about the areas making you question your confidence in Maths!

    Yeah, I agree on the latter part. A career in finance is somewhere in my mind but it's not the plan at the moment. I've sat around sometimes thinking about how I would look back on my life when I'm old - knowing my whole career and majority of my youth was spent making some random business that nobody will remember richer. That's not to say a career in finance is bad! There's a reason it's competitive - money, status and prestige. But I think I can probably get the money I need through a more fulfilling way - I don't care too much for status and prestige.

    Economics is so interesting though! I'm studying it at A-level at the moment (so my knowledge of the subject is very rudimentary compared to what you're probably studying!) - That said I have met some Economics undergrads who tutor others and they seem to not really understand the concepts which makes me question if they just reiterate a mathematical procedure and regurgitate some learned understanding to pass the exams.
    Basically the way Economics is taught (at Bath at least) is that you repeat the core principles of micro and macro again and again but each time in slightly more detail. So where the A Level will use AD-AS analysis, in first year you'll look at where that comes from (thought it doesn't go much beyond the A level), in second year, you'll specify more formal models and use a lot of formulae (it's pretty much the basis of your analysis), and perhaps challenge it in terms of fully constructing alternative models that counter conventional Keynesian policy advice (which is what my current Macro module is doing). In addition to this, most of the department's optional modules builds in some way from the core principles learned in micro and macro (a lot of the same maths will crop up, but a few of the assumptions will be changed, or a few new variables will be added), very much the same form of logic will be applied. Somebody who excels at maths and little else is quite able to succeed in an economics BSc degree (at least at Bath) so long as they pick the right modules. So yeah, that could be why they don't seem to understand the concepts as such, a lot of exams just assume you understand those and ask you to do a load of algebra, which, don't get me wrong, understanding the concepts would help you understand the actual maths with, but if you have the right sort of memory, it isn't strictly necessary to fully understand where the maths is coming from - which is frustrating.
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    (Original post by Pro Crastination)
    Basically the way Economics is taught (at Bath at least) is that you repeat the core principles of micro and macro again and again but each time in slightly more detail. So where the A Level will use AD-AS analysis, in first year you'll look at where that comes from (thought it doesn't go much beyond the A level), in second year, you'll specify more formal models and use a lot of formulae (it's pretty much the basis of your analysis), and perhaps challenge it in terms of fully constructing alternative models that counter conventional Keynesian policy advice (which is what my current Macro module is doing). In addition to this, most of the department's optional modules builds in some way from the core principles learned in micro and macro (a lot of the same maths will crop up, but a few of the assumptions will be changed, or a few new variables will be added), very much the same form of logic will be applied. Somebody who excels at maths and little else is quite able to succeed in an economics BSc degree (at least at Bath) so long as they pick the right modules. So yeah, that could be why they don't seem to understand the concepts as such, a lot of exams just assume you understand those and ask you to do a load of algebra, which, don't get me wrong, understanding the concepts would help you understand the actual maths with, but if you have the right sort of memory, it isn't strictly necessary to fully understand where the maths is coming from - which is frustrating.
    Oh I see! That actually makes a lot of sense. So the exams make the assumption that you know the economic theory, when reality if you know the mathematical procedure behind a concept - then you're good to go!

    And a lot of those topics you mentioned look fairly interesting. Now that you're coming to the end of your second year, how do you feel overall about the past two years of studying Economics? Would you take it again if you went back in time? Although the people on economics courses tend to be centred on their careers, do you think generally you got on with others on the course and that there was a positive culture? I ask that because a lot of the career-centred type of people believe in an "every man for himself" kind of world. Sorry for asking a lot!
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    You and others might be interested in this programme that was aired tonight and now podcast http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b074zgr2

    Economic Rebellion

    Why is there so much dissatisfaction about how economics is taught at universities?
    apart from the student groups campaigning for more heterodox approaches it discusses changes in the content of an Economics degree over the last 20 years with academics and employers groups.
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    (Original post by High Stakes)
    Oh I see! That actually makes a lot of sense. So the exams make the assumption that you know the economic theory, when reality if you know the mathematical procedure behind a concept - then you're good to go!

    And a lot of those topics you mentioned look fairly interesting. Now that you're coming to the end of your second year, how do you feel overall about the past two years of studying Economics? Would you take it again if you went back in time? Although the people on economics courses tend to be centred on their careers, do you think generally you got on with others on the course and that there was a positive culture? I ask that because a lot of the career-centred type of people believe in an "every man for himself" kind of world. Sorry for asking a lot!
    The past two years have been pretty good, some highs and some lows academically. I have written down, memorised and wracked my brain to understand a lot of equations/maths but (with my module choices) there has been just about enough policy/development/politics/political economy to keep me interested. I would probably at this point be more enjoying a joint honours in Economics and Politics but that certainly doesn't mean that if I had the power to switch I would (for reasons I'll give in a second).

    I would still probably choose an Economics degree knowing what I know now, because I am thinking ahead as well. What an economics degree gives you is a lot of options, as far as I'm concerned. It's a good degree for finance-minded people, but equally it's a good degree for those looking to get into more generic professional services (tax/audit/consultancy), as well as a lot of other good graduate schemes in the private and public sectors, added to this of course is the flexibility you have in terms of a masters due to the wide range of courses you could enter.

    The people on the course at Bath are naturally quite smart but aren't really showy about it, and the way that grading is set up (no curved grades, plenty of bits of coursework it helps to have a friend look over) lends more to a collaborative attitude than an individualistic one, so if people are like that, which I don't think most are, they won't act like it anyway.
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    I don't think it's surprising that a subject which is highly relevant to understanding things like money will attract the type of person who is money orientated.

    Personally speaking i chose Economics because when i studied Business at GCSE/AS i enjoyed the supply and demand section and then as my political and current affairs interest blossomed i became very interested in things relating to Economics.

    In terms of further study i would happily study MacroEconomics and perhaps even delve deeper into behavioral economics but in a formal environment at least, i don't see much point now.
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    Just discovered this thread... pretty interesting stuff being said on here. I don't see why any economics student would actually go do an economics degree knowing that they are going to work in the civil service or something- I think most people would want to study it because the people studying it want to go into banking, so they can build a better future network.
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    (Original post by Trapz99)
    Just discovered this thread... pretty interesting stuff being said on here. I don't see why any economics student would actually go do an economics degree knowing that they are going to work in the civil service or something- I think most people would want to study it because the people studying it want to go into banking, so they can build a better future network.
    Lol. I'd be excited by the prospect of becoming a civil servant, it's one of the routes I'd very much consider going down if I don't get a grad job offer from the company I'm doing a placement with. I think banking is great for certain 'types' of people. I've realised I am not one of those 'types', and I'd probably be very unhappy if I forced myself to go down that route just because it's deemed prestigious and/or pays well.
 
 
 
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