epicgang432
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So, I’m changing courses and I’m pretty set on Philosophy and Politics. The reason I’m doubting PPE is because I never did maths/economics at A-Level, its not required where i am (Uni of Manchester), but I’d be so behind other students who did.

So, what I’m wondering is, why is economics one of the best degrees for a high paying job? Is this because of the actual careers people with economics degrees go into, like finance/banking etc, that are higher paying jobs anyway? So an economics degree isn’t necessarily high paying unless you do go down the economics career path? And I know even without economics you can go into the same sectors. But just wondering.

For me, I dont think it would be too beneficial anyway, because I dont see myself working in that area. I would like to go into a career in politics/law, something like that but of course keeping my options open and will do lots of internships along the way to find this out, but i dont want to hinder my final grade just because I risked a PPE degree and being terrible at it because I know I’ll get an amazing grade in PP (got AAA A-Levels in philosophy history and politics, and I love the PP course more than PPE bc of the variety of modules).. just trying to weigh up pros and cons.

Edit:
Checked the programme structure, if i end up being terrible at economics the most ill need to do is a 20 credit module but still gain the title. So I’m applying for it and will hopefully get in.
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MindMax2000
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I've recently read about that, partly because I have degrees in economics. I have found the following article on it, despite being a bit dated: https://www.businessinsider.com/emol...16-5?r=US&IR=T
Most of the salaries mentioned on there don't seem realistic for the UK, and if they are, a good chunk will go towards tax.

There was a particular article that attributes most of the large salary differences to people working in banking and finance (or the big 4 accounting firms), and I find this to be mostly true. Having said that, living in the City isn't cheap either, so you will need the high salary to live OK (I wouldn't try anything less than £20k, otherwise you may struggle).
I then looked at economist jobs with the government, and they don't particularly pay a lot (£40k after 3 years training), so if you stand to get the £50-60K range, you will need to get promoted. The entry level jobs aren't easy to get anyway; I've spoke to a Manchester graduate with a first class degree in Economics who failed to secure a job as an economist because of the level of competition.
There are jobs with NGOs and think tanks, but getting a job with them isn't easy, especially not the one you want to work for. Also, most will be asking for PhD in economics.
I haven't really found many economist jobs in the private industry without asking for years of experience beforehand. They're not particularly easy to get, and I can only see big companies asking for those people.

The general rule of thumb I find is the higher the pay, the more competition and office politics you expect there to be, irrespective of the profession. That's not easy to handle. Getting promoted when competition is fierce and the number of suitable candidates is high is particularly difficult to deal with, especially when you're working in an organisation with a flat structure. Getting into academia is also difficult, and people are working for barely anything at all.

I suppose when you come down to it, research in economics is particularly important when it deals with the economic prosperity of the country. However, that prosperity needs to reap in thousands-millions of times what you are being paid, so you will have to be really good i.e. there is no reason for someone to pay you if you don't reap the returns (same with other high paying jobs - why should they pay you £X?). Having said that, most of what economists do is trying to fit trends and models onto data and to do talks on it, as far as I know.

Having done the degrees, I'd say you don't need to know a lot of maths, since I don't think you will need to know anything beyond AS Level. The main things you might need to be aware of is you need to understand hypothesis testing (statistics) for econometrics, and maybe differentiation for microeconomics and a bit of macroeconomics. The other maths you might come across doesn't go higher than GCSE. Unless you try to hype it up and go into mathematical economics (or do a module in it), I'd doubt you need to know that much maths.
Most of economics is in regards to discussing theories. A good introductory book on it is Mankiw's Principles of Macroeconomics - a book I recommend most people buying, irrespective of whether they do an economics degree or not.
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epicgang432
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(Original post by MindMax2000)
I've recently read about that, partly because I have degrees in economics. I have found the following article on it, despite being a bit dated: https://www.businessinsider.com/emol...16-5?r=US&IR=T
Most of the salaries mentioned on there don't seem realistic for the UK, and if they are, a good chunk will go towards tax.

There was a particular article that attributes most of the large salary differences to people working in banking and finance (or the big 4 accounting firms), and I find this to be mostly true. Having said that, living in the City isn't cheap either, so you will need the high salary to live OK (I wouldn't try anything less than £20k, otherwise you may struggle).
I then looked at economist jobs with the government, and they don't particularly pay a lot (£40k after 3 years training), so if you stand to get the £50-60K range, you will need to get promoted. The entry level jobs aren't easy to get anyway; I've spoke to a Manchester graduate with a first class degree in Economics who failed to secure a job as an economist because of the level of competition.
There are jobs with NGOs and think tanks, but getting a job with them isn't easy, especially not the one you want to work for. Also, most will be asking for PhD in economics.
I haven't really found many economist jobs in the private industry without asking for years of experience beforehand. They're not particularly easy to get, and I can only see big companies asking for those people.

The general rule of thumb I find is the higher the pay, the more competition and office politics you expect there to be, irrespective of the profession. That's not easy to handle. Getting promoted when competition is fierce and the number of suitable candidates is high is particularly difficult to deal with, especially when you're working in an organisation with a flat structure. Getting into academia is also difficult, and people are working for barely anything at all.

I suppose when you come down to it, research in economics is particularly important when it deals with the economic prosperity of the country. However, that prosperity needs to reap in thousands-millions of times what you are being paid, so you will have to be really good i.e. there is no reason for someone to pay you if you don't reap the returns (same with other high paying jobs - why should they pay you £X?). Having said that, most of what economists do is trying to fit trends and models onto data and to do talks on it, as far as I know.

Having done the degrees, I'd say you don't need to know a lot of maths, since I don't think you will need to know anything beyond AS Level. The main things you might need to be aware of is you need to understand hypothesis testing (statistics) for econometrics, and maybe differentiation for microeconomics and a bit of macroeconomics. The other maths you might come across doesn't go higher than GCSE. Unless you try to hype it up and go into mathematical economics (or do a module in it), I'd doubt you need to know that much maths.
Most of economics is in regards to discussing theories. A good introductory book on it is Mankiw's Principles of Macroeconomics - a book I recommend most people buying, irrespective of whether they do an economics degree or not.
Thank you so much! I read a lot too about how starting out with an economics degree can be really difficult, but you gave a much greater insight into different aspects so thank you. So, all in all, would you suggest I change to PPE or just PP? Considering the pathways I’m likely to go down - politics, legal stuff, law perhaps - do you think it would be beneficial?
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MindMax2000
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I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to answer that. Law, politics, legal stuff are things I hated in all of academia; you can name a number of the most boring subjects, and you might not be able to put me to sleep faster, rile me up, or get me more frustrated than mentioning law and politics (Chinese being a close third).
You might want to speak to someone who did PPE or PP, and is currently working in politics or law. I hear PPE is more attractive to employers, but I might be wrong.
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epicgang432
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(Original post by MindMax2000)
I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to answer that. Law, politics, legal stuff are things I hated in all of academia; you can name a number of the most boring subjects, and you might not be able to put me to sleep faster, rile me up, or get me more frustrated than mentioning law and politics (Chinese being a close third).
You might want to speak to someone who did PPE or PP, and is currently working in politics or law. I hear PPE is more attractive to employers, but I might be wrong.
Hahahaha ok, thanks so much for the help
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PTMalewski
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You should check how many people who graduate economics actually work in the field. It might be well like where I come from, lots of people graduate from economics but most struggle to get any job, and those who get closes to doing something related, usually do low paid accountancy, or enter corporate rat race for very low salaries.

Philosophy and politics are even worse in that department, what would you do after that?
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If I were you, I'd switch to PPE just for the name. I believe in your 2nd and 3rd years, you only specialise in 2 out of 3 so you could just specialise on Politics and Philosophy all the while having the PPE degree name + basic economics background from 1st year.

But, it's not necessary. Politics and Philosophy is a good combination and will prepare you for a lot of analytical type jobs. The reason Economics is generally considered employable is because we live in a society where finance / numbers = money.
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epicgang432
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(Original post by Quick-use)
If I were you, I'd switch to PPE just for the name. I believe in your 2nd and 3rd years, you only specialise in 2 out of 3 so you could just specialise on Politics and Philosophy all the while having the PPE degree name + basic economics background from 1st year.

But, it's not necessary. Politics and Philosophy is a good combination and will prepare you for a lot of analytical type jobs. The reason Economics is generally considered employable is because we live in a society where finance / numbers = money.
Thank you. I’m going to inquire about PPE as well because I completely agree with you.
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epicgang432
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
You should check how many people who graduate economics actually work in the field. It might be well like where I come from, lots of people graduate from economics but most struggle to get any job, and those who get closes to doing something related, usually do low paid accountancy, or enter corporate rat race for very low salaries.

Philosophy and politics are even worse in that department, what would you do after that?
It opens so many doors because it’s such a diverse degree. The most appealing things to me as I’ve been researching, is that law firms respect non-law degrees massively because it introduces new ways of thinking, and a law degree is so different to law in practise, also, there was something I read about students who did philosophy actually performed better in finance/business related careers/further education than those with the actual related degrees.

but of course, as with all degrees, the best people will have spent their years alongside education networking, gaining **** tons of experience, and after all this, having a clear career path to go down so they don’t end up in low paid jobs (unless they want to..) or wandering aimlessly.
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17Student17
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I agree with the first post - it is the careers people choose after that are the answer. That is why the studies can be confusing eg my daughters are City lawyers on fairly high pay but they did not read economics or law (although both studied economics at school). It was the career choice after they graduated that led to the higher pay. With law that is fine but for some careers which hire you straight from university then the degree will matter and economics is well regarded and suitable for a lot of the banking, finance etc careers.
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jsb00
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(Original post by epicgang432)
So, I’m changing courses and I’m pretty set on Philosophy and Politics. The reason I’m not changing to PPE is because I never did maths/economics at A-Level, its not required where i am (Uni of Manchester), but I’d be so behind other students who did.

So, what I’m wondering is, why is economics one of the best degrees for a high paying job? Is this because of the actual careers people with economics degrees go into, like finance/banking etc, that are higher paying jobs anyway? So an economics degree isn’t necessarily high paying unless you do go down the economics career path? And I know even without economics you can go into the same sectors. But just wondering.

For me, I dont think it would be too beneficial anyway, because I dont see myself working in that area. I would like to go into a career in politics/law, something like that but of course keeping my options open and will do lots of internships along the way to find this out, but i dont want to hinder my final grade just because I risked a PPE degree and being terrible at it because I know I’ll get an amazing grade in PP (got AAA A-Levels in philosophy history and politics, and I love the PP course more than PPE bc of the variety of modules).. just trying to weigh up pros and cons.

Pros -
- potentially higher paying??? But maybe not
- v beneficial for career in politics
- i am interested in it

Cons -
- could be **** at it
- higher entry requirements/people who did maths and economics so risk lower final grade
- less interesting modules (in PP there are law/criminology modules, and even economics lol but sadly might not be able to take these bc I’m transferring course halfway through sem1, which could help me in deciding career path)
Because out of all ppl in IB or Finance a fair percentage have Econ degree hence Econ is high paying
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artful_lounger
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It isn't inherently a "high paying" degree. Remember that averages can be very misleading without contextual information, additional data (e.g. standard deviation, other averages than the mean), info about the sample(s) used etc. For economics degrees it's worth bearing in mind the mean averages can be heavily skewed by a handful of graduates from a small number of universities getting extraordinarily high paying jobs out of uni (e.g. in investment banking and similar); this does not tell you how much the modal (i.e. most common) grad will be earning, which could be much less.

There are also elements of self selection; people studying economics may be more likely to self select into applying to those very high paying roles to begin with. People studying other degrees with lower average graduate salaries may simply be more popular among the types of people who would balk at the prospect of working as an investment banker or something. Remember that money does not necessarily give an indication of quality of life or "happiness" more generally either. Studies have shown generally that beyond a certain annual income, participants self-reported life satisfaction and personal wellbeing did not increase (I believe this was around £40k at the time, although in current terms might be higher due to inflation etc). It's likewise worth bearing in mind in many areas of the UK, you don't need to be earning enormous amounts of money to be financially secure.
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Gundabad(good)
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(Original post by epicgang432)
So, I’m changing courses and I’m pretty set on Philosophy and Politics. The reason I’m not changing to PPE is because I never did maths/economics at A-Level, its not required where i am (Uni of Manchester), but I’d be so behind other students who did.

So, what I’m wondering is, why is economics one of the best degrees for a high paying job? Is this because of the actual careers people with economics degrees go into, like finance/banking etc, that are higher paying jobs anyway? So an economics degree isn’t necessarily high paying unless you do go down the economics career path? And I know even without economics you can go into the same sectors. But just wondering.

For me, I dont think it would be too beneficial anyway, because I dont see myself working in that area. I would like to go into a career in politics/law, something like that but of course keeping my options open and will do lots of internships along the way to find this out, but i dont want to hinder my final grade just because I risked a PPE degree and being terrible at it because I know I’ll get an amazing grade in PP (got AAA A-Levels in philosophy history and politics, and I love the PP course more than PPE bc of the variety of modules).. just trying to weigh up pros and cons.

Pros -
- potentially higher paying??? But maybe not
- v beneficial for career in politics
- i am interested in it

Cons -
- could be **** at it
- higher entry requirements/people who did maths and economics so risk lower final grade
- less interesting modules (in PP there are law/criminology modules, and even economics lol but sadly might not be able to take these bc I’m transferring course halfway through sem1, which could help me in deciding career path)
Economics is so boring. So are the teachers.
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BenRyan99
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A large amount of the salary effect of studying econ comes from self-selection as others have mentioned. But I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that the large amount of maths in an economics degree makes the individual more dynamic in the job market than other humanities and social science degrees.

One of the posters above said that the graduate salaries are inflated by a small number of students going into very high paid industries. Not sure this is quite correct as usually those stats are done on median averages so don't get skewed upwards.

Based on my own experience as a third year economics student at a uni similar in level to Manchester (with a grad job as an economist already lined up), the people saying very few people get good jobs is completely incorrect. Basically everyone in my year has a grad job lined up with the vast majority having a starting salary >£30k. It's true that not a tonne of people go into actual economist jobs (at places such as the BoE, GES, Econ consultancies or banks). Most go into general financial services roles in IB, the big4, consultancies or in the FMGC sector. The vast majority also leave straight after undergrad due to the above average salaries, the person saying most firms ask for PhDs is completely wrong haha.

As to whether doing PPE or PP, obviously you need to make up your own mind. My opinion is that economics gives you a toolkit that might be ever so slightly more useful in the job market than straight humanities but maybe I'm biased. Most jobs won't care what you study so I'll argue that doing PPE gives you more options of modules (you may even like economics) and the only risk is one 20 credit module. I'd say it's worth the risk.
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mnot
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(Original post by epicgang432)
So, I’m changing courses and I’m pretty set on Philosophy and Politics. The reason I’m doubting PPE is because I never did maths/economics at A-Level, its not required where i am (Uni of Manchester), but I’d be so behind other students who did.

So, what I’m wondering is, why is economics one of the best degrees for a high paying job? Is this because of the actual careers people with economics degrees go into, like finance/banking etc, that are higher paying jobs anyway? So an economics degree isn’t necessarily high paying unless you do go down the economics career path? And I know even without economics you can go into the same sectors. But just wondering.

For me, I dont think it would be too beneficial anyway, because I dont see myself working in that area. I would like to go into a career in politics/law, something like that but of course keeping my options open and will do lots of internships along the way to find this out, but i dont want to hinder my final grade just because I risked a PPE degree and being terrible at it because I know I’ll get an amazing grade in PP (got AAA A-Levels in philosophy history and politics, and I love the PP course more than PPE bc of the variety of modules).. just trying to weigh up pros and cons.

Edit:
Checked the programme structure, if i end up being terrible at economics the most ill need to do is a 20 credit module but still gain the title. So I’m applying for it and will hopefully get in.
Im just going to tackle the thread title.

but the simple answer is, it's not. Its slightly above average, pretty comparable average to STEM.

But why is it so desirable, its seen as a route into financial services; now this pays, why? because as an industry it doesn't have massive overheads and is a necessity for all large businesses and transactions. The industry has lots of capital in it and the most important commodities are technology & humans so that's where the money gets invested. But your average economics grad doesn't walk into a front office job at Goldman Sachs, most get a fairly average analyst role in a corporate 9-5 job.
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by epicgang432)
It opens so many doors because it’s such a diverse degree. The most appealing things to me as I’ve been researching, is that law firms respect non-law degrees massively because it introduces new ways of thinking, and a law degree is so different to law in practise, also, there was something I read about students who did philosophy actually performed better in finance/business related careers/further education than those with the actual related degrees.

but of course, as with all degrees, the best people will have spent their years alongside education networking, gaining **** tons of experience, and after all this, having a clear career path to go down so they don’t end up in low paid jobs (unless they want to..) or wandering aimlessly.
Give me actual numbers from statistics, saying this gives you any good chances. Most philosophy and politics graduates I know, are blue collar workers and bus drivers, this includes people in this country.
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epicgang432
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
Give me actual numbers from statistics, saying this gives you any good chances. Most philosophy and politics graduates I know, are blue collar workers and bus drivers, this includes people in this country.
It’s okay if that’s from your personal experience, and it’s quite easy to say that non-STEM degrees have a higher chance of leading to this because a lot of the people don’t have much direction in life, which I agree with. This also depends on the uni. On my English course a lot of people were unmotivated and didn’t have any idea what career path they want to go down. I hated this, as I’d consider myself highly motivated and determined to get a good job - hence the current things I’m doing now, and my networks with people in politics who are securing me internships in areas the typical student would find near impossible to obtain. As for some of the people I’ve spoke to who do PPE/PP, they have very different mindsets and are, from my experience, generally more driven. It’s especially harder to meet people doing specifically PPE who end up down that route because for one they’re guaranteed to be from a top uni, and secondly the people there tend to have more specific ideas of what they want to do. This doesn’t go for everyone of course
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Personally I've always found PPE students to be far less driven than business school students such as Econ, actuarial, finance and business. I think it's one of those things where you become a jack of all trades but master of none, if you forgive the expression. But it's the same with any joint honours degree imo, you don't end up doing the hardest most useful modules in each subject.

In terms of career prospects, I think the general rule for most non-stem subjects is that if you don't get some sort of internships/placement year, getting a good grad job in that field will be very difficult. Interested to know what internships you were talking about that would be impossible for other students to get? Plus seems a weird thing to brag about nepotism
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epicgang432
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(Original post by BenRyan99)
Personally I've always found PPE students to be far less driven than business school students such as Econ, actuarial, finance and business. I think it's one of those things where you become a jack of all trades but master of none, if you forgive the expression. But it's the same with any joint honours degree imo, you don't end up doing the hardest most useful modules in each subject.

In terms of career prospects, I think the general rule for most non-stem subjects is that if you don't get some sort of internships/placement year, getting a good grad job in that field will be very difficult. Interested to know what internships you were talking about that would be impossible for other students to get? Plus seems a weird thing to brag about nepotism
I’m not bragging in any way, you just regurgitated my point that experience and networking is especially important for non-stem degrees.
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(Original post by jsb00)
Because out of all ppl in IB or Finance a fair percentage have Econ degree hence Econ is high paying
Hi everyone sorry for jumping in the conversation but this is just the kind of in that I was looking for! My daughter is doing the IB (L6) and she is questioning the subjects she chose so far at HL: Philosophy, History and English. She is interested in studies in the field of Law, Economics and Business but since she is only 16 she hasn't made up her mind yet. So this is all about keeping options open but we are a bit lost. We have heard that most top unis want Maths HL which could be a challenge for her. My question is what do you think the best subject combinations are and since you mentioned your daughters, could you tell me what they studied? Thank you!
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