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Help me choose my degree for uni

I need to choose my subject for uni now that I am done with AS level. My International A level (IAL) subjects are accounting, economics, and business. I want to study something economics based but WITHOUT THE MATHS so I am ruling out BSc in economics. I don't like maths. I have been doing my research about economics-based degrees but they are sooo many that now I am confused. Like there are environmental economics, politics and economics, economic history, industrial economics, economic policy, health economics, agricultural economics, development economics, geography with economics, etc. And then there is BA in economics which I have heard is less maths based.

Can anyone tell me which degree I should go for? I want to study something that I will enjoy and that is not useless. I like the sound of environmental economics, industrial economics, and BA in economics. But I don't know if these ones are considered a good degree. So please someone help me!

P.S. I am an international student, I am not from the UK

@Reality Check @MindMax2000
(edited 7 months ago)

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Reply 1
politics + economics, industrial economics, geography with econ, and ALL other major/minor or joint honours economics degrees MAY and PROBABLY DO include maths. you'll need to check individual course provider websites to see what modules they require you to take. even if you take geography with econ, you'll probably still be required to study elementary maths/stats for economics in the first year, and quite possible a pure intro to econ module that'll be somewhat maths-based

for you, if you really want to avoid all math based economics, i'd focus on economic history/economic policy as these are expressly not math-heavy. they might require some vague maths early on, but you'll easily be able to select modules that are not this. again though, check individual course contents

im no expert on agri econ or development econ, but they may be similarly applicable to you
Reply 2
Original post by HoldThisL
politics + economics, industrial economics, geography with econ, and ALL other major/minor or joint honours economics degrees MAY and PROBABLY DO include maths. you'll need to check individual course provider websites to see what modules they require you to take. even if you take geography with econ, you'll probably still be required to study elementary maths/stats for economics in the first year, and quite possible a pure intro to econ module that'll be somewhat maths-based

for you, if you really want to avoid all math based economics, i'd focus on economic history/economic policy as these are expressly not math-heavy. they might require some vague maths early on, but you'll easily be able to select modules that are not this. again though, check individual course contents

im no expert on agri econ or development econ, but they may be similarly applicable to you


No, I don't want to avoid all maths. I am not bad in maths (had 9 in igcse maths), I am just a bit scared of it. I am especially scared of calculus. But I do want some maths.

So I can't rule out all these economics degrees you have mentioned.
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by NazifaNawer
No, I don't want to avoid all maths. I am not bad in maths (had 9 in igcse maths), I am just a bit scared of it. I am especially scared of calculus. But I do want some maths.

So I can't rule out all these economics degrees you have mentioned.


i also got a 9 but without having done A level maths, the maths in economics quickly exceeds you and you will have to work surprisingly hard to keep up. calculus is the vast majority of undergraduate maths in economics - that and stats
Reply 4
That is only the case in BSc economics, right? Not in the other economics degrees I have mentioned?

Original post by HoldThisL
i also got a 9 but without having done A level maths, the maths in economics quickly exceeds you and you will have to work surprisingly hard to keep up. calculus is the vast majority of undergraduate maths in economics - that and stats
Original post by NazifaNawer
I need to choose my subject for uni now that I am done with AS level. My International A level (IAL) subjects are accounting, economics, and business. I want to study something economics based but WITHOUT THE MATHS so I am ruling out BSc in economics. I don't like maths. I have been doing my research about economics-based degrees but they are sooo many that now I am confused. Like there are environmental economics, politics and economics, economic history, industrial economics, economic policy, health economics, agricultural economics, development economics, geography with economics, etc. And then there is BA in economics which I have heard is less maths based.

Can anyone tell me which degree I should go for? I want to study something that I will enjoy and that is not useless. I like the sound of environmental economics, industrial economics, and BA in economics. But I don't know if these ones are considered a good degree. So please someone help me!

P.S. I am an international student, I am not from the UK

I would recommend just doing a BA Economics. Sure, you won't be able to study it at any of the top UK unis as a-level maths is a requirement, but there are still some solid unis offering BA's.

I wouldn't recommend picking a specialised degree (e.g. environmental economics etc). Too early to specialised as you won't really know much about economics at the moment (uni economics is very different to pre-uni economics). On the vast majority of economics degrees, you pick a couple of optional economics modules which are in the sorta areas you mentioned (e.g. economic history, environmental economics, political economy, development economics, etc), so you can still study these on a ba economics course but you don't want to overspecialise too early. You do most of your specialisation in final year of undergrad and in a master's, not across your whole undergrad.
Reply 6
Original post by BenRyan99
I would recommend just doing a BA Economics. Sure, you won't be able to study it at any of the top UK unis as a-level maths is a requirement, but there are still some solid unis offering BA's.

I wouldn't recommend picking a specialised degree (e.g. environmental economics etc). Too early to specialised as you won't really know much about economics at the moment (uni economics is very different to pre-uni economics). On the vast majority of economics degrees, you pick a couple of optional economics modules which are in the sorta areas you mentioned (e.g. economic history, environmental economics, political economy, development economics, etc), so you can still study these on a ba economics course but you don't want to overspecialise too early. You do most of your specialisation in final year of undergrad and in a master's, not across your whole undergrad.


Thank you so much for your answer! This makes sense. I just need to look for unis offering BA in economics then
Reply 7
Original post by NazifaNawer
That is only the case in BSc economics, right? Not in the other economics degrees I have mentioned?


any BSc in an economics major or minor is likely to be this way. less pure economics courses will have some of it too. it may also be the case for a BA (the difference between a BA and BSc is not strict or well defined). again, you need to look at what specific courses entail module/content-wise
Reply 8
Original post by HoldThisL
any BSc in an economics major or minor is likely to be this way. less pure economics courses will have some of it too. it may also be the case for a BA (the difference between a BA and BSc is not strict or well defined). again, you need to look at what specific courses entail module/content-wise


Okay, I understand your point. Thank you for your answer! I will look at the modules for each course then.
Original post by NazifaNawer
Okay, I understand your point. Thank you for your answer! I will look at the modules for each course then.


As others have mentioned in this thread, economics generally will require A Level maths. This is predominantly for the content in:

Calculus - mostly differentiation

Statistics - hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, normal distribution, etc.

Logarithms

Series and sequences



Most standard economics degrees don't have maths that stretch that far above that of A Level Maths. Unless you go out of your way to study a very mathematical economics module or degree, you won't likely come across the Further Maths material involving differential and difference equations, Euler's equation involving complex numbers and differentiation, and matrix calculations.

If you want to take a look at the material, then you can look at books like Schaum's Outlines Introduction to Economics by Edward Dowling and Mathematics for Economics and Business by Ian Jacques. Do note, a lot of the content in these books go beyond what maths you would need in most standard economics degrees.

Personally, I don't consider the above to be that much of a stretch above GCSE Maths, but A Level Maths is one of those subjects where you would need a bit of time practicing to fully understand the material. Maths is not one of those subjects where you can just understand the material by reading about it. Having said that, I'm a maths enthusiast, so I'm biased.

Inevitably, most degrees that involve economics is going to require Maths A Level. You might get away with some degrees that might not need a lot of maths e.g. Accounting with Economics (maybe), Finance with Economics (very weak maybe). It will be tough to find a degree related to economics that won't require maths because you would need to know the above maths to understand the economic models used, unless it's a nonquantiative degree in economics (in which case it's more like Economics A Level). Nonquantitative degrees are not useful for progressing in academia or getting a job as an economist per se, but you should be fine for jobs that ask for a degree in any subject.

In terms of your fear of getting a "useless" degree, you would need to be more specific about what you consider "useless". All degrees are useful in their own way and can help you progress into academia in the subject. I can't specifically say for all countries outside of the UK, but generally you don't need specific degrees to get into specific fields or careers.
If you can be more specific about what you intend to do after uni (as well as the country), then we might be able to give you pointers.
Reply 10
Original post by MindMax2000
As others have mentioned in this thread, economics generally will require A Level maths. This is predominantly for the content in:

Calculus - mostly differentiation

Statistics - hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, normal distribution, etc.

Logarithms

Series and sequences



Most standard economics degrees don't have maths that stretch that far above that of A Level Maths. Unless you go out of your way to study a very mathematical economics module or degree, you won't likely come across the Further Maths material involving differential and difference equations, Euler's equation involving complex numbers and differentiation, and matrix calculations.

If you want to take a look at the material, then you can look at books like Schaum's Outlines Introduction to Economics by Edward Dowling and Mathematics for Economics and Business by Ian Jacques. Do note, a lot of the content in these books go beyond what maths you would need in most standard economics degrees.

Personally, I don't consider the above to be that much of a stretch above GCSE Maths, but A Level Maths is one of those subjects where you would need a bit of time practicing to fully understand the material. Maths is not one of those subjects where you can just understand the material by reading about it. Having said that, I'm a maths enthusiast, so I'm biased.

Inevitably, most degrees that involve economics is going to require Maths A Level. You might get away with some degrees that might not need a lot of maths e.g. Accounting with Economics (maybe), Finance with Economics (very weak maybe). It will be tough to find a degree related to economics that won't require maths because you would need to know the above maths to understand the economic models used, unless it's a nonquantiative degree in economics (in which case it's more like Economics A Level). Nonquantitative degrees are not useful for progressing in academia or getting a job as an economist per se, but you should be fine for jobs that ask for a degree in any subject.

In terms of your fear of getting a "useless" degree, you would need to be more specific about what you consider "useless". All degrees are useful in their own way and can help you progress into academia in the subject. I can't specifically say for all countries outside of the UK, but generally you don't need specific degrees to get into specific fields or careers.
If you can be more specific about what you intend to do after uni (as well as the country), then we might be able to give you pointers.


How much of the standard economics degrees are theoretical? If at least half of the economics degrees are theoretical then I am willing to do maths for those degrees. I have mentioned once that I am not bad at maths, just scared of the subject. I can even study A level maths by myself for a few months if the economics degree has enough theoretical aspects for me to enjoy.

I actually do want a job as an economist. So I think I have to choose a quantitative economics degree.

How is a BA in economics? Is it fully non-quantitative?

By useless, I meant useless in terms of getting a job as an economist. I am from Bangladesh but hoping to do undergrad in England.

Also, how is industrial economics, business economics, development economics and environmental economics?

Thank you for your detailed answer. That's the reason I tagged you:smile:
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by NazifaNawer
How much of the standard economics degrees are theoretical? If at least half of the economics degrees are theoretical then I am willing to do maths for those degrees. I have mentioned once that I am not bad at maths, just scared of the subject. I can even study A level maths by myself for a few months if the economics degree has enough theoretical aspects for me to enjoy.

I actually do want a job as an economist. So I think I have to choose a quantitative economics degree.

How is a BA in economics? Is it fully non-quantitative?

By useless, I meant useless in terms of getting a job as an economist. I am from Bangladesh but hoping to do undergrad in England.

Also, how is industrial economics, business economics, development economics and environmental economics?

Thank you for your detailed answer. That's the reason I tagged you:smile:

How much of the standard economics degrees are theoretical?
A standard economics degree is pretty much all theoretical other than the econometrics and experimental economics modules - these are based more on research.

I actually do want a job as an economist. So I think I have to choose a quantitative economics degree.
Pretty much. These degrees will require A Level Maths as a minimum. Further Maths is strongly preferred if you study certain courses at a top end uni.

How is a BA in economics? Is it fully non-quantitative?
It depends on the individual degree. It's also difficult to specify just purely based on the BSc, BSc, and BEcon type, because you can havea degree from Cambridge in BA Economics and can be quantitative. However, the BA Economics from Lancaster is nonquantiative (Lancaster does offer a qunatitiative economics degree).
BSc and BEcon by rule of thumb tend to be quantitative, but there are some BAs that are not. The 3 indications that can help you be sure include:

Whether A Level Maths is a requirement - if maths is not required, it's not quantitative

Whether there are strong mathematical modules that cover calculus, statistics, and logarithms in the course - if there's no mathematical or statistical modules, then it's likely isn't

Whether its explicitly stated in the course description and whether the students and alumni say it's quantitative



By useless, I meant useless in terms of getting a job as an economist
Thanks for the clarification; this makes things a lot easier.
In terms of getting a job as an economist, you might want to go for a quantitative general economics degree as opposed to a specialist or niched degree (I think it's a preference of the employers, but not sure), but I think other people would provide better advice on the sort of degree you would need to get the role. @BenRyan99 tend to give good career advice in this area.
Personal opinion: the skills and knowledge you gain in a specialised/niched economics degree are similar to a general economics degree.

Also, how is industrial economics, business economics, development economics and environmental economics?
Again, the question is so vague and incredibly egocentric. How in what way? Quantiative? Enjoyable? Flexible? Allows you to go into various careers? Enjoyable? Please be a lot more specific and detailed; it's so difficult to answer your questions if you don't specify the criteria or what you're looking for.
Reply 12
Original post by MindMax2000
How much of the standard economics degrees are theoretical?
A standard economics degree is pretty much all theoretical other than the econometrics and experimental economics modules - these are based more on research.

I actually do want a job as an economist. So I think I have to choose a quantitative economics degree.
Pretty much. These degrees will require A Level Maths as a minimum. Further Maths is strongly preferred if you study certain courses at a top end uni.

How is a BA in economics? Is it fully non-quantitative?
It depends on the individual degree. It's also difficult to specify just purely based on the BSc, BSc, and BEcon type, because you can havea degree from Cambridge in BA Economics and can be quantitative. However, the BA Economics from Lancaster is nonquantiative (Lancaster does offer a qunatitiative economics degree).
BSc and BEcon by rule of thumb tend to be quantitative, but there are some BAs that are not. The 3 indications that can help you be sure include:

Whether A Level Maths is a requirement - if maths is not required, it's not quantitative

Whether there are strong mathematical modules that cover calculus, statistics, and logarithms in the course - if there's no mathematical or statistical modules, then it's likely isn't

Whether its explicitly stated in the course description and whether the students and alumni say it's quantitative



By useless, I meant useless in terms of getting a job as an economist
Thanks for the clarification; this makes things a lot easier.
In terms of getting a job as an economist, you might want to go for a quantitative general economics degree as opposed to a specialist or niched degree (I think it's a preference of the employers, but not sure), but I think other people would provide better advice on the sort of degree you would need to get the role. @BenRyan99 tend to give good career advice in this area.
Personal opinion: the skills and knowledge you gain in a specialised/niched economics degree are similar to a general economics degree.

Also, how is industrial economics, business economics, development economics and environmental economics?
Again, the question is so vague and incredibly egocentric. How in what way? Quantiative? Enjoyable? Flexible? Allows you to go into various careers? Enjoyable? Please be a lot more specific and detailed; it's so difficult to answer your questions if you don't specify the criteria or what you're looking for.


You answered all my questions perfectly, except the last one which was due to my fault, I understand 😅.

For the last question I meant quantitative. Are degrees such as business economics, industrial economics, development economics and environmental economics quantitative?

And with all the information about me that I mentioned till now, do you think I should go for a quantitative economics degree? If not, then do you have any idea which degree I should choose? I like A level economics and would love to study something like A level economics, even if the degree includes 40-50% maths (which is so much more than the amount of maths in A level econ).

Also, do you know any universities in the UK offering BA in economics that are slightly less quantitative than a BSc in economics but still quantitative enough to be an economist?

Another question: in the UK, where do economists work? I usually heard of people go into accountancy or bank jobs after doing an economics degree but where do people get jobs as economists?

I'm sorry for asking so many questions! I took the decision to do undergrad in the UK only after my AS exams came out surprisingly good.
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by NazifaNawer
You answered all my questions perfectly, except the last one which was due to my fault, I understand 😅.

For the last question I meant quantitative. Are degrees such as business economics, industrial economics, development economics and environmental economics quantitative?

And with all the information about me that I mentioned till now, do you think I should go for a quantitative economics degree? If not, then do you have any idea which degree I should choose? I like A level economics and would love to study something like A level economics, even if the degree includes 40-50% maths (which is so much more than the amount of maths in A level econ).

Also, do you know any universities in the UK offering BA in economics that are slightly less quantitative than a BSc in economics but still quantitative enough to be an economist?

Another question: in the UK, where do economists work? I usually heard of people go into accountancy or bank jobs after doing an economics degree but where do people get jobs as economists?

I'm sorry for asking so many questions! I took the decision to do undergrad in the UK only after my AS exams came out surprisingly good.


Are degrees such as business economics, industrial economics, development economics and environmental economics quantitative?
To my knowledge, not particularly. There is sufficient mathematics and statistics involved for any economics degree (they should all at least cover macro, micro, and econometrics), but they aren't the most quantitative from what I have seen.
Business economics and industrial economics are similar degrees. Half of the modules can constitute business modules. Only one uni in the country that I know of does industrial economics as a bachelor's (I can't see one for postgrad). Business economics is the most popular out of the 4 and is offered at undergrad and postgrad.
Development economics has half quantitiative modules and half qualitiative modules covering various development topics e.g. finance, politics, global studies, international trade, education, conflict. Developmental studies tend to be very qualitative. I have only seen one degree in development economics for an undergrad. This subject is more common as a postgrad.
Environmental economics has half quantitative economic modules and half qualitative geography modules. I have only seen 2 degrees offered as undergrads. This topic is more common as a postgrad.

The more quantitative economics degrees would be in MORSE, mathematical economics, econometrics, and financial economics. You can also have joint degrees in mathematical subjects e.g. maths with economics, finance and economics, statistics and economics, econometrics and economics, etc. Having said that, a standard quantitative economics degree (about 40-60% maths) tends to be quantiative enough.

And with all the information about me that I mentioned till now, do you think I should go for a quantitative economics degree?
If you want to work as an economist, then yeah. Economists tend to spend a lot of time working on stats. The modellers would use even more maths. Not doing a quantitative degree can work against you if that's the job you want.

Also, do you know any universities in the UK offering BA in economics that are slightly less quantitative than a BSc in economics but still quantitative enough to be an economist?
I don't think I can answer that. Whether you would be employed as an economist comes down to the decision of the person hiring you. As I don't work as an economist, you're better off asking someone else i.e. someone who works as an economist.

Another question: in the UK, where do economists work?
In large corporations, IGOs, banks, news publishers, and think tanks as far as I know, but mostly through the government. In particular, the Bank of England tends to be a popular place. Do be aware that these roles are insanely competitive. See the following:
https://www.faststream.gov.uk/government-economic-service/
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/economist
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/economist
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/finance-accounting/job-profile/economist
https://analysisfunction.civilservice.gov.uk/careers/role-profiles-and-career-pathways/role-profile-economist/
https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Economics-Analyst-Job-Description-2020.pdf

Do note, becoming an economist researcher is also an option especially in academia.
Also note that the above job descriptions show that you can do a joint degree in economics and still be able to get the above jobs, so if you want you can technically do the degrees in the subjects that you want to do (since they are likely to be quantitative enough). You might want a second opinion on this though.

I usually heard of people go into accountancy or bank jobs after doing an economics degree but where do people get jobs as economists?
Usually through applications and a lot of networking

I took the decision to do undergrad in the UK only after my AS exams came out surprisingly good.
Congratulatons and good luck
Original post by MindMax2000
Are degrees such as business economics, industrial economics, development economics and environmental economics quantitative?
To my knowledge, not particularly. There is sufficient mathematics and statistics involved for any economics degree (they should all at least cover macro, micro, and econometrics), but they aren't the most quantitative from what I have seen.
Business economics and industrial economics are similar degrees. Half of the modules can constitute business modules. Only one uni in the country that I know of does industrial economics as a bachelor's (I can't see one for postgrad). Business economics is the most popular out of the 4 and is offered at undergrad and postgrad.
Development economics has half quantitiative modules and half qualitiative modules covering various development topics e.g. finance, politics, global studies, international trade, education, conflict. Developmental studies tend to be very qualitative. I have only seen one degree in development economics for an undergrad. This subject is more common as a postgrad.
Environmental economics has half quantitative economic modules and half qualitative geography modules. I have only seen 2 degrees offered as undergrads. This topic is more common as a postgrad.

The more quantitative economics degrees would be in MORSE, mathematical economics, econometrics, and financial economics. You can also have joint degrees in mathematical subjects e.g. maths with economics, finance and economics, statistics and economics, econometrics and economics, etc. Having said that, a standard quantitative economics degree (about 40-60% maths) tends to be quantiative enough.

And with all the information about me that I mentioned till now, do you think I should go for a quantitative economics degree?
If you want to work as an economist, then yeah. Economists tend to spend a lot of time working on stats. The modellers would use even more maths. Not doing a quantitative degree can work against you if that's the job you want.

Also, do you know any universities in the UK offering BA in economics that are slightly less quantitative than a BSc in economics but still quantitative enough to be an economist?
I don't think I can answer that. Whether you would be employed as an economist comes down to the decision of the person hiring you. As I don't work as an economist, you're better off asking someone else i.e. someone who works as an economist.

Another question: in the UK, where do economists work?
In large corporations, IGOs, banks, news publishers, and think tanks as far as I know, but mostly through the government. In particular, the Bank of England tends to be a popular place. Do be aware that these roles are insanely competitive. See the following:
https://www.faststream.gov.uk/government-economic-service/
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/economist
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/economist
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/finance-accounting/job-profile/economist
https://analysisfunction.civilservice.gov.uk/careers/role-profiles-and-career-pathways/role-profile-economist/
https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Economics-Analyst-Job-Description-2020.pdf

Do note, becoming an economist researcher is also an option especially in academia.
Also note that the above job descriptions show that you can do a joint degree in economics and still be able to get the above jobs, so if you want you can technically do the degrees in the subjects that you want to do (since they are likely to be quantitative enough). You might want a second opinion on this though.

I usually heard of people go into accountancy or bank jobs after doing an economics degree but where do people get jobs as economists?
Usually through applications and a lot of networking

I took the decision to do undergrad in the UK only after my AS exams came out surprisingly good.
Congratulatons and good luck

I think @MindMax2000 answered most of your questions more than adequately. I work as an economist so if you would like to ask any careers questions or any further academic ones, happy to chip in if helpful.
Reply 15
Original post by MindMax2000
Are degrees such as business economics, industrial economics, development economics and environmental economics quantitative?
To my knowledge, not particularly. There is sufficient mathematics and statistics involved for any economics degree (they should all at least cover macro, micro, and econometrics), but they aren't the most quantitative from what I have seen.
Business economics and industrial economics are similar degrees. Half of the modules can constitute business modules. Only one uni in the country that I know of does industrial economics as a bachelor's (I can't see one for postgrad). Business economics is the most popular out of the 4 and is offered at undergrad and postgrad.
Development economics has half quantitiative modules and half qualitiative modules covering various development topics e.g. finance, politics, global studies, international trade, education, conflict. Developmental studies tend to be very qualitative. I have only seen one degree in development economics for an undergrad. This subject is more common as a postgrad.
Environmental economics has half quantitative economic modules and half qualitative geography modules. I have only seen 2 degrees offered as undergrads. This topic is more common as a postgrad.

The more quantitative economics degrees would be in MORSE, mathematical economics, econometrics, and financial economics. You can also have joint degrees in mathematical subjects e.g. maths with economics, finance and economics, statistics and economics, econometrics and economics, etc. Having said that, a standard quantitative economics degree (about 40-60% maths) tends to be quantiative enough.

And with all the information about me that I mentioned till now, do you think I should go for a quantitative economics degree?
If you want to work as an economist, then yeah. Economists tend to spend a lot of time working on stats. The modellers would use even more maths. Not doing a quantitative degree can work against you if that's the job you want.

Also, do you know any universities in the UK offering BA in economics that are slightly less quantitative than a BSc in economics but still quantitative enough to be an economist?
I don't think I can answer that. Whether you would be employed as an economist comes down to the decision of the person hiring you. As I don't work as an economist, you're better off asking someone else i.e. someone who works as an economist.

Another question: in the UK, where do economists work?
In large corporations, IGOs, banks, news publishers, and think tanks as far as I know, but mostly through the government. In particular, the Bank of England tends to be a popular place. Do be aware that these roles are insanely competitive. See the following:
https://www.faststream.gov.uk/government-economic-service/
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/economist
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/economist
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/finance-accounting/job-profile/economist
https://analysisfunction.civilservice.gov.uk/careers/role-profiles-and-career-pathways/role-profile-economist/
https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Economics-Analyst-Job-Description-2020.pdf

Do note, becoming an economist researcher is also an option especially in academia.
Also note that the above job descriptions show that you can do a joint degree in economics and still be able to get the above jobs, so if you want you can technically do the degrees in the subjects that you want to do (since they are likely to be quantitative enough). You might want a second opinion on this though.

I usually heard of people go into accountancy or bank jobs after doing an economics degree but where do people get jobs as economists?
Usually through applications and a lot of networking

I took the decision to do undergrad in the UK only after my AS exams came out surprisingly good.
Congratulatons and good luck


Thank you so much for the detailed answers! Taking all of your answers to account, I think I will choose BA economics. BSc economics is too mathematical for me and the other economics degree I listed above are too specialised.
Reply 16
Original post by BenRyan99
I think @MindMax2000 answered most of your questions more than adequately. I work as an economist so if you would like to ask any careers questions or any further academic ones, happy to chip in if helpful.


Will doing BA economics stop me from working as an economist? And would you recommend practicing A level maths by myself before uni?
Original post by NazifaNawer
Will doing BA economics stop me from working as an economist? And would you recommend practicing A level maths by myself before uni?

Will doing BA economics stop me from working as an economist?
I think there's two important points here. The first is that the content covered on BA/BSc Economics courses varies hugely by the university in question. For example, some BSc's are very strong on the quant side, some much less so, meanwhile some BA's are still excellent and will prepare you very well for the job market, others much less so. So it's almost impossible to answer without talking about specific courses at specific universities, and without this, any answer will be deeply insufficient and too general.

The second point is that it really depends what what sort of economics careers you think you potentially might be interested in. For example, if interested in the civil service fast stream (the GES), then I'm sure most BA's from decent enough unis would be good enough. The Bank of England typically want candidates with relatively good macro and econometrics skills, given quite a large proportion of the economist graduate roles (economist rather than policy analyst roles) work fairly closely with economists with PhDs, so you have to be pretty strong and so they hire from fairly strong unis, tho the BA/BSc distinction isn't huge as long as you're solid. There's also a whole bunch of public sector agencies and regulatory bodies who hire economists (e.g. CMA, FCA, Ofgem, Ofcom, etc), they like candidates with applied skills but generally as long as your fundamentals are sound and have used some econometrics packages then BA/BSc won't matter at all.

On the private sector side, firm preferences are generally towards more quantitative graduates, where MSc degrees are also a lot more common. When looking at consultancies (both micro and macro), there's a clear preference towards microeconometrics and macroeconometrics skills and usually teaching on these areas is quite limited at the undergraduate level, especially in BA's. Generally you see the vast majority of the graduate intakes are from tier 2 unis (e.g. Notts, Bath, Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, Kings) and above, and these are largely either BSc's or on the more quantitative end of undergraduate degrees. Graduate economist roles in the financial sector (e.g. Banks, asset managers, hedge funds, etc) tend to have steeper requirements still. Hiring at the undergraduate level is pretty limited, and those that do generally are people who've managed to get a placement year there and have converted it, so outside graduate hiring is almost non-existent. Given the nature of these roles, the high pay and the quantitative demands, PhD hiring is a lot more common, with some at master's level. So the BA/BSc distinction isn't important, but you'd need to have a strong quant ability, coding skills, highly ranked undergrad and postgrad background.

Would you recommend practicing A level maths by myself before uni?
Think it depends on the course as mentioned earlier, but generally yes. A lot of maths is about building blocks. So having a stronger base going into the course means the new content you learn should be relatively less stretching. Economics at university level is very different to what it's like at school, and so a general introductory level knowledge of things like differentiation, integration, linear algebra will help a lot in maths classes, while understanding distributions, test statistics, hypothesis testing and probability theory will help a lot in your statistics and econometrics classes.
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 18
Original post by BenRyan99
Will doing BA economics stop me from working as an economist?
I think there's two important points here. The first is that the content covered on BA/BSc Economics courses varies hugely by the university in question. For example, some BSc's are very strong on the quant side, some much less so, meanwhile some BA's are still excellent and will prepare you very well for the job market, others much less so. So it's almost impossible to answer without talking about specific courses at specific universities, and without this, any answer will be deeply insufficient and too general.

The second point is that it really depends what what sort of economics careers you think you potentially might be interested in. For example, if interested in the civil service fast stream (the GES), then I'm sure most BA's from decent enough unis would be good enough. The Bank of England typically want candidates with relatively good macro and econometrics skills, given quite a large proportion of the economist graduate roles (economist rather than policy analyst roles) work fairly closely with economists with PhDs, so you have to be pretty strong and so they hire from fairly strong unis, tho the BA/BSc distinction isn't huge as long as you're solid. There's also a whole bunch of public sector agencies and regulatory bodies who hire economists (e.g. CMA, FCA, Ofgem, Ofcom, etc), they like candidates with applied skills but generally as long as your fundamentals are sound and have used some econometrics packages then BA/BSc won't matter at all.

On the private sector side, firm preferences are generally towards more quantitative graduates, where MSc degrees are also a lot more common. When looking at consultancies (both micro and macro), there's a clear preference towards microeconometrics and macroeconometrics skills and usually teaching on these areas is quite limited at the undergraduate level, especially in BA's. Generally you see the vast majority of the graduate intakes are from tier 2 unis (e.g. Notts, Bath, Bristol, Durham, Edinburgh, Kings) and above, and these are largely either BSc's or on the more quantitative end of undergraduate degrees. Graduate economist roles in the financial sector (e.g. Banks, asset managers, hedge funds, etc) tend to have steeper requirements still. Hiring at the undergraduate level is pretty limited, and those that do generally are people who've managed to get a placement year there and have converted it, so outside graduate hiring is almost non-existent. Given the nature of these roles, the high pay and the quantitative demands, PhD hiring is a lot more common, with some at master's level. So the BA/BSc distinction isn't important, but you'd need to have a strong quant ability, coding skills, highly ranked undergrad and postgrad background.

Would you recommend practicing A level maths by myself before uni?
Think it depends on the course as mentioned earlier, but generally yes. A lot of maths is about building blocks. So having a stronger base going into the course means the new content you learn should be relatively less stretching. Economics at university level is very different to what it's like at school, and so a general introductory level knowledge of things like differentiation, integration, linear algebra will help a lot in maths classes, while understanding distributions, test statistics, hypothesis testing and probability theory will help a lot in your statistics and econometrics classes.


About your first point, can you recommend some decent or mid tier unis for BA economics for international students like me? (I got AAA in AS level)

As for your second point, I am hoping to do master's after undergrad so I think that's good but not sure about a PhD.
I am not sure exactly where I would like to work (because a lot of the places for jobs you mentioned are unknown to me as a person who hasn't been the the UK) and I'm not that interested in a high paying/ prestigious job.

As for the question about practicing A level maths, thank you for your answer. I'll make sure to study A level maths.
Original post by NazifaNawer
About your first point, can you recommend some decent or mid tier unis for BA economics for international students like me? (I got AAA in AS level)

As for your second point, I am hoping to do master's after undergrad so I think that's good but not sure about a PhD.
I am not sure exactly where I would like to work (because a lot of the places for jobs you mentioned are unknown to me as a person who hasn't been the the UK) and I'm not that interested in a high paying/ prestigious job.

As for the question about practicing A level maths, thank you for your answer. I'll make sure to study A level maths.

I think generally some solid BA courses in the AAA-AAB grade region would be places like Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Sussex.

The thing about postgrad economics is that it's quite difficult to find a good MSc course that's not fairly heavy on the maths & statistics content. Whether you're interested in doing a PhD or not, master's courses are generally designed as needing to prepare you for PhD coursework. Therefore, you can't really do a good master's without significant maths.

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