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Industrial Economics versus Economics career opportunities

I have been offered Industrial Economics at Nottingham University as an alternative option to Economics. When applying for jobs will this limit me to what employment opportunities I would be able to go for? Such as Banking or Financial career paths?
Reply 1
Original post by Beep24
I have been offered Industrial Economics at Nottingham University as an alternative option to Economics. When applying for jobs will this limit me to what employment opportunities I would be able to go for? Such as Banking or Financial career paths?

Hi,
I’ve been offered exactly the same and have spent the last week reading everything in sight about it.

From what I’ve seen you have just as much chance as the Economics students, particularly in the financial/banking sectors.

The only area you may struggle would be if you wanted to go into an academic role say teaching Economics.

Having now spent time looking into this I’m pretty pleased with Industrial Economics and looking forward to starting.

May see you there 👍
Original post by Beep24
I have been offered Industrial Economics at Nottingham University as an alternative option to Economics. When applying for jobs will this limit me to what employment opportunities I would be able to go for? Such as Banking or Financial career paths?

Generally banking and finance careers don't have a preference over what degree subject you study, let alone have a preference over economics Vs industrial economics.

The only career paths that will be harder would be roles that specialise in macroeconomics, given industrial economics degrees are more focused on microeconomics and its subfields (e.g. competition economics, financial economics, managerial economics, industrial organisation, game theory, etc).
@BenRyan99 you always give helpful advice, I'm just wondering if you could help with a query I have or at least direct me somewhere. My Sons are going to Lancaster this year, one is doing the Bsc Econ, the other Ba Econ (because he just missed his maths requirement). However upon exploring the course content further it seems as though there is a requirement to take a minor in either history, politics, sociology and IR and the economics content itself seems very vague and generic. Would you suggest changing the Ba course to a 4 year to include a year in industry, so that you are at least guaranteed a consultancy placement or try and change to a course like business economics or economics and finance? The Bsc economics is full so they are not flexible with the grades at Lancaster to allow him to do straight econ so as a family we are a little unsure about what to do for the best. He did do a few modules during his partial first year at university last year ( maths for economics) and introduction to accounting and finance. He has the transcript for these, perhaps these would hold some weight in demonstrating mathematical competency? I don't know. Do you have any thoughts or advice, he is concerned that the Ba econ will just be a pointless degree. Thanks.
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 4
its more about your uni and where u go for banking specifically. The usually hire from target schools like Oxbridge, Imperial, LSE, UCL, Warwick from what i have heard
Original post by Beep24
I have been offered Industrial Economics at Nottingham University as an alternative option to Economics. When applying for jobs will this limit me to what employment opportunities I would be able to go for? Such as Banking or Financial career paths?
Original post by WILLOWTREE98
@BenRyan99 you always give helpful advice, I'm just wondering if you could help with a query I have or at least direct me somewhere. My Sons are going to Lancaster this year, one is doing the Bsc Econ, the other Ba Econ (because he just missed his maths requirement). However upon exploring the course content further it seems as though there is a requirement to take a minor in either history, politics, sociology and IR and the economics content itself seems very vague and generic. Would you suggest changing the Ba course to a 4 year to include a year in industry, so that you are at least guaranteed a consultancy placement or try and change to a course like business economics or economics and finance? The Bsc economics is full so they are not flexible with the grades at Lancaster to allow him to do straight econ so as a family we are a little unsure about what to do for the best. He did do a few modules during his partial first year at university last year ( maths for economics) and introduction to accounting and finance. He has the transcript for these, perhaps these would hold some weight in demonstrating mathematical competency? I don't know. Do you have any thoughts or advice, he is concerned that the Ba econ will just be a pointless degree. Thanks.

Hi there,

I imagine it's a bit of a difficult situation with one achieving their grades and the other slightly short, especially when applying for the same course and university.

I didn't go to Lancaster, I personally only know one person who studied economics there (the BSc), so don't think I'm a complete expert and take my word as gospel. But I flicked through the modules and yes, the BA modules make it look like a economics and social science degree rather than a normal BA Economics course - which is usually just a less quant and more applied economics course. Though to be completely honest, the BSc looks a little odd too, most BSc's are focused on Econ and maths, though this one still offers some social science options even on the BSc.

I guess fundamentally this comes down to what your son wants to do after university. Difficult to judge if a degree is worth it without knowing what their criteria for 'worth it' is. Tbh the economics and finance course looks much better than the BA, but given the BSc Economics and BSc Economics & Finance courses have the same maths grade requirements, which your son presumably missed, can't work out why this is aired as a possible alternative (unless the uni has said they're fine with letting the grade slide as it had less applicants than the straight Econ BSc?)?

In terms of changing from a BA Economics (3yrs) to a BA Economics with placement year (4yrs) so that he's guaranteed a consultancy placement, not sure if I follow this. Personally I think placement years are great, especially in economics degrees, especially at certain universities. But as far as I know, just because your course says 'with placement year', it doesn't mean its guaranteed. You still have to apply and compete with lots of other students from other unis to get the placements, they're not really organised for you. Sure the uni gives you some help, maybe a series of talks on the application process, but they don't guarantee you a placement. I know some unis with very established placement year programs like Bath have lots of arrangements with companies where each year they hire X many bath students on placement, so the bath students can apply internally just against other bath students for placements. But I wouldn't say this is the norm, nor are they guaranteed. I know quite a few people who weren't able to get placements, or anything that someone would actually want/would benefit a career.

So if he can get on the BSc Economics and Finance course then I'd go with that tbh.
Original post by BenRyan99
Hi there,

I imagine it's a bit of a difficult situation with one achieving their grades and the other slightly short, especially when applying for the same course and university.

I didn't go to Lancaster, I personally only know one person who studied economics there (the BSc), so don't think I'm a complete expert and take my word as gospel. But I flicked through the modules and yes, the BA modules make it look like a economics and social science degree rather than a normal BA Economics course - which is usually just a less quant and more applied economics course. Though to be completely honest, the BSc looks a little odd too, most BSc's are focused on Econ and maths, though this one still offers some social science options even on the BSc.

I guess fundamentally this comes down to what your son wants to do after university. Difficult to judge if a degree is worth it without knowing what their criteria for 'worth it' is. Tbh the economics and finance course looks much better than the BA, but given the BSc Economics and BSc Economics & Finance courses have the same maths grade requirements, which your son presumably missed, can't work out why this is aired as a possible alternative (unless the uni has said they're fine with letting the grade slide as it had less applicants than the straight Econ BSc?)?

In terms of changing from a BA Economics (3yrs) to a BA Economics with placement year (4yrs) so that he's guaranteed a consultancy placement, not sure if I follow this. Personally I think placement years are great, especially in economics degrees, especially at certain universities. But as far as I know, just because your course says 'with placement year', it doesn't mean its guaranteed. You still have to apply and compete with lots of other students from other unis to get the placements, they're not really organised for you. Sure the uni gives you some help, maybe a series of talks on the application process, but they don't guarantee you a placement. I know some unis with very established placement year programs like Bath have lots of arrangements with companies where each year they hire X many bath students on placement, so the bath students can apply internally just against other bath students for placements. But I wouldn't say this is the norm, nor are they guaranteed. I know quite a few people who weren't able to get placements, or anything that someone would actually want/would benefit a career.

So if he can get on the BSc Economics and Finance course then I'd go with that tbh.

Thankyou so much for your reply, I wasn't sure you'd get it as I didn't know how to tag you personally but it has been very helpful and I'm grateful for the response. I know the forums are jam-packed with questions this time of year but thanks again. :smile:
Original post by WILLOWTREE98
Thankyou so much for your reply, I wasn't sure you'd get it as I didn't know how to tag you personally but it has been very helpful and I'm grateful for the response. I know the forums are jam-packed with questions this time of year but thanks again. :smile:

You did mention that the bsc/ba in industry doesn't guarantee a placement. Is this commonplace? Would you suggest independently looking for spring weeks etc.. before the start of the academic year and also...are you at a disadvantage on a Ba as opposed to a bsc? I appreciate certain companies will prefer applicants from certain universities, that is true but my sons are aiming to secure placements abroad where the 'russell group' name isn't as important as it is in the uk. Bottom line...they love economics...they're not looking for the high life of investment banking, they just enjoy the subject but would love to be in a consultancy role in the future. The pathway is what is important and given the limitations regarding grades...which, can be made up, im sure with a masters; it is important to know where to start. Your advice have given us food for thought and I appreciate you giving up your time to respond. Thankyou :smile:
Original post by WILLOWTREE98
You did mention that the bsc/ba in industry doesn't guarantee a placement. Is this commonplace? Would you suggest independently looking for spring weeks etc.. before the start of the academic year and also...are you at a disadvantage on a Ba as opposed to a bsc? I appreciate certain companies will prefer applicants from certain universities, that is true but my sons are aiming to secure placements abroad where the 'russell group' name isn't as important as it is in the uk. Bottom line...they love economics...they're not looking for the high life of investment banking, they just enjoy the subject but would love to be in a consultancy role in the future. The pathway is what is important and given the limitations regarding grades...which, can be made up, im sure with a masters; it is important to know where to start. Your advice have given us food for thought and I appreciate you giving up your time to respond. Thankyou :smile:

It's not the universities that offer the placement years. You are no more guaranteed a placement, as you are a graduate job after university.

Placements abroad? Are you talking about a year abroad (i.e. studying abroad) or an industrial placement year (i.e. working in industry)? If you're meaning working abroad then you'll almost certainly have to find these opportunities yourselves. Universities won't have connections for jobs in industry abroad, especially if your son's won't be studying economics joint honours with a language.

Again I'm a bit confused on some of your questions. Do I recommend applying independently for Spring Weeks? Yes, this is the only way to apply for Spring Weeks, though most Spring Week application windows only open in September, some are open now though - when you apply is up to you though early applications are advantageous.

Do certain companies prefer BSc over BA Economics? Well this naturally depends on the companies, I can't exactly speak for every company. The vast majority of internship and graduate schemes have no preference over the degree subject studied, let alone the BA/BSc Economics distinction. The only cases this may come into play is when applying for to some private sector economist internships/graduate schemes, but selection is more about the university (and implied quality) rather than BA/BSc.

You mention your sons would be interested in a 'consultancy role', this is incredibly vague and offers little information - there are lots of different kinds of consulting, most of which contain zero economics. I'm not sure what you want me to add on this front.
Original post by WILLOWTREE98
@BenRyan99 you always give helpful advice, I'm just wondering if you could help with a query I have or at least direct me somewhere. My Sons are going to Lancaster this year, one is doing the Bsc Econ, the other Ba Econ (because he just missed his maths requirement). However upon exploring the course content further it seems as though there is a requirement to take a minor in either history, politics, sociology and IR and the economics content itself seems very vague and generic. Would you suggest changing the Ba course to a 4 year to include a year in industry, so that you are at least guaranteed a consultancy placement or try and change to a course like business economics or economics and finance? The Bsc economics is full so they are not flexible with the grades at Lancaster to allow him to do straight econ so as a family we are a little unsure about what to do for the best. He did do a few modules during his partial first year at university last year ( maths for economics) and introduction to accounting and finance. He has the transcript for these, perhaps these would hold some weight in demonstrating mathematical competency? I don't know. Do you have any thoughts or advice, he is concerned that the Ba econ will just be a pointless degree. Thanks.

Changing to a 4 year course seems like a good option. The website says that the placement is a core part of third year, so your son will have to get something that year. Personally, at Lancaster I have heard about a few people doing placement years but I have never heard about anyone missing their placement entirely or being disappointed with it. For the other courses, assuming you want to go into consultancy, changing from the Ba course to business economics seems like another good option, as there have been some business economics graduates who continued to professional training as financial advisers. However, changing to economics and finance seems like a bad idea, as the degree is not designed to prepare for a career in consultancy.

As for choosing between the 4 year course and business economics, the 4 year course is better if your son just wants to have the experience of working in consultancy, whereas business economics is better if your son wants to have the highest chance of a career in consultancy.

-Kao (Lancaster Maths & Stats Student Ambassador)

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