Economics graduates not only enter fields such as; teaching, law, and journalism; but they also become managers, advertising executives, and financial advisers in a range of positions in other sectors such as manufacturing, transport, communications, banking, insurance, investment, retailing industries, government agencies, consulting and charitable organisations. Employers also like to employ economists for the analytical skills that they bring rather than employing them as practicing economists.
Since "economy" is the key to survival for any system of government, the political agenda of a nation mainly comprises of Economic issues. Economists often are in the middle of high profile political analysis, debate and execution - the centre stage of national and international Economics. They play an important role in the process of social and economic reconstruction of the new economies in Asia and Africa supported by the World Bank and other Development Banks. Both, the private sector companies and the government departments require economists to be able to forecast the economic changes that they will have to face and to help them make the right spending and purchasing decisions.
Economic studies is often combined with management or Business studies or with finance and banking, opening an even wider range of career opportunities in development banks and aid agencies; in risk management, client services, investment analysis and fund management.
If one enjoys the statistical side of economics, there are careers as a statistician in education, healthcare, finance, industry and government. Majority of the foreign embassies located in India and abroad also recruit Economists and statisticians.
The Union Public Service Commission conducts an annual competitive examination to recruit economists for the Indian Economic Service. The Indian Economic Services and Reserve Bank of India are excellent options open to those who want to join government service. Economists occupy vantage positions in all types of banks (including Reserve Bank of India), insurance companies, financial institutions, stock markets, sales and marketing as well as consulting firms or government departments. Some others may choose to enter nonprofit institutions like NGOs.
Teaching and research continue to offer satisfying career opportunities in economics and related fields. Perhaps, of all the social science faculties in Universities, the largest number of teachers are often in the Economics department. With the establishment of a large number of management institutes in the country, the demand for teachers of Economics is increasing. As regards a research career, apart from the development institutes referred to earlier, there are several institutions, such as the National Council of Applied Economic Research or Institute of Applied Manpower Research offering research positions. Department of Economic Analysis and Policy of the Reserve Bank of India also recruits research economists through its Recruitment Board.
With the proliferation of Economic and business journals and magazines and newspapers, Economic journalism has emerged as a potential area of career opportunity. A degree in Economics followed by a degree in journalism and mass communication would open up such opportunities not only in the print media but also in television.
As a general option, an economics student can always opt for law or an MBA degree to diversify their career opportunities.
Economics - art or science?
At the first degree level, most universities in India offer honours courses in economics leading to the award of B.A (Hons). There are a few which offer a B.Sc (Hons). So is economics an art or a science?
The BA degree primarily takes a social science approach whereas BSc usually follows a more scientific and quantitative approach. BSc would for example have subjects like econometrics, a combination of Economic theory expressed in mathematical form with statistical methods; thatís used to measure and correlate the relationships among such variables as prices, wages, output, employment and capital investment in different sectors of the economy.