If you thought that Economics was all about maths, then think again. If you're a naturally curious person and love to find out how things work, then studying Economics at GCSE or A-level could be a good move for you. The skills that you'll learn from studying this subject can help open up a lot of career options.
'Studying Economics will help you develop a range of applied skills that employers look for'
What is economics?
Economics isn't just about numbers
Learn more: Our Economics Subject Guide links what you learn in class to your career
Economics is about studying the world around us from a social, financial and cultural perspective. The subject looks at all the different factors that affect wealth and well-being. At GCSE and A-Level, some of the topics that you might come across could include:
The financial marketplace
Learning about how finances are processed over a range of different industries
The allocations of resources within an economy
How do we decide where a country should spend its money?
Production and efficiency in business
How do businesses ensure that they make a profit?
Learning about the policies that governments put in place that affects businesses and the economy in general
What skills will I get with Economics?
A lot of the skills that you learn from studying Economics will help you in your career
Economics is one of those subjects where you will learn key skills that will directly help you in the workplace. Some of the skills that you will learn from studying Economics includes:
Analysis and evaluation skills
As you learn more about economics, you will develop good analysis skills and will be able to pick out key information from from statistics and text. You will learn how to use data to draw conclusions and make informed decisions. Analysis and evaluation skills are highly sought after by employers and you'll be able to apply your acquired skills to real-life situations in business.
Although economics is about more than just numbers, studying the subject will help you develop better numeracy skills. Economists are often required to study figures and statistics and look for trends in order to decide on a course of action. Numeracy skills are highly valued in almost any job, so studying economics can help give you an edge when it comes to applying for jobs.
Cultural awareness skills
Nowadays, even the smallest of companies can trade overseas and that's why having cultural awareness skills are so valuable to employers. By studying economics, you will develop a good knowledge and understanding of how different cultures perceive social, political and economic events.
Economics is also concerned with the study of people and society. In any workplace, having good communications skills is essential and by studying economics, you will learn how to communicate with people in business. Economics at GCSE and A-Level, will help you improve your written and verbal communication skills.
Studying economics will help you develop problem solving skills that you can apply to real-life situations. Economics can be a complex subject and by looking a case studies, you'll learn about effective problem solving techniques that will help you in other subjects and in your future career.
What careers can I do with Economics?
Studying Economics gives you a wide range of career options
As a subject, Economics lends itself to a wide variety of careers and not necessarily those in finance. Some of the career options you will have include:
- Chartered account
- Investment analyst
- Financial risk analyst
- Management consultant
- Government officer
With an Economics qualification, you can find work in both the public and private sectors for a range of different companies over many different industries. Some people find work in areas including:
- Blue-chip companies
- Charities and voluntary organisations
- Banks and building societies
- Insurance firms
If these sound like the types of areas that you'd like to work in, take a look at our 60 Second Interview with an Insurance Underwriter.
What degrees and other qualifications do I need Economics for?
At university level, Economics can be studied as a subject on its own or as part of a joint degree with another subject. Typically, Economics is studied in conjunction with subjects like Business Management, Accounting and Finance and Statistics.
Most Economics courses at university will require you to have studied Maths at GCSE and A-Level. Similarly, Business Studies, Management Science and Economics will also help you secure a place at university. Each university has different entry requirements, so you should check with specific universities as to the exact grades that you will need in these subjects.
What subjects does economics go with?
Economics is considered a social science and so fits well with subjects like:
- Environmental Studies
- International Studies
However, because of the financial elements of Economics, the subject is also frequently studied alongside business subjects like:
- Business Management
- Accounting and Finance
The subjects that you decide to study alongside Economics will be influenced by what career you have in mind. If you would prefer to work more in the financial sector, then choosing subjects from the second set of bullet points will be beneficial. However, if you would rather have a career that deals with the social and cultural aspects of Economics, then you might want to choose a subject from the first set of bullet points.
Other subjects in our Why Study series: