Economics rules our daily lives and it also rules the world affairs. It is the main factor behind changing lifestyle of civilizations; it is the cause of all wars in history.
Economics is a subject which has the ability to suck you. It makes one want to go deeper and deeper, and know more, as it is a subject which studies the ways to fulfill the basic needs of life as well as the way the world functions. The subject’s scope is very –very vast ranging from a simple thing as price determination to complex studies like economic forecast and international policies, which are affected by politics, geography, legal and social issues.
What is economics?
Economics is branch of social science that deals with basically with the creation and distribution of wealth. It is the study of production, distribution and consumption of products and services in an economy.
Human needs and desires are unlimited, whereas the resources/means to fulfill these needs are limited. We therefore have to use the limited resources in such a way as to attain maximum possible benefit from them through alternative uses. Using the resources of land, labor, capital and technology, maximum welfare has to be achieved. Individuals and society try to achieve maximum benefit through economic instruments like money, rent, interest, profit etc. Economics in simple words is the study of economic activities.
Scope of economics
The broad scope of economics ranges from an individual to world affairs.
Micro-economics studies issues like market forces like demand, supply, price determination of goods and factors of production, cost curves, utility analysis, consumer equilibrium, consumer behavior, market structures, equilibrium of firm etc.
Macro-economics studies broader aspects of economy like national income, money, banking, etc.
Developmental economics studies various growth models of different economies, the rate and pattern of growth of economies/nations, problems of growth of underdeveloped and developing countries etc.
International economics deals with the theories of international trade, gains from international trade, foreign exchange, balance of payment, trade cycle etc.
Along with these major subjects of economics, there are others too like labor economics, rural economics, demography, agricultural economy, welfare economics etc.
Career options in economics
The best example of the importance of the role of an economist is that of our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. He will always be remembered as the economist who totally changed the face of India’s economy, from a closed to an open economy and successfully brought out India from the financial crisis of 1991, when India was on the verge of defaulting.
Services of economists are needed in corporate firms as well as state run government departments. Economists work in various fields like marketing research, equity research, financial services, rural development, demographic studies, formulation of economic policies and analysis etc. Economists are required to research and monitor economics factors like demand and supply, business trends, exchange rates, taxation, employment rate, inflation etc. Based on these they try to find trends and make predictions. They act as counselors to the firm or government they are working for by studying, analyzing, predicting and helping in formulating appropriate policies, to attain optimum benefit.
Whether capitalistic, communist or socialist, economists of a country function as per the guidelines of the economic system prevailing in that country. Globalization has increased the demand for economists as firms involved in international trade need to undertake serious study of the international market and trade policies of different countries and WTO, before going for important decisions like expansion, mergers, take overs etc.
For better, high paying career opportunities, go for higher studies like M. Phil and Ph. D and combine economics with MBA, Law or journalism, whichever is your field of interest.
Students of Economics can opt for the following careers-
- The Indian Economic Service
- The Reserve Bank of India
- Business journals and newspapers
- International Financial Institutions
- Corporations like consulting firms, investment firms, government departments
- Economic consultants
- Entry level jobs in banking, finance, insurance, stock market, sales and marketing.
- NGOs working on projects like rural development, labor welfare, women empowerment, rural banking and credit etc.
Personality traits of an economist
Economists have to observe, study, research, find possible causes and solutions and predict. Analytical and logical mind along with patience and a strong desire to find answers has to be essentially there in an economist. The important personality traits are-
- An academic bent of mind.
- Numerical ability
- Ability to communicate through figures, data and words
- Interest in current social and political affairs
- Interest in problem solving
Economics is a subject to fall in love with! It has the vastness of social science as well as the intricacies of mathematics. It tickles and intrigues the mind. Above all it aims at bringing prosperity in the world!