If you are reading this blog post, then you are probably confused as whether to opt for business or economics. Read on to get a clear idea of these two disciplines.
Why study economics?
Economics is a discipline concerned with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. It studies how individuals, businesses, governments and nations make choices on allocating resources to satisfy their wants and needs. Economics can be usually divided into two streams—microeconomics, which focuses on individuals; and macroeconomics, which focuses on the behaviour of the economy as a whole.
Some of the questions that you will be able to answer after studying economics are:
- How is the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country calculated?
- How does the banking system function in an economy?
- How can economic trade and growth be boosted?
- How can inflation be controlled and reduced in an economy?
- What are the various types of markets?
- What is Keynesian economics?
Finance vs economics, are they different or the same? A layman might assume them to be similar, but they are not. Finance refers to the study of credit, investments, banking, money, assets and liabilities that make up financial systems. Hence, finance is considered to be an offshoot of economics.
Sometimes, economics is referred to as the ‘queen of social sciences’. This is because economics is all about choices and decision-making. Economics is the cornerstone of several social issues such as inflation, poverty, unemployment, and human rights. Solutions to these problems can only be obtained through thorough study of economics.
Studying economics is an excellent way to gain expertise in problem-solving skills and to cultivate a rational method of observing and solving problems. Economics is also considered to be an excellent subject for graduate study in the fields of government, business economics, law, labour relations, public administration, and diplomacy. Some of the common economics degrees are B.Sc. Economics and B.A Economics.
There are several more reasons why you should study economics, which are:
- Demand for economics graduate professionals: In today’s time, graduates from the best economics schools have high demand in job markets. This is because they learn a variety of skills that will benefit companies. They also get paid better. A study conducted in 2016 revealed that economics graduates, on an average, earned €11,000 more than other professionals.
- Relationship between economics and the world: Economics is truly an omnipresent subject. Graduating from an economics university will give you a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the world. You will learn topics ranging from demand and supply to international trade.
- Option of dual-degrees or dual programmes: Since economics is omnipresent, it can be clubbed with other subjects to enrich or improve your learning experience. You can also do a dual-degree with economics as one of the primary subjects. Some of the subjects that you can study with economics in a dual-degree are law, business administration, international politics, journalism, and international relations.
- Real-life application: As mentioned earlier, economics has real-life applications especially with regards to instability of global markets. Several universities offer opportunities to apply your learning in real-life scenarios through internships.
- Analytical and reasoning skills: Analytical skills are extremely important in the field of economics because you have to analyse economic models, come up with solutions for problems, and interpret economic statistics, data, and evidence. Hence, by the time you graduate with an economics degree, you will have brilliant analytical skills.
- Writing skills: Since you have to create projects and economic models, and write assignments on a regular basis, your writing skills will develop greatly.
As now you know why the study of economics can be beneficial to you, it is also important to know some of the best economic universities in Europe. Some of the top-ranked institutes that offer an economics degree are London School of Economics (LSE), Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi (Italy), and Berlin School of Business and Innovation (BSBI).
Why study business?
Business refers to an economic system or an organisation where products, goods, and services are exchanged in lieu of money. The goal of every business is to be successful through earning revenue and profit.
Taking up a business major will test you academically from all directions. You will have to simultaneously focus on several areas such as leadership, mathematics, strategy, finance, accounting, presentations and law. If you decide on taking up a business major, you should know about the specialised fields of business degrees. Some of these specialised fields include entrepreneurship, marketing, international business, finance, human resources management and information systems management.
Internships are an essential part of business administration courses. It improves your leadership and research abilities, and opens up a world of business degree jobs for you.
The business world has changed today, and globalisation has become the norm. Cryptocurrency is giving normal currency a run for its money, apps on phones can do wonderful things and sushi burritos have become a thing. Whether you plan on entering the fields of finance, marketing, or even fashion, you should study business administration for the following reasons:
- Communication skills: Writing reports, assignments and presenting projects require excellent communication skills. Pursuing a business degree will hone your communication skills and help you perfect the ability of making your point in any situation.
- Critical thinking: A business administration degree will enhance your problem-solving skills and critical thinking. This would help you in tough situations such as fixing ‘faux pas’ made by your organisation, and in balancing budgets.
- Accounting skills: Organisations more often than not fail due to subpar financial planning and management. Studying accounting in your business degree will give you confidence to handle your firm’s finance and to increase its overall business.
- Entrepreneurial skills: If you harbour the dream of starting a business, doing a business administration degree is the best way to go about it. You will be taught how to successfully implement creativity, innovation, and execution strategies with regards to products and services.
- Research skills: In a business degree programme, you will be taught how to carry out in-depth research. These researching skills will be of great assistance to you when you set up your own organisation. It will also help you in gauging customer demands and requirements.
- Project management skills: While studying for your business degree, there will be times where you have to submit two assignments by the same deadline. This will hold you in good stead when you start working. It will help you manage and successfully complete the tasks at hand before the deadlines.
Should you study economics or business?
There are several factors that you can take into account while deciding if you should study economics or business. Take a look at these factors:
- Looking at details or the big picture: If you are interested in the big picture, study economics, as it will help you understand the whole economy. However, if you are more interested in smaller details, then studying business is the way forward for you.
- Theory or practical: If you take up economics, you will have to study and interpret data, which they apply to prove or disprove theories. On the other hand, in business administration, you will have to focus on practical issues that occur on a daily basis.
- Making a difference: As an economist, you quickly realise that the economic policies of a country are made by the government, to which all economic theories and models, regardless how beautiful and effective they might be, do not matter at all. This is a very frustrating drawback of studying economics. You have the solutions to the issues, but it is not that easy to implement them. At least in this case, grass is a little greener on the other side. Studying business administration offers you to make a tangible impression, however limited it might be.
- Skills for the real world: Both these courses will give you skills to prepare you for the workplace and real world. You might assume getting a business degree will automatically equip you with the skills for running a business. However, this does not hold true because these skills are only learned on the job.
Even though economics and business have certain key differences, both degrees end up leading to similar career options in the long-run. They might even be considered as interchangeable. If you have picked one of these degrees and are still uncertain about it, do not panic. Usually, these two degrees have similar classes or subjects in the first two years, so it would be easy for you to switch to the other subject.
Berlin School of Business and Innovation (BSBI) offers a BA in Economics and Business Administration. On completion of this three-year course, you will earn a European bachelor’s degree. This undergraduate course offered by BSBI is also taught on Università Telematica Internazionale UNINETTUNO’s e-learning platform.
BSBI focuses on helping graduates to become exceptional leaders in their chosen field. The courses at BSBI are designed with keeping three principles in mind—enterprise, leadership, and success. The courses use hands-on teaching methods, such as case studies, visits to exhibitions and businesses, guest speakers, and classroom discussions.