Economy is the method by which we prepare today to afford the improvements of tomorrow.Calvin Coolidge 

Economy is a social science that comprises of the production and distribution of goods and services in the society. Economists are social scientists who study economics. They analyze phenomena like production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.

Economists work in a diverse range of fields such as business, finance, education, healthcare, law etc. It is a profession that will always be in need as people will never stop consuming and producing goods and services.

What do Economists do?

Economists are social scientists who study the distribution of wealth within a society or a geographical area. They study the aspects of ‘Demand’ and ‘Supply’ in a society. Some Economists do not confine their studies to geographical boundaries and study the economy of the whole world as a single entity.

The main job of an Economist is to study data and statistics and spot trends in economic activity. Economists have to collect data and analyze statistics. They have to be able to derive inferences from this set of data and statistics about the Economy as a whole. They analyze data using tools like statistical analysis, computer software etc.

Economists use their analysis and data to forecast the future Economic conditions of a region. They predict growth or decline in the economy and suggest actions to prepare for the future.

Having to deal with a complex concept, the Economists drill down into their subject at various levels to constantly keep researching. Economists constantly research, formulate theories and write reports to keep track of their areas of interest.

Economists help Government and private sector companies in formulating policies and making decisions. Economists predict the future effects of a policy and quantify the benefits to the company and its customers or state and its people.

In the private sector, Economists also help companies fix the selling price of products. This is extremely vital because the existence of a company can be affected if its products are not priced appropriately. Therefore, Economists help companies decide on a price that will maximize their profits without decreasing their total sales.

Economists often deal with constraints. They constantly find ways to make the optimum use of resources. They have to come up with ways to use a limited amount of resources to gain maximum benefits. These resources could be natural resources, capital, staff, machinery etc.

How to become an Economist?

Economics is a vast field that provides opportunities in different industries. Even though there is no necessary requirement to become an Economist, most people will not hire an Economist who has no formal education in the field of Economics.

To get into this profession, the first step you should take is to start concentrating on subjects like Economics and Math. You can choose any stream after your 10th, but make sure you choose Economics as a subject. You can choose Economics as an extra subject if you choose Science. If you’re pursuing Arts, you should choose Math as an additional subject. It is to be kept in mind that Arts with Economics and Math is the most ideal combination for an Undergraduate degree in Economics.

Once you complete your schooling, you should pursue an undergraduate course in Economics. There are numerous institutions in India that offer great courses for undergraduates in Economics.

You can get jobs as an assistant economist or researcher after your graduation. But if you want to grow higher in your profession, you should pursue a Master’s degree in Economics from a reputed institution.

After your Master’s you can choose to start working or study further and do a PhD in Economics. A PhD will not only ensure that you get the best jobs with highest salaries, but also train you in economic research.

Another way of becoming an Economist is to start assisting an Economist after your graduation. Like this, you’ll be able to gain vital industry experience and learn on the job. But this sort of a career route is not secure and relies heavily on networking and individual merit.

To become an Economist, it is absolutely essential to have a strong base in economics as well as be aware of the current changes that are taking place in the economic world.  You should read as much as possible, and know about the different schools of thought related to economics.

Networking is absolutely essential in the economic world. To become an Economist, you should be able to gain the respect of your colleagues and peers. They will only accept your views once they respect you. It is important to know the right people and discuss your views with them. Attending seminars and conferences as well as publishing your research in popular economic journals are good ways to network.


There are many reputed institutions that offer great courses in Economics. Loyola College, Chennai and the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi are two of the best institutions that offer a B.A (Hons.) in Economics. Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, has one of the best Bachelor’s courses in Economics but is an only - women college. Delhi School of Economics and the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi are reputed institutes who offer a M.A in Economics.

What are the skills required to become an Economist?

Economists are highly analytical people, who don’t see numbers for their face value, but rather for what they represent. Economists need to have high interpretational and analytical skills, as they mostly have to deal with data and statistics as the basis of their research. Economists need to be confident as they have to predict and persuade others on their view about future economic conditions. No one will believe in your theories if you do not have confidence in them. They need to have great communication skills, both oral and written. They need to be good with computers and need to be efficient in their calculations and predictions. Economists should be able to focus on details and individuals as well as be able to see the bigger picture. Economists should possess a thorough knowledge of economic policies, theories and should be willing to learn and accept new concepts and schools of thought. Most of all, Economists should be curious about the world and how its economic units function. They should want to know more and more about the economic side of the world and what are the causes and effects of one’s economic decisions.

Is this the right career for me?

The life of an Economist is filled with constant learning and researching. Economists have to continuously meet deadlines and submit reports within these deadlines. They have to deal with a lot of pressure, as many important decisions rest on their shoulders. It is not a job where you will have moment to moment and daily targets but you would still have to work hard and constantly strive to achieve perfection.

So, if you genuinely have the desire to study about the way the economics of this world work, and if you’re comfortable with being associated with academics and research for the rest of your life, then this might be the right job for you.

careers with arts, Careers in research

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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.