Reasons to study economics

27 October 2021
An Aberdeen student in a library

With excellent career prospects, high potential salaries, and plenty of other benefits, it’s no surprise that international students choose to study economics at university. But what is economics, and what are the main reasons to study it?

What is economics?

Economics, while often focusing on finance, is a broad field that looks at resources, such as money or natural resources like oil, and studies how we use them.

An economist uses historical trends and detailed forecasting data to study human behaviour and analyses the potential reasons for it. This information is very useful to both private organisations and public sector entities, such as national governments.

The industry itself covers a wide range of disciplines, and so is often broken down into microeconomics—which focuses on an individual’s behaviours—and macroeconomics—where a whole economy is studied.

Why study economics?

1. All-encompassing

Economics affects our daily lives. Tax, inflation, interest rates, the labour market, wages, and more are all a part of economics. A degree in the subject is a fantastic way to better understand these important issues—this knowledge will be useful in your career, and in your personal life, too.

2. High salaries

Graduate economist salaries start high, and there is plenty of upward movement once you gain more experience.

According to the Complete University Guide 2021, economics graduates are among the highest paid in the country, with an average starting salary of £29,700. Of course, over time this will increase as you gain more experience. The average salary for a UK economist is just over £46,000 but more senior roles can exceed £75,000 (Glassdoor, 2021).

3. Strong job prospects

Not only is an economist usually well-paid, but they’re also sought after by many businesses. By studying economics, you will gain a thorough understanding of modern-day economic theories and models and soon be able to show employers you’re ready for a lucrative career as an economist.

While you may choose to become an economist, there are plenty of other job roles that would welcome an economics graduate, such as a banker, data analyst, or accountant.

4. Transferable skills

Gaining transferable skills is an important part of your university studies and can really boost your employability. A degree in economics will see you developing plenty of skills that any employer will find important:

  • Problem solving
  • Analytical thinking
  • Research
  • Spoken and written communication
  • Presentation
  • Mathematics

5. Combine with other subjects

As the field is so broad, and with it widely impacting our lives, it makes sense that universities often offer economics combined with other subjects to create a Joint Honours degree. For example, at the University of Aberdeen there are lots of options, including:

  • Economics and Computing
  • Economics and Finance
  • Economics and Geography
  • Economics and History
  • Economics and Mathematics

So, wherever your interests lie, the University of Aberdeen can accommodate you and your goals.

A Joint Honours degree has plenty of benefits too, including:

  • It will have a wider scope than a Single Honours degree, meaning you will have the chance to learn two subjects in-depth — something employers will appreciate
  • You will be able to use your learnings from each subject, improving your academic work and giving you a more well-rounded understanding of economics
  • Studying two subjects allows you to discover which field you prefer, which may help deciding on your career aims.

Students outside in Aberdeen

Why study in Scotland

The UK, which Scotland is a part of, is famous around the world for its world-class higher education system and impressive graduate outcomes. An economics degree from a Scottish university, like the University of Aberdeen, is a great way to gain useful subject knowledge and key skills that employers are looking for.

The University is ranked 20th in the UK by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Aberdeen’s prestige is recognised globally, and is one of the seven "ancient universities" in the UK, as the University’s first college was built in 1495. Aberdeen’s campus combines historic and modern to create an engaging study space.

How to study economics in Scotland

At the University of Aberdeen International Study Centre, we prepare international students to study their undergraduate degree at the University.

During your pathway programme, you will boost your English language levels and academic skills to the level needed for success at the University of Aberdeen. You will have the opportunity to adjust to life in the UK as part of a friendly, international community, aided by expert teachers and staff.

The three-term Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business, Economics, Accounting & Real Estate will put you on the path to studying your undergraduate economics degree at the University of Aberdeen. Equivalent to the first year of a four-year Scottish degree, this programme will equip you with knowledge of key economic principles and useful mathematics skills.

To start your journey towards an economics career, apply to the University of Aberdeen International Study Centre with our easy-to-use application form today.