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How is M.Sc. Economics at BITS?
What are positives and negatives of M.Sc. Economics?
Economics is one of the most exciting branches among those offered by BITS Pilani. And no, we don’t mug the objectives of various 5-year plans. What we learn here is not like the kind of economics that most of us have had at school. It introduces to you and builds on a way of thinking. It analyzes human behavior and provides a framework for making various theories (like the theory of Diminishing Marginal Utility) and testing those theories using statistical tools.
Here is a trivial example of the economic way of thinking:
Why are we charged exorbitantly for popcorn and other snacks at cinema hall? Is it because it costs him a lot to make them? Or is it because we are ready to pay so much because we tend to spend more while on a leisure trip? The answer is, both. Movie-goers have nowhere else to go to get snacks during the interval. Since they came to the movie for relaxation and they need snacks, they wouldn’t care paying more given they have no other choice. And because the Snack Shop owner tends to make a lot of profit from this advantage, the owner of the cinema hall charges a huge sum as rent from him thereby increasing the cost of making the snacks as well.
Once introduced to such way of thinking, you tend to observe every human activity and analyze the cause-effect relationships involved. That is, you become an Undercover Economist. The subject is more of humanities than a science because everything depends on human behavior. And human behavior never follows a fixed set of laws like in science.
- It is fresh air after two years of being grilled by Math, Physics and Chemistry.
- You can relate to and understand the various concepts from your real life.
- Will give strong fundamentals for those who intend to go into Management (MBA) or Civil Services.
- Just the Economics branch can land you into a job in finance, analytics etc.
- You become a more informed citizen. :p
Honestly, there are no negatives. The most I could come up with is that there will be rigorous statistics and probability. So you have to be at least be just decent in probability.
What you will learn in M.Sc. Economics, and what are the nearest JEE topics to them?
There are no near JEE topics. There are no near school topics as well. But you needn’t worry as it is not a very difficult subject to understand. You will be taught everything from the very base as if you know nothing in the subject.
You will be learning two related branches: Economics and Finance.
- Economics: Which deals with the analysis of the human wants, their fulfillment, economic development or countries etc.
- Finance: Which deals with investments, accounting, working of banks, stock markets, insurance companies etc.
You will have basic courses in both these fields. Then, based on your interest, you can choose electives in either or both of them. Usually, those who go for Economics electives are research oriented while those who go for Finance electives may be research oriented as well as job oriented
What are good dual options with M.Sc. Economics and why?
All the BE branches complement with Economics. Once when you land in a job in a company, you have to have basic knowledge of the working of finances because you have to work to increase the profits. In this way, economics helps in filling in the gap that most other graduates might have to fill by taking a while to understand.
On the other hand, if you want to go into research in Economics, then an Economics+CS dual is a good option. Because, in economics, one has to deal with a lot of data. And computational tools like Machine Learning come very much in handy.
What is the scope of M.Sc. Economics in future?
Plenty. Competent economists and finance managers are always in demand. Here are a few of the many kinds of jobs that you are well to take up as an economist:
- Investment Banking
- Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund managing
- Banking and Reinsurance
- Economist at World Bank/IMF
- Economic Advisor to Indian government or other countries’ governments
- Governor of Reserve Bank of India :p