Deciding which university undergraduate course to study and the application process can be an overwhelming time, it can be tricky finding which university and bachelor degree is the best one for you.
Luckily, if you are a year 12 student who is interested in pursuing a profession in economics, this article will give you some helpful tips and hints about how to choose which undergraduate university degree to apply for.
What can I do with an Economics Degree?
Firstly, it's good to know that a bachelor degree in economics is an undergraduate course that can take you in a number of directions. In Australia, degrees associated with business, finance and management are currently in high demand.
Some of the sought-after skills you'll acquire will be:
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Highly developed numerical understanding
- Great approach to problem-solving
- Analytical skills
As an economic student you will become confident in your abilities with all of these skills, which are highly valued across a number of professional settings, and definitely valued by business management and employers!
Given that you will gain a variety of versatile and diverse skills, economics is a good choice for an undergraduate degree at a university in Australia.
If you're looking for a degree that has excellent job outcomes, then an economics course is one of the best options!
University students who graduate with an Economics degree will have a decent chance of finding a well-paid position in a number of different business sectors, there's also nothing stopping you from trying out a few different career paths.
One of the benefits of choosing to study an undergraduate course like Economics in Australia is that you won't be tied to just one career path after your university study.
Your employment opportunities won't be limited to one occupation, here's just some of the roles you can explore:
- Financial Consultant
- Financial Planner
- Data Analyst
- Business Finance Advisor
If you are interested in pursuing a career in something such as marketing or journalism, you will still have the ability to find employment in these sectors, having an educational background in economics won't limit you to roles related to finance or accountancy.
During your Economics degree, it can be helpful to access career advice from your university, speaking to someone like a careers advisor is a great way to figure out which elective subjects are the most relevant to you and your future career aspirations.
The Best Australian Universities to Study Economics
Australia is a fabulous place to choose to pursue university study, there are a number of highly esteemed universities across the country which offer excellent education. We're going to take a quick look now at some of the economics courses you can apply for here in Australia.
Depending on where you're living right now, you could be considering moving interstate to a new city to study. Every Australian state and territory has a well-regarded university, so you have plenty of options to choose from!
You may want to study economics at one Australia's top ranked universities, then there are a number of institutions you can choose from.
For example, you could be looking to apply at the top two universities for economics in Australia, University of Melbourne and Australian National University.
Each of these courses are delivered slightly different:
- University of Melbourne: offers economics as a major in their Bachelor of Commerce Bachelor of Arts degrees
- Australian National University: offers a Bachelor of Economics followed by an Honours Degree in Economics
These two different approaches to economic study at university can help you consider whether you're interested in studying solely economics or studying economics within a combined degree.
As we mentioned before, if you have an interest in other areas such as journalism a combined degree could be perfect for you!
Neither of these universities may be the right fit for you, and that's o-k. Luckily there are a number of other universities in Australia to choose from.
Another important point to remember is that if you are a year 12 student, it isn't the end of the world if you don't get your dream ATAR.
There are other ways you can get into your dream course if you aren't successful the first time around, you can apply for an alternative course in a similar area and talk with your university counsellor to see if you are able to transfer at a later date into your desired course.
If you begin studying in a similar subject area, you may even have the opportunity to transfer some of your credit points for some of the subjects you have already completed.
Other universities which offer well-regarded economics degrees in Australia are:
- The University of Sydney
- University of Tasmania
- Monash University
- The University of New South Wales
The majority of economics degrees in Australia have prerequisites and entry requirements to consider before you apply, if you're looking at one of the top universities you will need to aim for an ATAR score of approximately 85 and higher, depending on which course you want to do.
As we mentioned before, there are other ways you can get into your desired degree if you don't get your dream ATAR score, however, if you want some extra support to increase your academic performance and chance of getting the score you want, tutoring can be a great option!
You can find tutors for VCE, HSC, WACE and more here with us at Superprof across a number of different subjects such as:
- Business Studies
- Further Maths
- Maths Methods
- Legal Studies
- Global Politics
Finding a tutor specific to which subject you want some extra learning support will allow your tutoring lessons to be tailored to your specific needs. Working with a tutor can help boost your confidence and have you feeling your best when it comes to exam time.
Do I Need to Study Maths for an Economics Degree?
When exploring which university degree courses you are the most interested in it is important to take note of which courses have specific prerequisites and requirements before you think about applying.
If maths isn't your strong suit, make sure to choose an economics course that has a more social science lens to it rather than heavy maths or business-related degrees.
Keep this in mind if you:
- Have not completed a year 12 level maths subject
- Aren't confident in your maths ability and would rather have a less maths-focused course
There are a number of economics courses here in Australia that require either a high ATAR score if you're looking at the top universities, as well as both year 12 English and Maths.
An example of this is that ANU, the University of Melbourne and Monash University all require evidence of maths knowledge or a completed year 12 equivalent subject.
If you are interested in a fewer maths heavy course, then as we've mentioned before you can pursue a bachelor degree of Arts with a major in economics. Other universities also offer combined degrees alongside other disciplines such as Law, Philosophy and Politics.
This is good to keep in mind if you know you would prefer to spend less time looking at numbers and equations.
You can always have the option to choose a fewer maths focused undergraduate degree, and then pursue further study which focuses more on numbers, statistics and data.
During your undergraduate degree you can give yourself some time to familiarise yourself with what numerical skills you need if you want to pursue a career that requires mathematical knowledge; i.e. Accounting.
Every course will be different, so make sure to do your own research and see what sort of electives and core subjects you'll be expected to complete.
Many economic theories are rooted in mathematical concepts, both macroeconomics and microeconomics will require some level of mathematical or quantitative reasoning.
Even though you can study economics at university without having completed year 12 maths, remember that any economics degree will have some sort of maths and financial related concepts.
You may want to consider working with a maths tutor here with us at Superprof to help improve your confidence and leave you feeling ready to tackle any economic theory thrown at you at university.
A maths tutor or economics tutor can help prepare you for your undergraduate university degree and learn about which skills you'll need to do well.
Here at Superprof, we've got a great range of both maths and economics tutors, you can find a tutor wherever you are in Australia by using your location in your search.
Remember that if you can't find any tutors in your area, make sure to check out economics tutors who offer lessons online!
Economics Teaching and Calls for Greater Diversity
In recent years there has been an increase in demand from economic students for a wider scope of teaching resources used in universities. It has been argued that economic courses, not only in Australia but worldwide, are not diverse in their delivery of educational resources.
These criticisms go on to detail that the focus on the neoclassical school of economic theory is detrimental to other schools of economic theory such as Marxist and post-Keynesian economics.
For this reason, some students may feel the educational perspective in universities is limited to one corner of economic thinking.
It is unclear when structural changes to economics degrees are going to happen, but if you are a student interested in other theories of economics an Arts degree with a major in economics could be a good way to explore alternative histories and theories other than neoliberalism and capitalism.
Something else which has been critiqued by past and current Economics students is the lack of economic history units.
It is important to have some knowledge about some of these key economic history events:
- The 2008 Global Financial Crisis
- The Industrial Revolution
- The Great Depression
- The Bretton Woods System
It is currently uncertain when a structural change will occur in economics degrees. However, if you pursue an Arts degree or International Studies degree with a Major in Economics in Australia you are more likely to have at least one economic history unit.
As an Economics student, it can be helpful to make sure you do some of your own research in your own time to learn about the global economy and get a full picture of how Economics works around the world.
During your search for the right course for you, you'll probably notice that the majority of economics undergraduate degrees have similar core subjects which can include units such as:
- Data Analysis
- Financial Management
These subjects can be considered the building blocks of Economics, why not invest your time into your education by finding an Economics tutor here with us at Superprof to help you study while you're at university or preparing for your year 12 exams.
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