Why study Economics?
Economics is a fascinating subject because it is always topical. We use theories to help analyse the causes and consequences of economic events, such as the global financial crisis that affect all our lives in various ways. A good example is pay and living standards, which have declined for most people living in Britain. Thirty years ago graduates were snapped up by employers who paid them generous starting salaries. Today, many graduates have to work as unpaid interns for a year or two before they are hired. What caused this situation to change? Over the same time period living standards in countries such as South Korea and China have soared. What makes some countries richer than others? Can governments do anything to help, or would it be best for politicians to leave alone?
Economists are also interested in what goes on in the various markets that make up the economy. The housing market is rarely out of the news – prices have more than doubled since you were born. What causes dramatic price changes like that? In 2015 Aldi and Waitrose opened new stores in Guildford. On the other hand Tesco is struggling and planning to close stores. Economic theory can help you to understand why some firms are more profitable than others. Sometimes firms can be tempted to put their profits before the environment. Should government try to stop this by imposing taxes on firms that pollute?
The gap between rich and poor continues to grow. Why do some people earn more than others – why are city lawyers better paid than doctors? Does inequality matter? Should the state top up the wages of the low paid with tax credits?
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Economics is a very analytical subject. Studying Economics will help you to develop problem-solving skills. You will learn to think critically. Critical thinking is the skill used to evaluate big questions, such as: Should the UK leave the European Union?
Balance your subjects – Economics is a wonderful social science mix of words (mainly), diagrams and numbers and NO you don’t need much Mathematics to cope, though you probably will for top university courses later. You’ll use all the skills of your GCSE subjects, so don’t worry about it being new. We get lots of A*and A grades.