|FROM MACRO TO MICRO: Business economics prepares you for a wide range of managerial roles
It pays to be well acquainted with economics, thanks to rapid globalisation and India's booming economy. Hence, pursuing a course in business economics could prove to be very profitable in the long run. It is essentially a quantitative programme of study in applied economics with a strong business focus. This field of study combines a thorough grounding in theory with an application to real-world situations. Hence, business economics provides you with the necessary analytical tools and information to address the current economic issues.
As a business economics graduate one is well-equipped for a wide range of management roles. This programme is appropriate for jobs requiring economic knowledge and market skills useful for macroeconomic forecasting, market analysis, pricing strategy, portfolio analysis and other related sub fields.
What do I have to do'
Business economics deals with the analysis of the behaviour of firms. It also deals with the determination of costs and prices by the markets.
Business economists are asked to predict the economy and the financial markets. To do that they take into account market information and forecast variables like the GDP, rate of inflation, interest rates and the exchange rates. These are then forwarded to the management for business decisions.
The areas of expertise that one could specialise in while pursuing business economics would be fields like market analysis and segmentation, custom sales, forecasting, custom market monitoring, consumer analysis, economic impact and policy simulation studies.
After a few years of experience, they come to possess a unique ability to integrate independent and futuristic information about the external business environment into a company's concrete strategic plan.
Thus they are essentially employed for turning around a company or for boosting the growth of any venture or reviving the fortunes of an ailing company.
What should I study'
To pursue a postgraduate degree in business economics, one has to be a graduate in economics, econometrics, mathematics or statistics with business economics or managerial economics as one of the subjects at the undergraduate level.
The programme is designed to provide students with advanced theoretical and applied economics knowledge in the principles of microeconomics, an understanding of macroeconomic theory and policy; an application of the nature of business and its role within the private enterprise system.
It builds up the ability to use economic principles to analyse decision making and makes you familiar with recent developments in economic approaches to business strategies. And it makes the students proficient in a range of transferable skills in task-planning communication, research, information analysis and interpretation.
Undertaking a course in business economics opens up opportunities in government agencies, business firms, NGOs, and academic institutions.
You can also seek employment as managers and administrators in areas like market research, operations research, advertising, sales and personnel. Newspapers also provide economics graduates with opportunities to comment and write on economic and business events.
The Institute of Applied Manpower Research, New Delhi, Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi, National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi, and Indian Council of Social Science Research also offer employment.
Financial institutions like the Reserve Bank of India, Asian Development Bank, private and foreign banks, insurance companies and mutual fund investment firms also offer good openings . You can also sit for the Indian Economic Service Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Various international organisations like the World Bank or the International Labour Organisation also offer job opportunities to professional economists.
Where to study
• Department of Business Economics, University of Delhi,
• Department of Business Economics, MS University, Baroda
• Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur
• Department of Applied Economics, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin
• Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar