If you are preparing to sit your GCSEs or A-Levels in Economics, or whether you are already enrolled in any of the three Economics programmes at the University of Manchester, you are most likely already aware that there is more than one type of degree to strive for in this underrated field.
For those of you who are flirting with the idea of becoming an economist but are not yet sure which area to specialise in, let us give you a breakdown.
In the discipline loosely termed economics, you may focus your studies on theory and application of economic principles, or more on the mathematical and statistical side of things.
If the former path appeals to you, your undergraduate studies would be more geared to social sciences; the study of:
- sociology – how societies function
- human geography: the distribution and diaspora of a people
- history deals mainly with the rise and fall of societies, and significant events
- political science covers political activities, thoughts and behaviours
- public health as an indicator of overall social wellness
- economy: the distribution and use of wealth and money in a society, and between societies
Can you see how each subject listed above has an impact on the overall theme of economics?
Please do not construe this breakdown of a Bachelor of Arts in Economics as a way to avoid ponderous math studies: in your curriculum, advanced math and calculus will feature prominently, only to a slightly lesser extent than its sister-degree.
Should you prefer the elegance of formulae and appreciate the logic of functions, you might steer towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.
To graduate with distinction, you would need strong analytical reasoning capabilities, as well as a thorough understanding of quantitative research techniques – the ability to focus on objective measurements, put them into context and draw conclusions from the results.
Have you heard about these two economists in India? They used a satellite picture of their country at night to discern patterns of income and wealth disparity within their country.
Let us put our critical thinking skills to use and guess what type of Economics degree they have...
Should you pursue a BSEcon – a Bachelor of Science in Economics, you may find yourself on the receiving end of intensive study in higher math as well as statistical analysis.
Does the work toward an economics degree begin and end in math? Not at all!
Every economics student must also be a writer of merit – nobody will publish a wordy, poorly organised paper that shies away from crisp, clear conclusions.
And, there is substantial reading involved in the study and practice of economics.
In fact, some students report zoning out in the middle of a lengthy paper or other required reading for their classes!
This breakdown of an Economics curriculum begs the question: what type of tutor does an Economics student need?
Let Superprof guide you to an answer...find an Economics tutor near me here.
Tutoring in Economics
Admittedly, economics is not the most glamorous of subjects to major in; fewer than 60 films have been even loosely associated with the subject.
Most of them deal more with finance, and roughly half are documentaries.
Compare that statistic with films made about, say, archaeology: Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and The Mummy are just three franchises that come to mind.
Such a comparison indeed drives the point home that economics is nowhere near as renown or sexy as other social science disciplines.
However, it certainly underscores the fact that, just as an archaeology student does not need an archaeologist to tutor him, so an economics student should not necessarily hang all hopes up on an Economics tutor.
Those would have to be slim hopes indeed!
According to University Tutor, there are only 19 tutors in the Manchester metropolitan area that can expound on economic principles, and several of them have never tutored anyone before.
Not that a lack of teaching experience is necessarily a bad thing. The biggest concern would be a lack of verifiable credentials.
By contrast, Superprof has 9 Economics tutors whose veracity have all been proven, who will contact you in a matter of hours after you reach out to them, and whose price per hour averages out to £16.
As an added incentive, every one of them gives their first hour of lessons free!
Whether for the in-depth understanding of econometrics or microeconomics, these tutors will come to your home or meet you wherever it would be mutually convenient, or they would instruct you via webcam.
We'll talk more about online tutoring in a moment...
If not a Superprof tutor, what we would recommend, Dear Student, is that you find a tutor specialising in your area of concern: mathematics, or essay writing, for example.
You'll note that it is substantially easier to find a math tutor or a tutor for general academic tutoring than it is to find anyone on the tutor market who is well-versed in macroeconomics or statistics.
In fact, Superprof has a private tutor for you, from homework help all the way to exam preparation!
Find an online tutor for Economics here.
Finding an Online Tutor
Such mentoring might not be as unpalatable as you might first think.
Whereas some students prefer building a bond with their extracurricular teacher, others enjoy the separation of academics and what they perceive as their time devoted to traditional studying, with their tutor coaching them remotely.
In these digital times, tutoring services online are making the most of web-based materials to further their students' learning.
And what a load of information is available online!
The Khan Academy
This is an American learning platform that hosts 'courses' in all manner of maths including algebra, as well as economics and finance.
The way it works: select your field of study, and then drill down to the specific area of knowledge you need guidance in.
Watch the YouTube videos associated with that chapter, and then take the exams. You finish with a report on how well you have understood the material and recommendations for supplemental instruction.
Beware that all videos are narrated in American English: tune your ear and watch for terminology you might not be familiar with!
Massive open online courses might be another avenue to pursue when seeking extracurricular knowledge.
If you are a student at Manchester University – or if you plan on enroling there once you complete your scheduled A-Levels, you may benefit from signing up for such a course, related to Economics.
You might have to get a bit clever; their current MOOC listings do not scream: Economics students, select this one!
If you are interested in developmental economics, you may select the Global Health and Humanitarianism MOOC, for example.
Far be it for anyone to suggest you should add to your course load, especially when attending university is so costly and time-consuming, to begin with!
Most MOOCs last between 6 and 8 weeks, and are free! Another great point to consider in signing up for these courses: you will have the opportunity for discussion and debate with like-minded people.
And that, Oh Student of the Econ, is invaluable to you!
Especially if you need help in anything from choosing a speciality to honing your thoughts, you could not do better than adding your voice and sharing your ideas.
Unlike Khan Academy, where you mostly fly solo, MOOCs encourage you to actively discourse.
What if you don't want to be one voice among many?
Check for A level economics tutor here.
Tutoring Within the Department of Economics
This segment mostly applies to university students of Economics. If you are struggling with GCSE or A-Level test prep, you may still find value in these suggestions.
1. Ask Your Teacher
It is quite possible that your math teacher would know of an alumnus or retired teacher who has his/her own tutoring business and is seeking students for one on one tutoring.
Should writing be your concern, ask your English teacher for a referral!
2. Ask the Administrative Staff
Perhaps the Department of Economics keeps a list of qualified tutors to recommend. If not, you might check out their bulletin board; most likely they permit graduate students to post private tutoring adverts.
Note: the campus library, cafeteria and bookstore might have such adverts, as well!
3. Check in with the Student Union
This office could be a goldmine of information for the undergraduate Economics student!
You may find an actual tutoring centre – for any subject, or you could find students keen on math tutoring.
If nothing else, perhaps you could get an Economics discussion group started.
Maybe no one will ever design a video game revolving around economics, and it is almost a certainty that no slinky Lara Croft-type film franchise will ever be made about how money makes the world go 'round.
On the other hand, your qualifications and observations as an economist may help balance global income disparity or improve the environmental economics in poverty-stricken regions, and for that, we commend you.
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