The right choice | Should a business student choose B.Com (Hons) or BA (Hons) Economics? The expert explains

The Right Choice’ is a series by The Indian Express that tackles common questions, misconceptions and doubts surrounding undergraduate admissions. You can read the stories here.

Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) (B.Com Honours) or Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics (BA Honours. Economics)? This dilemma confronts many business students in Class 12 when choosing a course for their undergraduate degree. The general perception is that B.Com Hons. is a general accounting degree, while the BA Hons. Economics is a more specialized program. Both offer varied career options. But how can a student decide which of the two courses will work for him? Here is an overview of the differences between the courses, the respective career paths they offer and how you can make a choice

Difference Between B.Com (Hons) and BA (Hons) Economics

B.Com (Hons) focuses on accounting and finance, with some modules giving additional knowledge in economics, law and management.

Some new era BCom Honors programs such as BCom in Information Technology offered at Madras University, Gauhati University and Sikkim Manipal University have more emphasis on new technologies, global trade, applied finance and critical thinking.

BA (Hons) Economics, on the other hand, is concerned with the tools and techniques needed to think empirically, theoretically and conceptually about the range of applications of the discipline of economics in the real world. Some new age programs like BSc in Economics offered at Symbiosis School of Economics, Lovely Professional University, University of Ahmedabad expose students to the real world in the form of capstone projects or live projects.

Explaining the fundamental difference, Dean of Jindal School of Banking and Finance, OP Jindal Global University, Dr. Ashish Bharadwaj said, “While the business degree is more industry-focused and specialized in certain functional areas, a versatile economics degree gives one a deep understanding of the quantitative tools needed to deconstruct the world,

Another differentiating factor is that while a B.Com (Hons) student studies economics as part of the curriculum, an economics student may not always take finance courses.

“Economics at the undergraduate level offers zero to few scope of learning topics beyond the discipline of economics. Business education touches on multiple subjects across all disciplines of law, economics, business and management in the core course portfolio,” Bharadwaj explained.

Future prospects

Business graduate students can be Chartered Accountants, Financial Advisors, Financial Analysts, Budget Analysts, Investment Analysts, Associate Business Advisors, Financial Planners, Investment Bankers, Accountants, Auditors , tax advisors, hedge fund managers, private equity specialists, financial analysts, chartered accountants, corporate lawyers, among others. One of the options for an economics graduate is teaching and research. Since the subject is conceptual, it offers the opportunity to specialize in a branch of the discipline such as agricultural economics, commercial economics, labor economics, etc.

Additionally, they can become an in-house economist, data analyst, investment analyst, investment banker, insurance actuary, and forecaster, while exploring advisory roles in public and private sector organizations.

Speaking of degree opportunities, Bharadwaj said: “Quantitative skills in economics and finance – acquired through pure mathematics, modelling, forecasting, programming skills or data analysis – will increasingly most in demand for the foreseeable future…in academia, policy making, the corporate world, consultancies, non-profits and intergovernmental organizations,

How to make the final choice?

According to experts, students choosing any degree should have clarity on the following four points: the learning outcomes of the program, the overall objectives of the degree, the ability of the program to prepare the student for the future and finally, the quality of the faculty teaching the course.

Explaining that “curriculum readiness should be determined based on current and future labor market needs,” Bharadwaj said it was important to discuss the suitability of a discipline with those who teach it or hire its graduates for jobs. .

“Students must correlate course learning outcomes with their academic interests. Students need to map the goals of the curriculum with their inherent attributes,” Bharadwaj added.

Norma A. Roth