Let me tell you there is no formula or any books that I can refer to you for becoming a top class economist but there are some skills which you can definitely acquire over time. To become a successful economist one has to acquire all the process of learning for understanding of basic economics. Becoming an economist also puts a lot of responsibilities on one’s shoulders like watching for major trends and analysing them, deciding and identifying the factors which causes inflation, analysing the major side effects for a business closing down, and others.
So, are you ready for all of it? Let us move on further than, shall we?
Skills up through the ladder
There are a lot of qualities which come with becoming a successful economist and obviously some are more crucial than the others. For example, a good economist must understand how to build their own critical skills for extracting out information from various scientific papers and journals. This is exclusively one of the most important skills which are necessary to develop a career in economics.
First things first, economics is considered a social science subject according to an academic platform. Moreover, it helps to understand the behaviour of each individual, moving on to groups and finally organizations. But, don’t be misled with the name because economics is heavily based on mathematical skills as well. To be straight forward it helps in case you are good in maths, but if not, there is always room for improvement.
So, here in this post first you’ll get a brief idea about the tops ten skills which I feel are crucial for becoming a top class economist.
A glance at the top traits
- Knowledge is power:
No matter whatever is your strong subject but you have to gather knowledge about certain things which are crucial in economics. Mathematics is obviously the most important subject for economists but apart from tat also a lot of other subjects need to be focussed on like psychology, history, and even sociology. So, it is necessary to have a little idea about these subjects so that you do not face problems in the future.
Moreover, instead of spending time on studying the theories instead you must focus on the methods used in these subjects and that will help you to get a good grip in economics. Currently, with the technological advancement it has become a necessity to have prior knowledge about everything related to your subject if you want to stay ahead of the others. A little bit of history will help you to strike conversations instead of just inflation rates, right?
- Higher the mathematical aptitude higher is the demand:
Well, the thing is most of you are going to hate this but economics means mathematical skills are a necessity. Economists have to take preparatory maths classes if they are willing to stand out because that is a crucial aspect of being an economist.
Now, the thing is if your mathematical aptitude is good only then you can handle things like analysing graphs, handling large numerical data sets or dealing with statistical problems. So, remember that maths is the key skill when you plan to take up economics.
So, in any case if you feel that you can no way opt for maths then I am sorry but you have to quit your dream to become a top class economist.
- Zero dependence will make you shine:
When talking about economics a student has to be an independent thinker. Of course it is important to know others theories and beliefs but it is even more crucial to have your set of ideas and strategies because that is what is going to provide you an original research idea. Moreover, you also have to understand that unless you think out of the box or play the devil’s lawyer it won’t be engaging enough to draw attention during seminars or other competitions.
So, think big and think different with your own brains if you want to become a top class economist. Independent thinking is a basic quality which maximum students develop over time.
- Enhance your oratory skills:
Does it sound too complicated? Well, trust me it is not because all you got to do is develop your verbal communication skills so that you can gain some popularity. Obviously you must have knowledge about what you must say but having good oratory skills can really make you stand out during conferences or class viva. Moreover, good verbal skills can help you create more contacts and establish a network that will increase your efficiency over time.
Once you are confident about speaking in front of the audience, then it will take you one opportunity to be the star economist and trust me there will be no one stopping you from this. There is nothing worse than having a speaker whose ideas are mind blowing but speaking skills are awful because your speech is going to voice the opinion of all the people in the audience section.
- Be open to new ideas:
To be practical and honest, you must understand that for success in any academic field, you need to be open to newer beliefs and ideas. It becomes very difficult to gain prospect if you are too stuck at your own perspective, right? Of course your own ideas might be brilliant but being open-minded might help you explore newer dimensions. Try to argue with people productively so that you can give reasoning for your opinion.
Remember that each individual might have a different opinion and that doesn’t mean that they are wrong! Different people can be same at the same time when it comes to economics. The more debatable it becomes the more ideas you are going to encounter so do not run away from newer ideas or from competition for that sake. The more minds working on a topic the more ideas and opinions you will get to explore.
- Self-motivation is a key necessity:
To be honest there is always some or the other pressure which drives your work speed or the rate at which you study, right? But, what if I say you should completely quit such pressures? What if you have to do everything from scratch with a newer belief and inspiration? The new motivation is you. You have to be self-driven and work for yourself. Not for scoring good marks, or getting an A grade or impressing that new professor in school/college. You will have to do it just for yourself, remember that no one is going to stand by you if you do not stand for yourself.
- Work on your writing power:
In terms for becoming a good economist it is crucial to have good writing skills so that you can jot down analysis and other crucial thing necessary to finish a research or homework for that matter. You might think that working on the computer is much easier and why should you opt for manual labour but trust me good writing skills help a lot during research based work especially during college course works.
Focussing on the academic performance
The main focus area of economics lies in the analysis and description of various aspects like production, along with distribution, plus the consumption of rare levelled goods and services. Moreover, the subject economics is often considered as a social science subject because it related to and deals with the behaviour of individuals, groups as well as companies also. Economics is also quite a challenging subject for the students who haven’t studied it in high school but opt for it in the college courses. If you are a high school student and plan to opt for economics as a career then you must start as early as possible. With respect to academics economics has a few levels of perception. In this post you will get a clear idea about it.
Economics on the rocks
When it comes to become a top class economist you might have to be more patient and hard-working to achieve new heights. So, try to follow this mantra which I have learned quite the hard way.
- Always document your data resources when you are working on a spread sheet:
Sometimes it might happen that you get a certain data and write it down but then the next week when you want to update data and open your spread sheet you can’t remember where the previous data came from. Well, all you can do is Google it and search for it. Such a waste of time! Don’t you think so? Well, I can understand the feeling because this is exactly what happened to me while I was working on a paper a few years back and that is how I learned it the hard way. So, what you can do is save the URL as a bookmark or write it down below your spread sheet so that you don’t have to spend time in surfing it on the internet.
- Do not forget to save your raw data:
Maybe a particular set of data which you have downloaded needs to be re-arranged but you are not quite sure about the permutations and combinations. So, it is always best to save the raw data on a separate sheet and then work on a copy of it. This way if a certain strategy doesn’t work you can simply delete it and re-start the entire process from scratch.
- Use the excel formulas and forget about your loving calculator:
I know it might sound really difficult but trust me without using excel formulas your life is going to be a complete mess.
- Try to link stuff rather than directly copying it:
Look most of the time what I prefer to do is compare two company data simultaneously like say sales data and income data of an organisation. So, you must put it in two different sheets in order to avoid any kind of discrepancy, clear? Be extremely careful about the next step because you have to link the two sheets but in the same file so that you can compare the two together and analyse the data.
Well, these tips are going to take you quite high and improve your analysing power as well. Now, all you got to do is focus on the comprehension, application, and analysis. All these three aspects are crucial for understanding and excelling in economics. Obtaining knowledge can be quite easy and students can easily do it with the help of books or the GURU, internet. But, the tough part is putting this knowledge into application and that is where students often feel lost.
Well, there is no problem in that because you can always for online guidance from various platforms or economics forums. If nothing works you can ask for help from your professors as well as your friends, classmates or colleagues. Application means using the formulas and the knowledge in real life problems. Obviously this will lead to obtaining their solutions.
For example if a real life situation is provided like a decrease in electronic product prices cause an increase in the number or quantity of product sold. Which law of economics does this situation apply to?
Of course ‘law of demand and supply’. So, that is what students have to figure out and relate the law to a real-life incident. I hope I am being clear to the readers because just knowing the laws will take you nowhere unless you learn how to apply it!
Moreover, one must keep in mind that in high school as well college around 40% test questions are always based on application off the knowledge that they have perceived so far. Well, I hope you are finally ready to take the world by storm and become the top class economist that you have always dreamt of.
Best of luck, my shining aspiring economists!
Nancie L Beckett is one of the most reputed economics professors and has been guiding students for more than six years now. She is very friendly and has unique hacks up her sleeves. Her students always look up to her for expert tips in economics. She is also quite a popular blogger and has been working with a lot of renowned companies as well. Her expertise lies in demand and supple, microeconomics, circular flow of income, and consumer equilibrium techniques.