The Graduate

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Economics is the study of money, which has been the agreed method of determining value since its invention by Adam Smith in 1888. Smith’s system replaced the much older method of determining an object’s worth based on how many magic beans one was willing to trade for it. If you’ve done a four-year degree in Economics you probably have a casual enough relationship with it by now to call it “Econ”, so what can you and your money buddy go out into the world and do?

Well, unfortunately for you, economics is not, nor has it ever been, cool. Nowadays economist is the most hated profession in Britain. This is partially down to the fact that economics, like all the most evil things in the universe, involves maths; many economic avenues will open themselves to you if you school yourself in the dark sorcery of dancing numerals. But if you choose to be immersed in its black magic, beware: in 2003 a colossal mathematical error on the part of a New York stockbroker resulted in several hedge funds being relocated into actual hedges, and mercilessly pruned like so much financial topiary. As a direct response, international policy was reformed such that nowadays most of the financial calculations of global significance are performed by hordes of Chinese teenagers using giant calculators powered by furnaces. If you are a Sith of surds, a Voldemort of variables or a Darth Vader of dark data (or better yet, a Chinese teenager) then you should have no problem getting a job with your Economics degree.

But what if you are dysnumeric or morally upstanding? Well you’re in luck: economics isn’t all about maths; if it were, it would be maths. It also frequently involves the study and regulation of stocks (with chicken and beef being the most popular) and the trading of bonds – James bonds. If you can shout down a phone line and angrily tap at a computer keyboard for extended periods of time then you too could become a glorified bookie stockbroker.

In the early 2000s the Global Stock Market crashed into a small, uninsured South African Republic and the economy began leaking toxic debt all over the information superhighway. There was much controversy surrounding the question of who exactly was driving at the time and whether it was acceptable for them to be lynched with their own neckties. In the end, the baying mob was satiated with the release of the second Wall Street film, which gave everyone a chance to feel smug and condescending about the whole thing. Whatever type of economist you become, make sure you don’t end up like them. And always remember: when in doubt, switch to Medicine.

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