Advice needed on business and/or economics for dd

(19 Posts)
Torrorosso Tue 17-Sep-13 21:28:33

Dd is thinking about studying business and/or economics at university, combined with a language (one course she is considering is French with international business).

She's not doing business at A'level and really doesn't know if it's for her - but she likes the sound of it.

Could anyone recommend suitable books she could read before deciding to apply for these subjects at university? She's been trying to speak to the business studies teacher at her school but no luck so far.


Torrorosso Tue 17-Sep-13 21:29:27

I mean before deciding to apply for business or economics - she's obviously already studying French at A'level.

LibraryBook Wed 18-Sep-13 22:52:35

Does she do maths?

Torrorosso Fri 20-Sep-13 22:21:16

Not maths at A'level, but some basic stats as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate. She has a B at gcse maths.

titchy Sat 21-Sep-13 15:22:22

Maths A level is usually recommended for an Economics degree.

Torrorosso Sat 21-Sep-13 19:29:22

Yes, she knows that but chose not to continue with maths in favour of another subject. The course she is looking at requires a B at GCSE, which she has.

My question, however, is whether there are any recommendations of books she can read which would give her a better understanding of business and economics before she finishes her UCAS application.

gotadifferentnamenow Mon 23-Sep-13 19:31:18

I'm afraid I'm at the other side of economics (policy, rather than business), so these may be less helpful, but I'd say a good 'pop-econ' read would be stuff like Stiglitz's "Globalisation and its discontents", Krugman's "Return of the depression", Skidelsky's "Return of the master". Krugman's NY Times column is usually a good read. The FT is very accessible.

Incidentally I have a maths A level and two economic degrees and I found there to be very little crossover! I don't think she'll be disadvantaged there.

BlackMogul Mon 23-Sep-13 22:32:36

I am surprised she is writing a personal statement without finding out what the degree is all about. Did you visit any university offering this course? I would not think reading any book at this stage will be much help. Why don't you look at the web site of the universities she wants to apply to and see what topics study and then work out how she can persuade them to make her an offer. Edinburgh has a detailed list of topics for each year of the degree so she should know if this appeals . Leeds also would have lots of info. Although they may only ask for GCSE maths, one would assume lots of applicants will exceed this and be studying an A level in maths, economics or both. She doesn't seem to be particularly interested in the subject if she knows nothing about it.

Torrorosso Wed 25-Sep-13 18:42:22

Thanks gotadifferentname, that's very helpful, and positive.

Could I ask if anyone else replies you stick to replying to my query please about useful books? I really don't appreciate snippy comments about her lack of maths A'level or leaving it until now to do more specific research - she has enough time to make up her mind and get the application completed.

BlackMogul Wed 25-Sep-13 19:05:27

If you really think that's all she needs to do!.......

Torrorosso Wed 25-Sep-13 20:01:55

I don't, I am a RG graduate myself, albeit from a different discipline - hence the query about subject-related reading matter.

Salbertina Wed 25-Sep-13 20:30:03

There are some fab and free online university courses including introductory ones. Check out coursera also MIT. She could maybe do a 6 week intro course, couple of hours a week to see how she likes it.

Salbertina Wed 25-Sep-13 20:31:35

And Harvard Business Review does a weekly email and regular podcasts, both free to subscribe to and a great "taster".

Torrorosso Wed 25-Sep-13 21:51:27

Thanks Salbertina. I'm just looking at the modules at one of the unis she's interested in. A lot of it aligns with leadership training I've had in work, so I also have materials I can pass on.

SlowlorisIncognito Thu 26-Sep-13 19:08:08

Torrorosso For a personal statement, she doesn't need to have read lots of books, and there is no benefit to simply namedropping books. She needs to pick 2-3 books/articles (e.g. from the financial times or the economist) and look at these critically. What was interesting? Was there anything she agreed/disagreed with? How has this furthered her desire to study the subject at university?

It really would help her to pick economics or business before applying, as this will help make her personal statement stronger. Economics is a competative course, so having a PS that isn't fully focused on the subject could harm her chances of getting an offer.

It's still early in the application cycle, and there's no harm in waiting a month or so, if this will help her make a decision.

Tinlegs Thu 26-Sep-13 19:13:31

My son, while much younger, is also considering Economics. He found, "The Dummy's Guide to Economics" really interesting. Also, "Freakonomics" is a good read. Could she read, "The Economist" online? Don't know much about it myself (English teacher) but Amazon has a good selection and my son picked a couple of books based on reviews.

JGBMum Thu 26-Sep-13 19:30:14

Check the school library for up to date magazines like the Economist. Also, I know you dont want negative comments regarding Maths, but do just be sure that the courses she is looking at are a good fit for her interests.
Like a previous poster, my DH has 2 degrees in Economics, but they were both very maths heavy.
Choose wisely, and good luck to your dd

Torrorosso Thu 26-Sep-13 22:02:12

Many thanks for all the great suggestions here. She has borrowed some library books and I've brought some material home from work.

I appreciate the tip about reading selectively but critically. She's planning to combine whichever course she chooses with a language.

I'll show her this thread.

SwedishEdith Thu 26-Sep-13 22:39:22

Tell her to follow The Economist, The Institute for New Economic Thinking and the New York Times (for Paul Krugman)on Facebook. They are all really readable and accessible. Also, Paul Mason, Stephanie Flanders and Robert Peston blogs on the BBC and are interesting. There's also a series of books called '30 second theories'(I think??) and there's an Economics one that she might enjoy. I did the 2 Economics modules the OU offers and didn't suffer from lack of A level maths. In fact, I think some universities offer 2 routes (BA and BSc) for Economics with the BA being less-maths focused.

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