What I Could Do With My Life- The Way of the Economists

>> Thursday, July 17, 2008

(Yes, I will be talking about Economics again.
No, I have not entered a rut. I am graduating in the subject. What else do you expect me to write about? When I try getting a degree in African Pottery, I will write about African Pottery and its possible toxic effects on the gastric juices. Till then, I will write about Economics.)

By this time next year, if I have not actually managed to write everything incorrectly in my development paper as my dreams seem to predict, I ought to be a graduate. However, as is almost obvious by the level of intelligence one usually displays on this blogspace, 60.5 percentage of Indian graduates are not employable. All students of Economics immediately fall under this marquee, namely because, when real life does not measure up to theory, we attribute it to errors made by statisticians. In fact, in the blame game, we attribute anything to statisticians if it makes us look good. Marriage between a statistician and an economist is, thus, amongst one of the worst nightmares of a marriage counselor. Of course, most jobs earmarked for graduates do not provide statisticians, resulting in the unemployability of economics students.

Let us form a flowchart in our minds, since I do not know how to create one on blogger. The educational path of a graduate divides automatically into two parts, an MBA or Masters. We will not consider the former in this analysis as I would immediately start weeping uncontrollably if anyone tries to interview me.

A masters degree usually ensures

  • The geek tag
  • A job
  • Pretty much nothing else
And now we will revert to my favourite form of writing- point wise discussion.

1) I take up the job


I have absolutely no idea. There was a vague explanation somewhere which said we would
have to predict GDPs and stock market fluctuations. There have also been whispers of bulls and bears. But since I plan to take up Mathematical Economics, questions I would be certainly be incapable of answering in job interviews are
  • What do you think will be next year's GDP?
  • What was last year's GDP?
  • What is GDP?
  • What are bulls and bears?
  • What is a stock market?
  • What is a stock?
  • What is macroeconomics?
  • What is economics?
Pros: I will have money if employed.
Cons: Probably no one will employ me.
I would still be clueless regarding what the subject is all about.

2) I get desperate and decide on the Ph.D
This also has different repercussions. So sub dividing the topic

a) I do the Ph.D. and take up a job
Refer above.

b) I stick to researching economical stuff.

No one really knows what economists research, least of all the economists themselves. We begin by trying to find out a correlation between the shininess of a jellyfish and its sexual life (Translated : A jellyfish!! Ooohh pretty!! Do you think it has a girlfriend?) and end up with results on the marital stability of men who own charter boats. We automatically create a model on the basis of our observations and pretend it describes the economic conditions of fishermen.

Of course, sometimes, policymakers think the sexual life of jellyfish is exactly what the countries need as a pick-me-up in these times of desolation and degeneration. Hence, Nobel prizes are often awarded randomly to economists on the basis of the prettiness of the paper clips used. So the probable effects of doing research are :

i) I win the Nobel Prize
  • I will be famous.
  • I will be rich.
  • I will have a model named after me. Palit's theory of monopoly whorism has a nice tang to it.
  • I can finally be an author, even if to a niche reader base.
  • I will finally be invited everywhere, and not only because my great-granddad had two many kids, assuring an unending supply of relatives.
  • I might accidentally figure out what the subject is all about.
  • I will be famous.
  • I will have to give lectures. For which I will have speak slowly and enunciate properly. Something I have never cared for since I was seven.
  • I will be doomed to either a life of celibacy or multiple divorces.
  • Every budding economist will hate me.
  • Someone might figure out my model is actually based on a statistical error.
ii) I do not win the Nobel Prize

  • I can still be an author.
  • If I force Calcutta University to add my book to the recommended texts, the royalties will be decent. But only just.
  • I can have a blog about Economics and people in love with the subject can read it and have a crush on me.
  • I can finally be an aantel.
  • I would still have to lecture people. I would probably end up being the vague, scatty professor who always trips while entering the classroom. Also, my students will hate me.
  • I will be the poor cousin of Nobel prize winners. The only parallel I can think of is being a weatherman-on TV, but only to give the newsreader a break.
  • I might end up coming back to Presidency and then complain vaguely about the lack of attendance in my class, enabling my HOD to give me gloating looks.
  • I would only have the option of dating economists, never getting the chance to meet anyone else.
  • I will have no money.
  • I may still not be able to figure out what the subject is all about.
This is roughly, the sample space of total possibilities in my chosen career path in the next twenty years or so. Since this has been my first attempt in long term thinking, it probably comes as no surprise that I am in extreme panic mode. However, these make nice blog posts. If anyone can come up with alternative career prospects for me, please mention them in the comments section, and I will analyze them too. Of course, when it comes to choosing, I will probably just draw lots. But that is next year's tale.

(p.s.1 Apparently I have crossed my 50th post. So happy 50th to me )
(p.s.2 I miss Maths. I really, really miss Maths. I do not remember missing my best friend this badly. The loneliness is killing me. Does anyone know how to get over this loss? I have been advised that drink does not help).

12 scaly flippers:

What's In A Name ? 12:13 pm, July 18, 2008  

Ideally one would like to see you get the Nobel and then marry a statistician.

That way you get to be famous and he gets to be infamous (surely he slits your throat after one of the nerve-raising brawls you 2 will have).

And you better go give some Maths tuition to stay in touch. That will help, I am sure.

P.S- It seems you can only writein complete solitude....late 3 in the night....umm..morning....I have taken note of that. Thank You.

The Ancient Mariner 1:53 am, July 21, 2008  

after a long time, and i did get the grand reception that i expected... A really nice read!

~Moo-lah Buz!nezzz~ 10:03 am, July 22, 2008  

How u crib about such a nice subject.
Ever studied engineering??!!!
I tellye,grass always be greener on the other side.
Btw,nice ranting. :-)

vanilla sky 11:09 am, July 24, 2008  

aww, the missing-maths syndrome
sincere empathy
and you'll miss maths more if you unfortunately have some paper where you need to mug up 5 pages for a 5 marks answer
but the exit must have been a happy one , with an easy paper, as heard

options 2 b) onwards sounds cool and challenging

the girl with a zillion namesakes 10:05 pm, July 24, 2008  

i read a post about maths being missed and still liked it...you rock :P

Akasuna no Sasori 8:54 am, July 25, 2008  

Do a PhD and shoot for the Nobel. If nothing else, as an Economics grad student you should be able to write a lot. I know that's why I'm in Grad school

dreamy 2:26 pm, July 26, 2008  

This is just the kind of thing that I needed.

Ah, well..and as usual I've ended up giving an extremely crass-like comment for an extremely nice post.

Things between me blogging and fellow bloggers have not changed I see. Hmmm...

See... I've even ended up ranting on your comment space.

Ishtaar 7:11 pm, July 26, 2008  

Hahahaha :)
Happy 50th post!
Even if you don't win the Nobel Prize... There are ways you can get featured in the Encyclopedia and be immortalized alongside other Nobel laureates.
One way is to get your head chopped off. Apparently the Encyclopedias like that. I read it somewhere, for real.

ad libber 11:39 am, July 27, 2008  

eeks, ever seen a statistician? Mostly an unwashed, unshaven lot. No one in their right minds marries statisticians.
And yes, even I have noticed that :( I am a terrible multi tasker.

welcome back :)

no one can insult engineering as long windedly and with a steady sense of purpose like I insult economics. And nice? hah!

@vanilla sky
I do, I do :(
How I hate development economics and Indian economics, I cant even count the ways. And paper was very nice.

thanks :P

I was hoping teh attractive feature would be make up a lot, but writing works too.

which is just as it should be

I would if I could. But chopping heads is not a very fine sight :(

onnesha 1:59 pm, August 03, 2008  

man!the things that u can think of.
even ur rants come in nice meticulously aranged pros and cons.

Na.Su.Krishnan 10:29 pm, August 05, 2008  

This is a one nights imagination or imagination since you joined your graduation??

ad libber 3:12 am, August 08, 2008  

this post was planned out while attending a double stats class. The notes are to be found all over the place where the formulas should have been. You wonder why they are so meticulously arranged?

@na. su. krishnan
Its been growing for a while, yes.

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