AB in Economics in the Philippines

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Program Overview

Bachelor of Arts in Economics (AB-ECON) is a four year degree program designed to equip students with knowledge in economic theories, economic modeling frameworks and economic strategies and policies.

The AB-ECON program aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of how different economic institutions work in identifying the economic problems of society and thereby provide or offer possible solutions with the application of both macro-economics and micro-economics principles, theories, laws, and models.

The AB Economics program may be a good preparation for further studies in Economics, Law, Business, Management and Public Administration.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the AB-ECON curriculum are divided into three main categories:
  • General Education core:
    Language and Humanities Cluster, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Science Cluster, Social Sciences Cluster, Mandated Subjects.
  • Economics Professional Courses:
    Basic Economics Agrarian Reform And Taxation, Introduction to Macroeconomics, Introduction to Microeconomics, Economic Development, Public Economics, International Economics, Price Theory, Managerial Economics, Monetary and Fiscal Policy of the Government, Intermediate Microeconomic Theory, Introduction to Mathematical Economics, Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory, Statistics for Economists, Introduction to Econometrics, Economic Research, Theory and Practice of Social Development, Urban Economics, Applied Economics
  • Elective Courses:
    Monetary Economics, International Finance, International Trade, Environmental Economics, Agricultural Economics, Project Evaluation, Labor Economics, History of Economic Thought and Managerial Economics, Economic Development , Current Economic Issues, Operations Research, Industrial Economics, Comparative Economic Systems, Philippine Economic History, Growth Economics, Special Topics in Economics.

The AB-ECON program is taught to students through classroom lectures, educational talks and seminars. At the end of the program, students are need to complete their proposed thesis and their On the Job Training.

Comparing AB in Economics with other economics degree programs

Being an arts degree, AB in Economics is regarded as a social science program, thus its curriculum is focused on integrating liberal arts subjects with a economics subjects. The curriculum for BS in Economics contains less general education subjects and more economics subjects. BSBA in Economics is different as well, because it focuses on economics in the context of business thus its curriculum is comprised of general education, business and economics subjects.

All three have a duration of four years; and share the same basic admission requirements. Students under these programs are all required to complete an On the Job Training (OJT).

Is Economics a profession?

Economics is not a profession. A graduate of this program can either try to find a job in various BPO, management and administrative positions, or continue to graduate level studies in economics, law and business. If you are interested in working in economics, either as a government employee, researcher or professor, you will need a master’s degree in economics.

What are the admission requirements for the AB in Economics program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but generally are the basic college admission requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate.
    Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers
  • College entrance exam: must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college.

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Inclination to Mathematics – there are subjects in the program that require the use of certain mathematical concepts and operations like Mathematical Economics and Economics Statistics thus it’s very important to have solid mathematical foundation
  • Reading Comprehension – understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Problem-solving skills – the ability to identify, assess, create alternative solutions and solve the actual problem while continuously evaluating for outcomes.
  • Analytical skills – since you will be reading a lot of research materials and interpreting many graphs, analysis is very essential to be able to understand the logic and relationship between things
  • Critical thinking – determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions and operations will affect outcomes.
  • Computer Literacy – knowledge of computer use and being able to understand application programs.
  • Communication skills – has excellent written and oral communication skills; a strong command of the English language is important because your work will involve dealing with different kinds of people.

How difficult is AB in Economics?


AB in Economics is of medium difficulty level. Its curriculum is composed of a balance between liberal arts/general education subjects and economics subjects, the course is not considered very difficult. Compared to many other courses, the workload for this program is quite light.

What makes the AB in Economics program challenging is the degree of mathematical skills needed in most economics subjects. Students who are not so good in mathematics will find the course quite hard.

Aside from the undergraduate thesis paper and On the Job Training (OJT), there are no other major requirements in the AB-ECON program. However, students must be patient enough since they will spend most of their time inside the classroom listening to lectures.

How long does it take to complete the AB in Economics program in the Philippines?


The AB in Economics program takes four years to complete (Note: this may change due to the K-12 integration). The program may be completed in a shorter time in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.

On the Job Training (OJT)


A student of the AB in Economics program is required to attend an On the Job Training (OJT) in a private corporation, business establishment or public agency. During the OJT, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The OJT program is done under the supervision of a designated authority in the establishment/office which will evaluate the student periodically and submit the evaluation form to the assigned faculty member.

The number of hours required for the OJT varies from one school to another.

Career opportunities for economics graduates

  • Entry Level jobs

    As we mentioned earlier, most jobs available to Economics graduates are not directly related to economics.
    As a graduate you can apply to various entry level positions in the BPO industry, as well as various administrative positions, including:
    • Call Center Agent
    • Administrative Staff
    • Collections
    • Purchasing
    • Sales
    • Credit Analysis
    • Bank Clerk
  • Mid-Level Positions

    Require trainings and prior job experience of a few years and may require a master’s degree:
    • Financial Analyst – provide financial analysis and accounting support, and assist management teams by developing performance reports and metrics for use in long-term, annual and quarterly planning.
    • Investment Analyst – keeping up to date with market developments, new investment products and all other areas that can affect the markets, e.g. movements in the economies of relevant countries
    • Commodity Analyst/Trader – conduct quantitative analysis of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.
    • Economics Teacher – teaches economics at a university or college. Will usually require a master’s degree.
    • Government Economist – hired by State and Local governments. They serve in a wide variety of positions involving analysis and policy making. Will usually require a master’s degree.
    • Economics Researcher – carry out research, studies either by him/ herself or in a team under the guidance of the team leader. Will usually require a master’s degree.
  • Advanced Positions

    Require years of extensive experience and practice, and usually will require a master’s or doctorate degree:
    • Labor Relations Specialist – plan, develop and direct labor relations programs. Businesses and their employees negotiate compensation, such as earnings, benefits, rates of advancement, pensions and other contractual stipulations. Labor relations specialists’ research and prepare this information for management.
    • Tax Economist – conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy
    • Agricultural Economist – conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy.
    • Health Policy Planner – responsible for compiling information, statistics and analysis related to health issues for specific communities and populations, in order to formulate an effective health care policy
    • Econometrician – responsible for the design, development, maintenance, evaluation and replication of short and long-term economic models, for the purpose of developing economic forecasts or simulations
    • Economics Advisor – advise and undertake the necessary activities for the preparation performance reports on various sectors of the national economy
    • International Economists – look at markets internationally, studying currency exchange and the effects of tariffs and trade procedures and laws.
    • Demographic or Labor Economists – look at trends in salary, such as how it’s determined, and the need for labor. They are especially interested in causes of unemployment and the results of changes in demographic, such as a baby boom, on labor.
    • Chief Economist – responsible for the development, coordination, and production of economic and financial analysis; it is distinguished from the other economist positions by the broader scope of responsibility encompassing the planning, supervision, and coordination of the economic research.

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Reviews of AB in Economics graduates:

M. D.
◈ Studied AB in Economics
◈ At University of the Philippines Diliman
◈ Graduated 1983

list bulletWhy did I choose Economics:
When I was a child, I always wondered how other people/countries become wealthy and others remain poor. I was interested knowing economic disparity in the society.

list bulletAbout my college education:
The most useful thing is learning to read comprehensively, understanding the concept and training my mind to be analytical and critical.

The most difficult subject was Econometrics. I am not that good in Math but my high school training in a Science High School and with the help of my high school classmates who are math geniuses, I was able to pass Calculus which is a pre-requisite to get into the major.


list bulletMy current job:
My title is a Business Analyst who is also a Financial and Compliance Manager of Federal Grants and Contracts awarded to the faculty researchers of our university. I work in the university research and sponsored programs office.

My current job involves policy analysis, policy recommendation and implementation. I do a lot of financial and data analysis and reporting to high level executives of the University (President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Associate VP) and government agencies (National Institute of Health, Department of Defense, Department of Education to name a few) here in the US.

I had my Master's Degree in Public Policy and Administration which is related to what I do in the university.

list bulletAm I using what I learned in college:
What I learned is very practical. I have Managerial Accounting which I used. I am also very analytical, diligent and patient to learn new concepts. I have worked in the Accounting/Finance Department (Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, Work-in Process, Manufacturing (Supply and Demand), Information Technology Department, doing Statistics and Analytics.

list bulletHow long did it take to find a job after graduation:
I went to school to learn Computer Language and Programming Skills, then went to Africa to volunteer/work with the International Red Cross... It took about a year from graduation to my first job.

list bulletDo I recommend studying Economics:
The employment opportunities will depend on your interest. The course is very flexible. My first job was in the Accounting/Finance of a non-profit (Red Cross) learning Budgeting, Fiscal Reporting and Computer Program implementation. Most of my employment is with Accounting and Finance, Grants and Contracts Administration, Budget or Fiscal Analysis and Management.

The skills you will learn from studying Economics (such as Managerial Economics, Labor Economics, International Trade or even Development Economics) could be applied to virtually any job you are interested in any industry (government, non-profit, university, manufacturing, marketing, engineering industry). Salary level is decent and commensurate to position and experience.

list bulletAdvice to people who are thinking of studying this course:
You must have a genuine interest on the subject. If you are interested and curious to learn, it would be easier to understand the concepts. Don't take it just to get the job or the salary you want. Study the course or subjects that you are interested and has the mental ability to absorb. You must exercise patience and diligence to read and understand the concepts being taught.

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