I was fortunate enough to become a teaching assistant in one of the courses at the Australian National University during the first semester of 2017. This opportunity was given and made accessible to me by great and successful scholars in their respective fields, who have shown not only support but also trust in me. I am forever grateful to these distinguished individuals at ANU (whose name I do not mention out of respect for their privacy).
I enjoyed teaching as much as (or probably more than) I enjoyed getting paid. The students are smart, and some have shown a keen interest in Economics. Recently, I received an email from one of them asking for my advice/suggestion about the route he should take in pursuit for higher education in economics discipline.
While I myself have had both success and failure in striving for more knowledge in economics, I believe that my advice can be useful (to an extent, of course) to those inspired by economics and wanting to take up the challenge. Since I have taken the time to write to one student, I think it is worth sharing to many others who hold similar interest.
Warning: There is no such thing as an objective advice. This is my own opinion based on my own experience. Experience may vary. Satisfaction not guaranteed.
I am planning for undertaking an economics honor in the year after, and we talked about some of the courses that might be encountered when doing some more sophisticated degree in economics. You suggested me to take a look at those advanced courses such as the microeconomics theory.
I did remember that by heart and is wondering if you knew any materials that could help for the preparations for that kind of course? I do not have a solid mathematical/analytical background so I may need to prepare in a much-earlier-bird way. I'll be extremely grateful if you could advise me once more.
Here is my response or How I would response to similar questions ((And I hope most people working in the discipline would agree with me):
Since I do not get to talk to you in person, this is going to be a bit difficult. For an effective advice, I need to know your current proficiency in mathematics, statistics/econometrics, and economics in general. But, I will try my best and my advice now is based on the assumption that you have some basics in all the 3 cores mentioned. Note that, on top of these 3 cores, you will also need to acquaint yourself with some programming languages like Python. Depending on the course you take, you might need to learn STATA or R or Eview (for econometrics) and MATLAB (for mathematical modelling, macroeconomics forecast, simulation, etc). I had a hard time with all these as I was not that well-prepared.
Economics program is not particularly the toughest program, but it is definitely not easy. It is important that you understand the analytical parts of the subject, the technical aspect like mathematical modelling. But, it is just as equally important that you fully grasp the theories/concepts. For instance, how to separate income effect and substitution effect when tax is imposed? What does each of these do to the consumers' behavior? What is the effect of rising interest rate on Australian exchange rate? How are they connected in the short-run and the long-run?
For starter, I will share with you some of the materials that I think are important for honor program in economics and for higher level study if you are interested in pursuing Master or PhD in economics.
1. Applied Mathematics in Economics:
Here are youtube links to some of the great education channels: