What’s the Difference Between Commerce and Economics?

While the subjects of economics and business or commerce are quite similar, they are taught in different ways in academia. For instance, if you go for a business degree, you will study in a separate business school. On the other hand, if you opt for economics, this is usually taught in a school of social sciences.


When it comes down to making a choice, it’s all based on your intended career path. In this article, we will review the high school course requirements to get into economics vs commerce/business. We will also delve into the similarities and differences between these two disciplines.



H.S. Course Requirements to Get into Economics


University of British Columbia


Getting admitted to the Economics undergraduate program at UBC entails demonstrating high English-language competency. In addition to that, it’s recommended to present at least six academic/non-academic courses with a minimum grade of 70%. Courses in subject areas such as language arts, mathematics and computation, social studies, and visual and performing arts are also relevant in terms of admission.


Simon Fraser University


The general requirements to get into the Economics undergraduate program at SFU include English-language competency, quantitative and analytical skills, as well as a minimum of five approved Grade 12 courses with a minimum grade of 70%. Grade 11 required courses consist of English, language, math, science, and social studies. On the other hand, Grade 12 required courses comprise English, science or math, social studies, and language.



University of Victoria


Admission requirements for Economics at UVIC include approved English, foundations of mathematics or pre-calculus, approved science and approved social studies for grade 11. As for grade 12, English studies or English First Peoples in addition to three approved academic 12 courses are required. The recommended average for admission is around 79 to 83% though it is subject to change on an annual basis.


H.S. Course Requirements to Get into Commerce/Business


University of British Columbia


Concerning general admission requirements for the Commerce Undergraduate program at UBC, a minimum of 70% in grade 11 or grade 12 English is demanded. In addition, at least six academic/non-academic grade 12 courses are recommended. Subject categories that are relevant for this program include language arts, mathematics and computation, chemistry and physics, social studies relating to economics, ethics, first nations, contemporary indigenous studies, geography, law, psychology, and social studies.


Simon Fraser University


Similarly to the Economics undergraduate program, the Business one at SFU requires English-language competence, quantitative and analytics skills (minimum grade of 60% in a math course), and a minimum of five approved grade 12 courses including English studies with an average of 70%. Grade 11 required courses consist of English, language, math, and social studies. Grade 12 required courses include English, 2 List A courses, as well as two List A or List B courses.



University of Victoria


Admission requirements for the Commerce Undergraduate program at UVIC also require approved English, pre-calculus, approve science, and approved social studies for grade 11. As for grade 12 courses, these include English studies or English First Peoples, pre-calculus, and two approved academic 12 courses with a minimum grade of 67%. That being said, the recommended admission average is 80 to 85%.












Economics vs Business Degree - Which One to Choose?


What you will learn if you pursue economics is a lot more comprehensive and in-depth than what students learn in a business program. This is mainly because business universities are more skills-driven and interdisciplinary in nature. On the economics front, the program is focused on the big picture of business and trade. It targets issues like the behavior of businesses, the way in which markets operate, and the interrelationship between social behavior and economic activity.


Moreover, economics delves deeper into the ramifications of the production of goods and services, the use of resources, and the growth of production over time. Generally, the study of economics is considered to be more theory-based while business coursework tends to be more applied.


Furthermore, students in economics have more options career-wise because of the open-endedness of the discipline.

Traditional careers in economics range from economist and statistician to financial risk analyst and investment analyst while careers in business include business manager, sales manager, project manager, and supply chain analyst. Pursuing an economics degree can be very worthwhile because of the versatility and extensiveness of the competency and skills acquired.


Although business is a more hands-on professional field, it is informed by social sciences -namely economics.


In Conclusion…


Although career prospects are very much alike for both degrees, the learning curve varies. Business is more practical for creating an organization or managing one and expanding it. On the other hand, economics will provide you with an overarching understanding of economic processes.



Pursuing an economics degree is bound to open more (exciting) doors for you as a student and professional. Not only do you get to study the behavior of businesses and industries, governments and countries, and the globe as a whole but you also get to examine how everything operates under economic conditions.

Even within the field of economics, you can choose many subjects like econometrics and data analysis, game theory, capital markets and investment, health economics, and mathematics to list a few. This is a discipline that gives you ample flexibility both in terms of learning and choosing a career path.



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