Bachelor of Economics vs Bachelor of Commerce in South Africa



Bachelor of Commerce and economics are two courses which often confuse students especially if they have set career goals. It’s always difficult to determine which between the two courses is marketable in South Africa. But going by previous employment trends, this the most ideal course for you.


Bachelor of Commerce has many options. As a student you are allowed to major in finance, accounting, purchasing & procurement, marketing and human resources management. Bachelor of Economics on the other hand requires that a student major in any of the following: Economics, Econometrics and Financial Economics.

From the two comparisons, it can be noted that bachelor of commerce is more diverse as compared to bachelor of economics. As a student who wants more options, bachelor of commerce is ideal for you.

Professional Certifications

People who pursue bachelor of commerce have a range of professional course to supplement their academic certificates. Some of the most common courses include CFA, ACCA, CIA, CFE and CPA.Bachelor of Economics has slightly less professional courses.

So if you are thinking along this line, Bachelor of Commerce is the most ideal course for you.

Employment Opportunities and Salaries

In South Africa Job opportunities are becoming scarce as the number of graduates continues to increase. Having a job nowadays is a matter of chance. Comparing economists and business professionals, the latter have high chances of securing better opportunities.

The reason why accountants, financial analysts and investment analysts secure job opportunities faster than economists is that they have supplemented their academic certificates with professional certifications. You find that out of 10 bachelor of commerce graduates,7 have professional certifications. But economists normally don’t bother to pursue professional certification; they instead focus on advancing their studies, making it hard for them to secure employment immediately after undergraduate.

With a degree in commerce, you can earn a starting salary of R15,000.Economists on the other hand earn even less than R 5,000,simply because they don’t have specific roles they place in organizations-they simply take up general roles.

What rescues an economist is when they resolve to pursue PhD studies. At this level, they are more employable and are likely to earn more than accountants, auditors and financial analysts.