The Most Useful Apps for Economics Students
Your phone is one of the most useful tools you’ve got. Using the technology accessible to us is a great way to keep abreast of economics research, enhance studying, and remain up-to-date with economics-related news. Most of the apps listed below are available on tablets too, so you can download them on whichever device is more appropriate for you.
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News & Current Events
1. The Economist
This app from The Economist magazine focuses on news and analysis for economics topics from around the world. It offers a selection of free articles from The Economist, plus reports on current affairs, science, technology, and other news. You can save articles to read later and share articles over social media. If you’re a regular reader of The Economist, then this app is a must-have.
If you are interested in more news and current events apps, we have made several more recommendations.
Learn Economics & Related Skills
2. Khan Academy
Khan Academy offers full courses on the basics of economics which you can take online. The content is too basic to be useful for postdoc students, but for Bachelor’s or Master's students seeking to learn or remember key topics like consumer theory or elasticity, the lessons are great.
3. Economic Growth
This app is aimed at younger students or those new to economics. It provides bite-sized information on how economies grow, by explaining what economic growth is and how it can be measured. It also gives information on real life scenarios where you can see the principles of economic growth playing out in real-life, which makes it a great learning tool.
DataCamp is an excellent resource that includes training videos and simple coding exercises for Python and R, languages that economists use frequently. Lessons are organized into short videos and clear exercises with an answer key, giving users plenty of good practice. Unfortunately, the content is not free on its own, but you can get a three-month free trial if you sign up with your GitHub student account. You may also have access through your university. In either case, DataCamp is a great way to learn your data science fundamentals from your phone or computer.
Calculators & Data Tools
Simply titled “IMF”, the International Monetary Fund’s app contains news, press releases, podcasts, and other insights. It also contains a huge amount of economic data. One of the coolest features is the app’s Data Visualizations tool; with it, users can easily visualize color-coded maps, charts and graphs of worldwide economic data with the touch of a finger. The app also contains country-level data on a wide variety of statistics to dive deeper into specific regions. This is a great way to explore macro-level economic data in style.
6. PocketCAS Mathematics Toolkit
If you’re doing advanced calculations for your data analysis, then it’s useful to have a scientific calculation app on your phone. The PocketCAS app has advanced features like creating 2D and 3D plots, performing calculus operations, algebra functions, and conversion of physical units. For advanced statistics users, this app is a must.
7. HiPER Scientific Calculator
A free calculator option that can be used with both iOS and Android, HiPER includes writing expressions as fractions, symbolic algebra, integral and derivative functionality, and up to 100 digits of significance and 9 digits of exponent. It can also detect repeating decimals. There is a Pro version that is a paid upgrade option with more advanced features for $3.49 as of this writing.
Papers & Citations
This app for iOS or Android is a platform for free and open-access scholarly research with millions of users. There is an option to upgrade for even more content and “PDF Packages” that yield related content and include summaries. However, it is entirely possible to use the app and read papers for free. Academia.edu contains many classic economics papers, although not every single one published may be available. Still, this is a great resource to read important academic papers for free.
The only thing more annoying than formatting your essay is formatting your bibliography. There are a bunch of different citation styles like MLA, APA, Chicago and Harvard, each of which is slightly different, and trying to get the formatting just right is a pain. Luckily, the EasyBib app can help – you can use your phone’s camera to photograph the barcode on your books and the app automatically creates a bibliography in the format of your choice.
Cleverly standing for “Referencing Made Easy”, this free app for iOS or Android lets users scan a book's barcode with their phone to generate a citation. You can also search for a book title, journal article, ISSN, or ISBN, or even use a URL or DOI to have the app generate a citation for you, too. It allegedly supports 6,500 styles of citation, so you should have no problem finding the one you need.
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How to balance your PhD and your social life
Treat your PhD like a regular job One of the challenges of adjusting to life as a PhD student is the lack of a firm schedule or a definite structure. Although there are options for structured PhD programs, especially in the US, many PhD programs do not have required coursework or set work times. This can make it hard to know when you should be working, and conversely, when you are allowed to take time off.