Economics is essentially the study of the economy and encompasses all of the activities related to the production, consumption, and trade of goods and services. It’s a unique study, combining politics, social policy and financial markets. If you have been studying economics, or are interested in a career in the subject, you are probably aware of the skills, approaches and ways of thinking that you can apply to a wide range of problems.
There are many career opportunities within the field of economics – from investment analyst roles to compliance officers – and if you want to investigate what those are and how to get into the field then keep reading!
- Why work in economics?
- What types of economic jobs are there?
- What skills are needed to work in economics?
- What degrees help with a career in economics?
1. Why work in economics?
An in-demand job
Economic professionals are always in high demand. The UK has the fifth biggest economy in the world and it takes a lot of people to keep it moving. The demand for skilled economists will never go away, from global banking systems to the psychology behind personal spending.
Lots of promotion opportunities
If you work as an economist, there will be lots of promotion opportunities throughout your career. With hard work and determination, there will be lots of chances to progress to senior roles, where you can have a large impact on companies’ strategies and decision-making, which makes economics a very rewarding career path.
Gain transferable skills
Graduates with a background in economics are particularly valued for roles in financial control, financial planning, risk analysis, data analysis and consultancy. This is because of the transferable skills that studying economics brings. Things like critical thinking, analysing data and making informed decisions are key skills that will hold you in good stead for any career path you may decide to take in the future.
2. What type of economic jobs are there?
If you have studied for a degree in economics, there is a wide range of graduate opportunities available to you. A few of the most common routes are:
Economics careers in the public sector
An economist’s role within the public sector could involve a variety of responsibilities, such as assessing policy, collecting and curating data, analysing it and making informed decisions on things such as budgets and allocations. Working in the public sector means you would be providing a service to all, acting in the public interest.
Economics careers in banking
Banking careers are popular with graduates as they provide scope for high earnings and career progression. Working within the banking sector could either be within the retail banking division, or within investment banking. Working in banking would involve acting on the financial requirements of clients, businesses and firms. Although this work can be particularly satisfying, the hours can be long and sometimes unpredictable.
Economics careers in accountancy
You may think that this career path is reserved for people with an accountancy degree, but economic careers in accountancy are very much possible with a degree in economics. The numerical skills, analytical mindset and problem-solving abilities taught in an economics degree could put you in a good position for an accountancy career. If you were considering this career path, looking for work experience within the sector is important. Unitemps works in conjunction with several firms across the UK and regularly advertises for accounts assistants and interns.
Other jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Compliance officer
- Data analyst
- External auditor
- Financial, investment or political risk analyst
- Investment advisor
3. Which skills are needed for a career in economics?
There are numerous skills that would benefit you with a career in economics and these vary depending on the avenue you choose. Here are a few skills that would benefit you in any role within the industry:
- Analytical skills
- Strong knowledge of mathematics and statistical analysis
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Presenting ideas and using supporting evidence
- Problem-solving abilities
- IT skills (being able to use programs like Word and Excel as well as more specialist programs)
Some careers will rely on the specific knowledge of an area of economics, for example, insurance, accountancy and within government. If you are interested in a specific role, we would suggest finding job adverts for that role and looking at the job description and person specification. Identify the skills and experience you already have, or where you need to improve to meet the essential criteria for the role. Read our guide to the top skills that employers want to see on your CV.
4. What degrees help with a career in economics?
Although the most direct route into this career path is with a degree in economics, there is usually some flexibility within this. Most employers would be open to candidates with a background in mathematics, accounting or finance-related studies too, combined with a strong skill set of the outlined person specification.
Take a look at the Unitemps job search portal to see if we have any roles available that would give you key experience and set you on the pathway to a career in economics, or get more career advice by reading our other articles.
Last updated on 19 December 2022Share this article