What jobs can I do with my economics degree?
Not sure what to do with your economics degree? We’ve got you covered…
You may still be at university, or perhaps you’ve recently graduated, but deciding what you want to do with your economics degree can be tricky. The good news is there’s a range of career options available where you can put your problem-solving and analytical thinking skills to good use.
To help you decide on your perfect economics job, here are some top roles you can do with your economics degree:
Jobs you can do with an economics degree
Economist – Economists collate, study and analyse data using specialist software and advanced statistical analysis methods to produce forecasts of economic trends. The findings economists produce can be used to advise organisations, banks, educational institutions and local and national governments.
How to get there: To become an economist you’ll need a degree (2:1) in economics, or a joint degree in economics and a subject like finance, mathematics or law. Some employers will prioritise applications from candidates who have a postgraduate degree in economics. If you’re struggling to find a job in economics, it’s also possible to start your career as an economist through a graduate training scheme.
Investment Analyst – This role involves providing research to traders, fund managers and stockbrokers to help them make decisions about investments. Investment analysts need excellent research and report writing skills, as the information they provide can impact an organisation’s or an individual’s investment portfolio.
How to get there: Graduates with a degree in any subject can become investment analysts, however some employers will only accept applications from graduates with a degree in economics or something similar. Employers value experience in the industry, whether it’s obtained through work experience or an internship, or if it’s gained through working in a similar field (such as finance or wealth management).
External Auditor – If you want a job where you can put your investigative skills to good use, then a job as an external auditor may be ideal for you. External auditors examine a company’s financial records and other data to provide the company, their investors and market regulators with a report of how the company is performing. External auditors also identify areas of risk and provide recommendations on how the company can manage these.
How to get there: To become an external auditor you’ll need to obtain a practicing certificate and a chartered accountancy qualification from a professional body like the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales) or ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). Gaining experience in a related field like bookkeeping or financial administration will help your application stand out to employers.
Compliance Officer – A compliance officer is responsible for ensuring a company is complying with its internal policies and the rules that are set by external regulators. Compliance officers work across a range of sectors like non-profit, financial services, property, digital and others.
How to get there: While it’s not necessary to have a degree to work as a compliance officer, employers do tend to seek out candidates who hold a degree in a number-related subject like economics. Employers also value candidates who have experience in a business setting or in a job like administration, finance, accountancy or customer services.
Chartered Accountant – This job is about managing a company’s finances. Chartered accountants work in a range of organisations including privately held firms and non-profit institutions. They are responsible for managing financial budgets, undertaking financial audits, giving advice on things like tax planning, detecting accounting irregularities and fraud and much more.
How to get there: Graduates with a degree in economics or a related subject have a competitive advantage as they have many of the skills employers value, like numeracy, a methodical approach to problem-solving and strong analytical thinking. To become a chartered accountant you’ll need to work towards an accountancy qualification that’s offered by one of the three professional institutes of chartered accountants: Chartered Accountants Ireland, ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales) or ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland).
Data Analyst – If you enjoy researching and analysing data, a job as a data analyst could be for you. Data analysts scrutinise and interpret raw data using a variety of data analysis tools and methods. The information they produce is used by companies, consultancies, manufacturers and others to make informed decisions.
How to get there: While many employers prefer candidates who hold a relevant degree in a subject like economics, statistics or mathematics, it’s possible to become a data analyst with a degree in a non-numbers related subject. If you’re finding it difficult to get a job as a data analyst, look out for apprenticeships or qualifications that can help you kick start your career.
Skills to utilise for economics graduates
Whatever job you want to do, your economics degree will have given you a range of valuable transferable skills that you can apply to your next job.
- Written and verbal communication
- Presentation skills
- Business acumen
- Analysis and reasoning skills
- Critical thinking
- Information processing skills
- Managing data
- Reporting writing
- Time management skills
Whatever career path you pick, choosing to do extra courses – whether that’s in economics, statistics, finance, or something else that relates to the job you want to do – can help you to build on your skills and knowledge, which ultimately makes you more employable.
For instance, some employers look for candidates who have a postgraduate degree (e.g. Masters), while others may specify that candidates need a qualification from a professional body, like ICAEW. And, as industries evolve, it’s important that you can demonstrate that you’re on top of the policies, methodologies or regulations that are relevant to that industry.
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