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Options with your subject: Economics

A degree in economics provides you with a wide array of both subject-specific and transferable skills. All these skills are highly sought after by employers...

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

In order to find out more about work in economics, you could consider applying for a place on the Government Economic Service (GES)  summer vacation placement scheme, which offers work experience opportunities for 6-12 weeks. Individual government departments may also be able to offer work experience and you should contact the department directly to find out more.

You could also consider work experience or work shadowing in areas such as accountancy and finance. Contact local employers to see if they can help you.

Any work experience is good experience as it allows you to build essential skills in a variety of areas such as teamwork, communication and time management. Contact your local volunteering bureau for more information, or you could try Do-it  for volunteering opportunities.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Economists are employed in a variety of settings in both the public and private sectors. The largest employer of economists is the Civil Service through the Government Economic Service (GES). The Bank of England also provides vacancies through the Analyst Career Training (ACT) Programme; see Bank of England Jobs .

Economics graduates also find employment in a range of different areas including:

  • other government departments and think tanks;
  • banks (high street and city);
  • insurance and accountancy firms;
  • consultancies;
  • charitable and not-for-profit organisations.

Find information on employers in the public sector, accountancy, banking and finance, business, consulting and management, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

You will have picked up subject-specific skills during your course which enable you to apply economic principles and models to a wide range of issues while also understanding the larger driving forces shaping social policy. You will have an understanding of financial markets and skills in statistical analysis. 

However, you will also have developed many transferable skills that are valued by the majority of employers. These include:

  • communication - presenting findings and explaining complex data, producing written technical and non-technical documents;
  • numeracy - handling complex data and applying mathematical and statistical analysis methods to the data;
  • problem-solving - extracting relevant information, drawing conclusions and making logical recommendations;
  • computing - using specialised software to analyse data and present findings;
  • time management - completing specific tasks within designated time frames;
  • analytical skills - analysing research methods, data, conclusions and recommendations.

Further study

A whole range of postgraduate qualifications are available and economics graduates may choose to undertake further study for a variety of reasons. Some wish to continue studying economics at a higher level because of personal interest or they may choose a specialist area such as health, agriculture or regional economic development.

Graduates may also use postgraduate study as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas, such as accountancy.

Although not essential, postgraduate study can offer an advantage to those wishing to seek careers in competitive areas.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.

What do economics graduates do?

Almost 60% of economics graduates are in employment six months after graduating, while just under a quarter undertake further study either as a full-time option or by combining work with study.

Economics as a degree places emphasis on numerical and problem-solving skills. This is reflected in the destinations of economics graduates as almost 14% are working as financial and investment analysts and advisers, while a further 10% are chartered and certified accountants.

Other professions in the top ten include brokers, economists, management consultants, business analysts and marketing associate professionals.

Graduate destinations for economics
Destinations Percentage
Employed 59.9%
Further study 14.1%
Working and studying 9.6%
Unemployed 10.3%
Other 6.1%
Types of work entered in the UK
  Percentage
Business, HR and financial 51.9%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 10.5%
Marketing, PR and sales 8.5%
Retail, catering and bar work 7.9%
Other 21.2%
 

For a detailed breakdown of what economics graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

 
 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
July 2012
 

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