A degree in economics provides you with a wide array of both subject-specific and transferable skills, all of which are highly sought after by employers...
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Chartered accountant
- Chartered certified accountant
- Chartered public finance accountant
- Financial risk analyst
- Investment analyst
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Civil Service fast streamer
- Diplomatic Services operational officer
- Local government officer
- Management consultant
- Quantity surveyor
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
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 local volunteering or charity organisations for more information, or you could try Do-it for volunteering opportunities.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
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 GES. The Bank of England also provides vacancies through their graduate programme - see Bank of England Careers.
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;
- charitable and not-for-profit organisations.
Skills for your CV
An economics degree gives you subject-specific skills enabling you to apply economic principles and models, while also understanding the larger driving forces shaping social policy as well as financial markets and skills in statistical analysis.
However, you'll also have developed valuable transferable skills:
- communication - presenting findings and explaining complex data;
- numeracy - handling complex data and applying mathematical and statistical analysis methods;
- problem-solving - extracting information, drawing conclusions and making recommendations;
- computing - using specialised software;
- time management - completing specific tasks within designated time frames;
- analytical skills - analysing research methods, data, conclusions and recommendations.
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.
What do economics graduates do?
More than 65% of economics graduates are in employment six months after graduating, while around one-in-five go on to further study.
Nine of the top ten occupations held by economics graduates employed in the UK are business, finance or HR professions, with more than 500 graduates in the top occupation of finance and investment analyst/adviser.
|Working and studying||8|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Business, HR and financial||54.2|
|Marketing, PR and sales||9.8|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||8.4|
|Retail, catering and bar work||7.3|
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.