What can you do with an economics degree?
An economics degree provides a strong foundation of knowledge in core economic and business principles. The degree typically involves learning about economic models and applying these to solve problems in business, the public sector and financial markets.
Amongst other skills, students develop their abilities in high-level mathematics, critical thinking, data analysis, problem-solving, and statistics. Additionally, studying economics instils invaluable core business skills, such as communication, collaboration and project management, which are highly valuable to any employer.
But what exactly can you do with an economics degree?
In this article, we’ll look at the many routes available to economics graduates. We’ll cover potential career paths, opportunities for further study, and help you learn more about the skills you’ll gain.
What does an economics degree involve?
Studying economics will provide students with a robust understanding of microeconomic and macroeconomic principles, which are crucial components to developing sound analysis techniques in this field.
This knowledge is used to analyse current economic conditions and predict future outcomes based on data. During their studies, students will also develop qualitative and quantitative analytical skills, which are essential for making informed decisions when it comes to investing finances.
Economics can be a vocational subject, where students learn about core concepts in economics. It can also be studied as a non-vocational subject, preparing students for a whole variety of career paths with valuable mathematical, statistical and analytical skills.
At the University of Wolverhampton, we provide a wide selection of economics degrees all outlined to open up a variety of opportunities for students once they graduate, whilst examining a broad range of incredibly interesting topics.
Economics courses we offer include:
If you study our economics degree you will have the opportunity to complete exciting, interesting and in-depth modules through lectures, seminars, workshops and group work, and also complete a research project in your final year.
What skills will you gain from an economics degree?
Now that we know what you’ll study during your economics degree, let's look at the many skills you’ll develop from this course, and how these will help you decide on your next steps. Some of the most valuable skills you’ll develop as an economics student include:
- Problem-solving skills
- Analytical skills
- Communication and presentation
- Research skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Team working skills
As a versatile degree, many of the skills you’ll learn are highly transferable, helping you progress into a variety of roles within economics and business. For example, a financial consultant, a business manager, a statistician and many more.
Let’s take a look at some of these skills in more detail.
The ability to think critically and solve problems is a valuable skill in any role. Problem-solving involves using logic, reasoning and creative thinking to come up with solutions to problems. This kind of skill has the potential to help an individual excel in any workplace environment, and is something that employers value. Problem-solving skills can help you make better decisions and improve workplace processes and promote personal growth.
Analytical skills are a vital tool for problem-solving and decision-making in our everyday lives, as they encompass the ability to think critically, identify patterns and relationships, draw conclusions, and use creative solutions to approach challenges.
Analytical skills are important for many aspects of life, whether it's interpreting data from scientific experiments or deciphering financial statements for a business venture. In the workplace, analytical skills enable employees to make sense of complex processes and problems by breaking them down into smaller pieces that can be more easily understood.
Communication and presentation
Studying an economics degree can open up a wide range of career opportunities and provide individuals with skills that are highly sought after.
From financial advisors to data analysts, there are countless job roles available for those with an economics background, and those who choose this path benefit from developing core competencies such as problem-solving, data analysis, independent research, and communication skills. Graduates typically have strong prospects in the fields of finance, business management and government policy.
Economics students are given a range of interesting modules which allow them to study the complexities of the economic system and how it impacts individuals, businesses and wider society.
Effective communication and presentation skills are essential for success in a variety of contexts, not only professionally. These skills don't just allow individuals to successfully convey their ideas and messages, but also enable them to build relationships with those around them, from educational institutions to the professional workplace. Having the ability to communicate and present effectively is integral for success.
What do most economics graduates go on to do?
Research has shown that economics graduates are highly sought after in the job market. A study from Prospects shows that common employers of economic science include banks, charitable organisations, consultancies, and insurance and accountancy firms. Over 65% of graduates were employed 15 months after graduating, whilst 10% were partaking in further study and 13% were working and studying, with almost half of all graduates going directly into a business-, HR- and finance-related career.
Economics career paths
Due to its versatility, an economics degree offers no shortage of potential career opportunities. There are many different work fields that an economics degree directly applies to, including:
- financial consultant
- data analyst
- business management
- economic researcher
A financial consultant is a professional who provides guidance and advice to individuals, businesses and other organisations on their financial decisions. They help clients understand complex concepts related to finances such as investments, taxes, retirement planning and debt management. Financial consultants are also knowledgeable about the various methods of creating wealth, preserving it and increasing its value over time.
An economist is a social scientist who studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economists employ numerous methods to analyse data and provide insights into economic issues related to topics such as unemployment, inflation, poverty, taxation policies, environmental protection, international trade agreements and more. Economists are employed both in public and private sectors to inform important decisions by providing data-driven analysis of current economic trends.
A data analyst is a professional who specialises in analysing large amounts of complex data to extract meaningful insights. They use their expertise in statistical analysis, mathematics, and programming to identify trends and correlations between different sets of information. Data analysts also play an important role in helping companies make better decisions by providing them with the knowledge they need to optimise their operations.
An economic researcher is responsible for studying and analysing various aspects of the economy. They identify trends, develop hypotheses, analyse data, and draw conclusions related to economic phenomena. Economic researchers are employed in a variety of settings including government agencies, universities, non-profits, financial institutions and consulting firms.
Careers where an economics degree can be useful
An economics degree can be useful in a number of careers, even if they aren’t directly related to the subjects studied during your degree. As you acquire many skills whilst studying, you can apply these to a number of exciting careers.
A chartered accountant is a financial professional knowledgeable in accounting, auditing, taxation and financial strategy. They are responsible for maintaining accurate records of finances within an organisation, providing advice on tax planning strategies, preparing financial statements and creating budgets.
A compliance officer is an important role in any organisation. They are the individuals responsible for ensuring the business follows all relevant laws and regulations, which can range from banking to data protection. It's a crucial job that requires expertise and knowledge of both the industry and legal framework they are operating within. Compliance Officers must stay up-to-date on changes in legislation as well as industry best practices to ensure their organisation’s operations remain compliant.
External auditors are hired by an organisation to provide an independent assessment of its financial statements and processes. The primary role of the external auditor is to assess the reliability of the company's financial statements, examining evidence that supports their accuracy, and this can include reviewing documents such as contracts, invoices, bank account details, payroll records, and other key documents for any discrepancies or irregularities.
Final thoughts on studying for a degree in economics
Pursuing a degree in economics can be very rewarding for those who are looking for a challenge, and great potential for their future. The skills learned from studying economics can be applied to many areas of life, whether it is in the workplace or the home environment, and as with any form of education, commitment and dedication are key to success when studying economics. The critical thinking abilities and analytical skills developed through studying economics will help students prepare for whatever challenges they may face in their futures.
By learning about different economic theories and approaches, students gain insight into how current issues such as macroeconomic policies, globalisation, finance, innovation and technology can affect business operations. With this knowledge, they can make informed decisions on how to help businesses grow.
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