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Looking At Future Careers in Economics? A Degree Will Kickstart Your Career

By Yann, published on 12/07/2018 Blog > Academia > Economics > Are Economics Degrees Useful or In Demand?

Going to university is an exciting time in any student’s life. Often, it’s the first time that a student will be away from their family for an extended period. What’s more, a university provides a place to:

  • Grow in independence;
  • Make new friends; and
  • Study a subject that you enjoy in depth.

Economics is a very popular degree course at universities across the country, and it’s easy to see why.

Often, economics graduates finish university having acquired a vast range of transferable skills, which open up a variety of career paths for them.

Whether that’s due to the communication skills that economics students develop, or the numerical or analytical skills that are taught during the degree, economics graduates have a range of skills that make them very desirable graduates in the workplace.

As we will see below, economics graduates, like graduates of other subjects in the U.K., have a range of career opportunities or routes for further study available to them.

Of course, having access to good career opportunities does also mean doing well during university exams or graded coursework. If you do find that you need some extra help during such assessment times, it may be beneficial to turn to a tutor for help in specific areas that you may be struggling with.

University students are usually best served by finding a tutor that has a Master’s in economics or is studying towards a PhD, as these tutors should have an in-depth understanding of your course while providing tips and study techniques to help you succeed in those all-important exams.

Superprof, for example, offers a range of economics tutors with a variety of backgrounds, so you’re sure to find a local or online tutor that meets your requirements, within a budget that works for you.

Studying economics at university can help you apply for jobs in economics. There are lots of graduate economist jobs on offer if you know where to look. (Source: CC0 1.0, keem1201, Pixabay)

Know What Options There Are for Jobs in Economics

There are some obvious career options that spring to mind when you think about taking an economics degree, such as working as an economics teacher or tutor, or as an economist within the civil service.

While these careers options are certainly viable and an economics degree would set you in great stead for landing those kinds of jobs, there are other avenues available to economics graduates that may also appeal.

For example, some of the most common jobs that relate to economics that economics graduates enter into include:

  • Chartered or forensic accountant;
  • Financial analyst;
  • Investment analyst;
  • Statistician; and
  • Stockbroker

Unlike some other countries, where the degree you choose essentially dictates the future career path you will follow, in the U.K. many employers are more flexible with regard to the degree that you studied.

So, if you decide that financial journalism may actually be your calling, or if you’d like to move into a related field such as accounting, you can still apply for, and be offered trainee, entry level, experienced, or maybe even managerial positions for these kinds of roles, even if you didn’t take any journalism or accounting modules while at a university.

What’s more, many employers value the experience that an economics student gains during their time at university. Having a degree in economics usually means that you are:

  • Numerate and good with problem-solving;
  • Have an understanding of current events, economic issues and business news; and
  • Can analyse and interpret economic data from a range of sources.

These are transferable skills that many employers really appreciate, which should all help boost your earning potential in the long run.

So if you find that you really enjoyed studying economics at A-Level, or would like to pick it up for the first time when at university, you should be confident in your decision to apply for an economics degree, without fear that it could jeopardise your future career prospects.

In fact, as we’ll see below, having a degree in economics can actually give you a helping hand when the time comes to apply for economics jobs, as well as less specialised roles.

A calculator placed on top of documents showing graphs. Accounting is one of the related jobs in economics. A position in an accountancy firm is just one of the jobs you can get with an economics degree. (Source: CC0 1.0, StockSnap, Pixabay)

Landing the Best Graduate Economist Jobs

You can find a variety of jobs that utilise your economics degree and mathematical skills, so the choice is up to you in terms of where you’d like to take your career and which organisations you’d like to apply to.

For instance, one of the things you should consider is whether you’d like to work within the private or public sector, or whether further study might actually be the right move for you.

Public Sector Jobs

The most common public sector jobs that economics graduates enter into involve working within a government or council department or working for organisations including think tanks and charities.

Work in this sector can be highly rewarding, especially if you are civically minded.

Private Sector Jobs

Many economics graduates take up jobs within the private sector. Typical employers for full-time grad roles include:

  • Retail or investment arms of banks;
  • Consultancy firms; or
  • Accountancy firms.

However, non-related fields, such as marketing, are also popular areas that economics graduates enter, so you’re certainly not confined to working in finance, accounting, insurance or investment banking.

If you’re unsure of what career options you’d like to pursue after university, you can always reach out to a recruitment consultant or university careers counsellor for their take on what a great employer might look like for you based on your qualifications.

You may want to have the latest copy of your resume on hand before meeting with anyone though, as then the recruiter or counsellor can match you to the best available vacancies.

Further Study

If you really enjoyed your economics degree and are academically minded, then a future in academia may suit you.

Typically, if you’ve completed a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in economics, then the next logical step in your academic journey would be to take a Masters in economics. You can apply for a Masters course at your existing university, or you could choose to move to another institution for further study – the choice is up to you.

After achieving a Masters degree, you could then progress on to a PhD and earn your doctorate in the field of economics or economic research. Although it can be highly competitive, you could progress on after that to have a career in academia, working towards roles such as:

  • University lecturer;
  • Professor; or
  • Respected academic.

However, if you find it difficult to secure such a position, or would like to move away from academia following a Masters or PhD, then you can, of course, still, apply for graduate jobs or experienced hire positions within a number of private and public sector companies, as outlined above. Many employers respect a PhD graduate, and so there should still be plenty of career opportunities available that make use of your business and economics knowledge.

A good degree could result in finding graduate economist jobs. Rather than looks for jobs with your economics degree, you could opt for further study. (Source: CC0 1.0, Wokandapix, Pixabay)

A Career In Economics Is Around The Corner

Regardless of what career path you’d like to follow, you should know that having an economics degree and skills in economic analysis is a great starting point in helping you land your dream job.

The BBC, for example, reported last year that the subject that you choose to study at a university could have an impact on your average earnings once you’ve left higher education. The article stated that, on average, economics graduates earnt £40,000 five years after graduating, which was well ahead of average earnings from other subjects, including:

  • History;
  • Philosophy;
  • Engineering; and
  • Technology.

Although such findings do not guarantee that you’ll be able to walk into a high-paying job with a well-respected organisation, time again studies have found that, when all is taken into account, economics graduates tend to be well-off compared to their other degree counterparts, which is certainly an encouraging outlook for anyone researching whether to take up an economics degree at university.

However, before you get your place at university you need to ensure that you meet your chosen university’s entry criteria, including their minimum grade requirements for A-level results.

That is why I sought economics tuition with Superprof!

One of the stresses that many students face is that, while they may have great grades in the subject they’d like to study at university, they may not be performing so well in other subjects, and a poor result in one of those subjects may lead to a missed place at university.

If you find yourself in this position – for example, you’re getting an A in economics but hovering between a B and C in mathematics, then it might be time to call in some extra help to improve your grades.

There are sites, such as Superprof, which specialise in connecting students with tutors across a wide range of subjects. Whether you need some extra help with economics, business, maths, art, or history, there are many tutors out there that are trained, affordable, and happy to help push you so that your academic performance improves.

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