Jobs for economics graduates

Because of the wide range of courses which economics students are required to take, the skills they gain from the program can be applied to a number of professions beyond an economist. For instance, many economics grads find themselves working in a financial institution or in a management consulting firm because of their analytical and problem solving capabilities as well as their ability to digest complex ideas and communicate them to a wide range of audiences.

Depending on the school’s connection with the industry, students who have greater exposure to companies and businesses through networking or internship programs will have higher chances of getting a job following graduation. Below are some of the career opportunities that may be available to economics graduates in private as well as public sector organizations:

• Financial analysts: These specialists work in finance departments of corporations, financial services institutions, investment firms or provide client service in consulting firms.1 They are responsible for analyzing a company’s financial data to identify areas of risks as well as forecast future performance. Economics students with a background or experience in the field of finance are most likely to be hired for these positions.
• Business analysts: Their job is to analyze an operation to identify gaps in performance and to recommend solutions to improve business processes.2 Business analysts work in strategy and information technology departments in corporations, government agencies as well as not-for-profit organizations. Economics graduates, especially those with a background in computer science or information technology, are often considered for these roles because of their problem solving skills as well as their ability to think strategically.
• Economists: Depending on their specializations, these professionals may work in government agencies, policy think tanks, or large financial institutions. They are responsible for providing insight and recommendations on the economy based on financial data, industry trends and government policies. Most economist positions require further education beyond undergraduate studies, however, there may be opportunities for undergraduates to work in government agencies as a junior level economist.
• Statisticians: Because economics students often analyze quantitative data during their studies, their skills and experience in this area may be applicable to the field of statistics. Statisticians are employed across a number of industries that require statistical analysis and interpretation to provide input on business operations.
• Financial planners: These professionals provide financial advice to customers. Economics graduates often enter this profession because of their ability to understand how the economy and industry trends affect the performance of investments such as stocks and mutual funds. Their ability to articulate complex concepts into layman’s terms also help them gain the trust and confidence of their clients. Financial planners often work for fund companies, insurance and investment brokerages.
• Marketing: Economic students’ ability to understand business, industry and economic trends combined with their communication skills are highly sought after in the field of marketing and investor relations.

A degree in economics provides graduates with a well-rounded education that opens doors to many professions. However, education often continues following graduation for these professionals. They are required to undertake further training to obtain professional designations in order to be successful in their careers. Students who are planning to study economics or wish to pursue a career in business should be prepared for further training/education following graduation.

For more information about career prospects for economics graduates, students should contact the college’s career counselors.

References:

1. NYU School of Professional Studies. Certificates in Financial Analysis. http://www.scps.nyu.edu/academics/departments/finance-tax-and-law/academic-offerings/noncredit/certificate-in-financial-analysis.html
2. UC Berkeley Extension. Certificate program in business analysis. http://extension.berkeley.edu/cert/busanalysis.html

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