A degree in Economics can lead to a wide range of career areas. Very few Economics graduates will go in to a career as a professional economist. Economics graduates are particularly competent in finding employment, with the majority gaining employment within six months of graduating.
A degree in Economics will equip you with sophisticated numerical and analytical skills.
Banking is a wide sector containing many different roles. These roles aren’t always clear cut, but can be broadly divided into retail banking and investment banking. High Street banks like RBS, Lloyds and HSBC sit across both these functions, as well as having corporate and investment banking operations. Investment banks - including Goldman Sachs and Berenberg - covers areas such as mergers and acquisitions, foreign exchange, sales and trading. The work can be challenging and stimulating and particularly satisfying. Typically, this sector pays very well however hours can be long and unpredictable.
You don’t have to have a degree in accountancy to become an accountant. A degree in Economics will equip you with sophisticated numerical and analytical skills – perfect for exploring an accountancy role. Accountants work in all areas of business as well as the public and voluntary sector.
Work in private practices tends to be around audit: visiting clients and reviewing their business operations and financial records to verify and review their accounts. Various professional bodies regulate the training and work of accountants in UK, but generally qualification as an accountant involves three years of study, exams and relevant employment.
It's important to gain experience throughout university and big accountancy firms will offer a range of summer internships. When applying, remember to check out how to take common accountancy interview questions.
Actuaries apply mathematical and statistical techniques to solve business problems, so if you are a keen problem solver and relish a challenge, a role in this area could be for you. Actuaries work out the degree of risk on life assurance policies pensions, employee benefits and investments. Opportunities are offered with big graduate employers including KPMG and Deloitte, however work in this field tends to be with smaller, independent firms like Hymans Robertson. Mathematical skills are just part of an actuarial role - excellent communication skills are key when working with colleagues and clients.
The insurance industry offers a wide range of jobs including risk management, investment management, pensions management, sales and underwriting. In this sector, you will be responsible for arranging insurance for clients having deduced and analysed their requirements. This will involve calculating risks and suggesting appropriate insurance. You will then be required to negotiate with insurance companies to get the best policies for clients.
If you're interested in insurance and risk mangement, there's some big name firms who should be on your radar.
Public sector and defence
Public sector and defence careers are all about working for the government. A huge variety of careers are available within this area including police officers, civil servants and many more. Our day to day life is influenced in so many ways by the work of those in the public sector, so careers in this area can be particularly exciting and rewarding. The most popular entry route is through the Civil Service Fast Stream.
With your degree in economics, you would be well suited for roles with HMRC and FCA. Careers will offer stability, a competitive salary and good opportunities for progression. If you’re looking to use your skills to provide a service for the public interest, this is an excellent route for you.
Consultany is the service provided to businesses to help identify and investigate problems concerned with policy, organisation, procedures and methods. As a Consultant, you will recommend appropriate actions and solutions and help to implement the strategies that you suggest. You may advise on organisational structure and development, the use of technology or systems analysis and design. Analytical skills are key in this sector.
As an economics graduate, you can apply your understanding of concepts and policy, and apply it to the real life business situations. Here's some more information on the benefit of Consulting Graduate Schemes.
Graduate roles in the charity sector are hugely diverse, covering fundraising, PR, events and much more. Gaining experience in this sector can prove challenging, and may involve voluntary or unpaid work. This is a fantastic avenue to pursue if you want to use your skills to benefit society. Fundraising in particular has proven to be an area of growth in the charity sector, and requires sharp, analytical minds who thrive in a target driven environment.
Here's our top tips for building experience and ultimately securing a graduate job in the charity sector.
PR is becoming an increasingly popular career choice amongst graduates, but Financial PR in particular is a specialist route that you would be well equipped to explore with an Economics degree. PR is a sophisticated business tool used to tell a story to the public and promote products, services or news items (find out more about PR). It's a tenacious industry, so you have to be persistent, passionate and well-informed. Financial PR is a specialised niche area within the industry which involves dealing with both the financial media and the financial community, such as investment bank analysts.
This is a career path for those passionate about reading and writing. Even though you have developed sophisticated mathematical skills in your Economics degree, your knowledge of industry and commerce will be particularly useful in this area. You will be involved in the interpretation and presentation of news and other items of topical interest. Potential employers include the BBC, independent TV and radio firms, international broadcasters and news agencies.
Here's what you can do during university to help you secure a journalism graduate job.
This area is growing at a rapid rate, and includes channels such as email, websites, social media and texts to promote products, services and events to a specific target audience. Roles include Digital Account Managers, Search Engine Optimisers and Social Media Managers. Your analytical skills that you have gleaned from your degree will be particularly useful, as well as an awareness of current affairs and popular trends. Here's what you need to know about a career in digital and media marketing.
These are just a few suggestions on sectors and avenues that can be explored after graduation, but it’s worth spending time thinking about your interests and work experience and how these could relate into a graduate role which excites and challenges you.