Economist

Job Description:

Economists advise government departments, companies, banks, other organisations and the general public about the economy.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

You’ll help governments develop policies, and businesses plan financial strategies.

Your work will vary depending on what area of society you focus on (for example environmental economics, business economics, or economic history), and whether you’re advising the government or business sector, but your day-to-day duties might include:

  • researching information from computer databases, websites, journals and newspapers
  • monitoring past and present economic issues and trends
  • creating mathematical models to predict future economic developments
  • analysing statistics
  • writing reports and presenting findings
  • examining the effectiveness of current policies
  • advising on the potential economic impact of policies and ideas

In university-based jobs you’ll teach students and carry out research.

Skills:

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of economics and accounting
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • organisational skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You’ll need a degree in economics or a related subject like business studies. Your course must include both macro and microeconomics.

Some employers may prefer you to have a postgraduate qualification in economics.

In the private sector, you’ll usually start as an economic research officer or analyst. Employers may accept degrees in related subjects, like maths, statistics, or finance and accounting.

In the public sector, for example in the UK, you could start as an assistant economist with the Government Economic Service (GES) and follow a structured fast-track development programme.

You’ll need a degree (2:1 or higher) in economics or a combined degree with at least 50 percent economics.

 

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

You’ll be office-based, but may need to travel in the country and possibly overseas.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could progress to senior levels or become a self-employed freelance consultant.