ALL too often, students get it into their heads that they have to do something that directly relates to their degree, or the whole studying process has been a waste of time. That’s not true, and students shouldn’t be afraid to branch out and look at other possible career options, no matter what their degree is in. Here’s some inspiration for other jobs you can do with an economics degree.
1. Local government
With your number-savvy mind and analytical skills, as well as being able to work out how various factors have consequences on other issues further down the line, you’re perfectly suited to working in local government – be it as a councillor or someone helping to make decisions for local communities in Westminster. You might not even be put on the budgetary work, either – there are many different local government roles where your degree would be useful, because it’s not all about how to spend tax money.
2. Quantity Surveyor
Dealing with various bills, contracts and negotiations as a quantity surveyor will match the skillset of an economics graduate who has learned to be able to take in a lot of information at once and break it down into the clearest, most efficient form. What’s more, the salaries for quantity surveyors are pretty good – often they start at £20,000 per year and rise quickly, provided all the extra qualifications have been achieved.
3. Civil Service Fast Stream
This might sound like it’s got something to do with internet and fibre optic cables, but really it’s a civil servant that is sent out into the bureaucratic wilderness to wade through masses of information and fast-track the most important issues. It’s a job that teaches good management skills and requires a level head for sorting out hefty complications, but of course, as an economics graduate, this will be simple for you to do. This role could lead to drawing up a White Paper for the UK government, which is pretty impressive don’t you think?
Using mathematical modelling techniques isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, and you’ve probably had to spend a fair few hours in lecture halls having to learn about the different types but, as an actuary, you’ll thank that lecturer because it’ll all start to pay off. You might be working at a bank calculating risk, or at an insurance company working out car accident rates for various groups of people. Whatever institution you end up working as an actuary in will have you toiling away with maths and economics all day, so if that’s your bag, go for it.
5. Diplomatic Services Officer
This is essentially the person that keeps diplomatic offices running smoothly. You’ll be used to helping members of the public, liasing with governments and public figures, as well as ensuring that all speeches, stances on issues and governmental messages are consistent and prepared within plenty of time. Why would an economics graduate be good at this? They’re renown for keeping a close eye on numbers and great swathes of information and then analysing it to within an inch of its life, so juggling all of this might just be a walk in the park for them.
Ever heard of the Financial Times? Of course you have, and if you’ve got a nose for a good story, some decent writing skills and a sound knowledge of economics, you can become a financial journalist. Journalism is a cut-throat industry and is highly competitive, but having a speciality works in people’s favours quite often. What’s more, financial trade publications are always looking for people to work on their editorial staff, so broaden your horizons and perhaps get an NCTJ after your economics degree.
You could take the legal path and get a job as a solicitor – perhaps even specifically for financial matters. Banks and other large financial institutions have huge brigades of lawyers and legal advisors who know economic law and procedures like the back of their hands, so there are many chances for this career path to lead you somewhere special. You could also look into combining economic law with the civil service and work in the corridors of Westminster for the government.
8. Information Technology
Information technology sounds vague, but it's a huge, booming industry that shows no signs of slowing down. New apps, technologies and operating systems are created every single day and a ridiculous speed, so jumping into this pool will be rewarding both mentally and financially. Economists are perfectly suited to careers here – simplifying huge amounts of information and processing difficult algorithms and equations are just one part of this job. These technology companies also have big budgets that need to be managed and as an economics graduate, you could be the one to keep tabs on it.
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