Economics

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There are lots of starting points for choosing a career and using your subject is just one of them. You are not restricted to the career ideas below and you may wish to consider additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.

Remember too that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject and so your options are much broader than the examples given below.

Firstly, have a think about what ‘using your subject’ means to you and what you’re really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it’s a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

Using your subject can help provide you with some focus for your career research, but the broader your interests the more career options you will have open to you. Use our resources below to stimulate your thinking.

Generating career ideas with Economics

Using the resources below you can start to create your own list of career ideas to research

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Economics graduates on Prospects and TargetJobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject. Our Information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start.

Some career ideas for Economics graduates

Economist

Economists use economic theories and knowledge to provide specialist advice. They do this by studying data and statistics and by using their understanding of economic relationships to uncover trends. They carry out considerable amounts of research and collect large amounts of information.

They then analyse all the data they have amassed to assess feasibility, produce forecasts of economic trends, determine the implications of their findings and make recommendations of ways to improve efficiency. Economists use specialist software and advanced methods in statistical analysis to assemble, sift and present this information, which is then used to advise businesses and other organisations, including government agencies.

Financial risk analyst

Financial risk analysts identify and analyse the areas of potential risk threatening the assets, earning capacity or success of organisations in the industrial, commercial or public sector. They are responsible for predicting change and future trends, as well as forecasting cost to the organisation. There are high degrees of specialisation within the profession. Risk analysts may work in sales, origination, trading, marketing, financial services or private banking.

Business analyst

As a business analyst, you'll work within an organisation, helping to manage change and plan for the future in line with company goals. This could be for one specific project, or as a permanent feature of the organisation. You'll need to understand the current organisational situation, identify future needs and create solutions to help meet those needs, usually (but not always) in relation to information and software systems.

Business adviser

As an employed or self-employed business adviser, you'll provide information, support, coaching, advice and guidance to business people. This could range from individuals looking to start their own business through to supporting established businesses to grow, scale up, change or diversify their business model.

You'll provide specialist services depending on your expertise. Many business advisers specialise in supporting start-up businesses to move their business from concept to reality. This involves providing specialist finance and funding advice, consulting on organisational change and offering advice on innovation in technology, right through to supporting a business to develop international trade agreements.

Management consultant

Management consultants help organisations to solve issues, create value, maximise growth and improve business performance. They use their business skills to provide objective advice and expertise and help an organisation to develop any specialist skills that it may be lacking.

You will primarily be concerned with the strategy, structure, management and operations of a company. Your role is to identify options for the organisation and suggest recommendations for change, as well as advising on additional resources to implement solutions.

Financial manager

A financial manager is responsible for providing financial guidance and support to clients and colleagues so they can make sound business decisions. As a financial manager, you will need a good head for figures and for dealing with complex modelling and analysis, as well as a sound grasp of financial systems and procedures. You may be employed in many different environments including both public and private sector organisations.

Tax adviser

Tax advisers use their knowledge of tax legislation to provide advisory and consultancy services to clients, ensuring that they pay their taxes in the most efficient way and benefit from any tax advantages and exemptions. They need to keep up to date with changing tax laws and explain complicated legislation and its implications to their clients in simple terms.

Compliance officer

As a compliance officer, you are responsible for ensuring a company complies with its outside regulatory requirements and internal policies. In short, you are responsible for making sure that your employer plays by the rules. After the global economic downturn, financial service organisations in particular have been significantly increasing the size of their risk and compliance departments to respond to new regulations. Billions of pounds in fines were imposed on many of the top tier banks, compelling many to grow their teams as they rushed to ensure they are compliant. This means that there is a shortage of compliance change professionals.

Insurance account manager

As an insurance account manager, you'll promote your company's insurance products to those who will be directly selling them, typically brokers and independent financial advisers (IFAs). You'll have detailed knowledge of your employer's portfolio of products and will develop sales of the products and business accounts.

You'll work with a caseload of several clients, building up long-term relationships with them, and will play a central role in introducing new insurance products to the market, while also seeking to maintain the commercial performance of existing products.

Internal auditor

Internal auditors work within businesses and organisations to monitor and evaluate how well risks are being managed, the business is being governed and internal processes are working. They also provide a consulting service, advising management on how to improve systems and processes. The scope and nature of audits can vary significantly but the main priority of the work is to make sure any issues that affect the survival and prosperity of the business are dealt with.

The work of an internal auditor differs to that of external auditors as they look at more than financial and accounting risks. They also consider factors such as reputation, growth, environmental impact, treatment of employees and ethics. Their work helps senior management to provide evidence to stakeholders that they are managing the business effectively.