What You Need to Know as an Economics GraduateWhat You Need to Know as an Economics Graduate
Economics is a social science in which it studies how individuals, businesses and communities solve the problem of the allocation and distribution of resources such as goods, services, money, labour, knowledge, time and capital. Almost all aspects of everyone’s life can be analysed in an economic perspective, making the study of economics appeal to many fields of work.
As a graduate that wants to work in the filed of economics, there are requirements needed to be fulfilled to make you a qualified candidate. Academically, you would need to have a degree in economics, an economics major in a general degree (e.g. arts, commerce) or a joint degree.
Graduates that completed a joint degree must ensure that the majority of their degree modules are in economics and have studied both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Joint degrees may include the following combinations:
- Economics and/with management studies
- Economics and/with law
- Economics and/with politics
- Economics and/with finance
- Economics and/with mathematics
- International economics etc.
Potential candidates also need to show their personal skills that could work in the economics field, including skills such as:
- Strong analytical, quantitative and mathematical skills
- Data processing and statistical modelling skills
- Accuracy and attention to detail
- Ability to build productive working relationships
- Ability to work both in a team and individually
- Organisational and time management skills
- Ability to work under pressure during tight deadlines
Knowing a foreign language and having undergone training for computer science are also skills that are beneficial in the industry.
What to Expect
Economists work in both private and public sectors. Working in the private sector often involves analysing domestic and international market developments while working in public sectors focus more on the role of the government in policy and regulation of markets.
Working in the economics industry, there are a number of various tasks to perform on the job and they may include tasks such as:
- Research and analysing the production and distribution of goods and services
- Applying economic theories to financial projects
- Developing economic policy approaches and recommendations for companies, governments, and other organisations
- Devising methods and procedures for obtaining data
- Understanding and interpreting data
- Providing advice on financial planning, taxes, budgeting, and other economic matters to numerous stakeholders
- Delivering numerous oral and visual presentations
- Assessing the impact of monetary policies, expenditure and taxation on economic conditions
- Identifying opportunities to improve efficiency and international competitiveness
- Preparing and analysing forecasts on economic trends, market growths and shrinkages etc.
Employment and Careers
There are various job opportunities for economics graduates, which may include jobs in banking and finance, business analysis, law, journalism and public policy with the most frequent reported occupations are of business, human resources and marketing; numerical clerks; and legal, social and welfare professionals1. The main employing industries are professional, scientific and technical services (33.7%), public administration and safety (29.0%) and financial and insurance services (18.8%)2.
With 88% of those in the economics field working full time as an economists, the average weekly hours for a full time economists is 41.9 hours per week3. The median salary for a bachelor graduate in economics is $56,000 with the starting salary on the selected occupations range as follows4:
- Economists: $46,200 - $54,500
- Financial advisor/manager: $44,000 - $60,000
- Intelligence/policy analyst: $45,000 - $54,000
- Management/organisation analyst: $48,000 - $65,000
There are federal government departments and agencies that often recruit economics graduates including:
- Reserve Bank of Australia
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Australian Treasury
- Productivity Commission
- Australian National Audit Office
Agencies that provide international opportunities also recruit graduates, as they require economists for their core activities such as:
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
- World Bank
- International Monetary Fund
Job growth for the economics field over the past five years have been 90.6%, however for future employment growth it is expected to be in decline. However, the top three regions for employment are NSW (38.8%), ACT (16.4%) and VIC (16.3%).
1 Graduate Opportunities, Economics – Bachelor Graduates (All). 2015
2 Job Outlook, Economists, 2015
3 Open Universities Australia, Economists. 2015
4 Graduate Careers, Economics. 2015