An economist applies specialist knowledge to real-world events and developments to provide insights into their financial, social and political impact. They will research data and statistics and use their understanding of economic relationships to uncover trends which will be used to forecast economic direction and make recommendations for the organisation they are working for.
Economists are employed in both the public and private sectors by governments, commercial enterprises, consultancy firms, universities and think tanks.
You will require at least a 2:1 degree in economics or a joint degree including the following combinations:
- economics with finance
- economics with law
- economics with management studies
- economics with mathematics
- economics with politics
- international economics
Your university course should include both macro and microeconomics.
Some employers accept an undergraduate degree if supplemented by relevant research, work experience or a postgraduate qualification added subsequently but many employers may have a preference for advanced degrees - masters and PhDs.
You could complete a professional economist degree apprenticeship.
Entry requirement will normally include:
4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications such as A levels
An alternative route could be through the Government Economic Service Fast Stream programme, starting out as an assistant economist.
Career Path and Progression
The first few years as an Economist will probably consist of in-house training, usually alongside an experienced or senior colleague. You will spend a large part of your initial years attending learning programmes and courses including conferences, seminars and workshops.
With experience you could progress to senior levels or become a self-employed freelance consultant.
- Excellent knowledge of maths
- knowledge of economics and accounting
- 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
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
£25,000 to £35,000