What are some of the best careers available to economics graduates?

It can be difficult to know the best use of your skills when it comes to a career. Fortunately, we’ve compiled some of the best options for economics graduates.
James Davis
James Davis
Team The Uni Guide
Save 

Understanding economics is a vital component of many industries, making it particularly valuable. Governments require sound understanding of economics to better form policies regarding trade, tax and domestic commerce. International businesses need a keen understanding to shape their conception of competing markets, threats and opportunities. NGOs require it to understand where aid is best applied and their humanitarian efforts focussed. Whatever your ambitions, there are bound to be well-suited career opportunities. Here are just a few of the best.

Policy advisor

Why are economics graduates a good fit?

These professionals aid governments in committing to courses of action that are within their best interests and the public at large. Economics plays a key component in most if not all policy decisions due to the ever-present scarcity of resources not only in general, but in government budgets. Optimising funding is therefore a necessity for governments wishing to be most cost-effective. Economics graduates can help make that happen.

What skills are highly valued?

In addition to the quantitative abilities developed throughout the degree, economics graduates will need to develop excellent interpersonal skills to succeed. Talking to ministers and debriefing them succinctly on highly complex issues is a standard part of the job. Even if you have a perfect policy solution at your fingertips, it could be dismissed out of hand if communicated poorly. A good way to sharpen these skills is by joining your university’s debating or business societies.

What’s the salary like?

According to Payscale, Australian policy advisors make roughly $81,016 (AUD) on average per year. A senior policy advisor makes on average around $97,875 per year (AUD).

Economist

Why are economics graduates a good fit?

It makes perfect sense that the profession bearing the field of study as its namesake would be a good fit. Economics graduates learn exactly the knowledge required to get started in this field. Namely, they collect and interpret economic data to derive useful suppositions and conclusions for use in market analysis, policy, consulting and more. Economics graduates also know how to model data, which is another vital component of the profession put to the aforementioned uses.

What skills are highly valued?

Diligent research skills are a key component of this profession. Professionals must be comfortable pouring over large volumes of data and modelling it to assist others in understanding its significance. This is primarily a research position, so a great deal of patience toward this highly academic discipline won’t go astray.

What’s the salary like?

According to Payscale, Australian economists make roughly $76,417 (AUD) on average per year. A senior economist makes on average around $108,600 per year (AUD).

Actuary

Why are economics graduates a good fit?

Their ability to model and understand large amounts of data makes them a natural fit in actuarial services working for insurance companies or similar institutions. Risk is a familiar concept to economics graduates; with slightly more accreditation they can make excellent actuaries on account of their numerical skill and attention to detail.

What skills are highly valued?

Actuaries use probability calculations relevant to business and finance to analyse risk, so an exceptional mind for numbers is mandatory. The sheer volume of extraneous variables that go into risk calculation are enormous, so being able to absorb, interpret and see the relevance of facts that others would discard as unrelated is a skill of high importance.

What’s the salary like?

According to Payscale, Australian actuaries make roughly $98,998 (AUD) on average per year. This can rise all the way to $162,515 (AUD) late career, but salaries that high are not common.

Business analyst

Why are economics graduates a good fit?

Business analysts advise internal divisions of private or public enterprises so they allocate resources efficiently. The management of scarce resources is the primary domain of economics, making the field a natural fit for economics graduates.

What skills are highly valued?

Similar to policy advisors, interpersonal skills are something that must be well-developed to succeed in this field. This isn’t an area of focus during economics degrees, but it’s certainly something worth developing should this career path be of interest. If you’re thinking of taking up an economics degree or are just about to finish one, it can’t hurt to join your university’s business societies or debating clubs to sharpen these skills.

What’s the salary like?

According to Payscale, Australian business analysts make roughly $76,617 (AUD) on average per year. This can fluctuate based on type of business engaged with and level of experience, however. The following are all in AUD on an average per annum basis:

  • Business analysts in IT make $81,780
  • Business analysts in computer software make $73,244
  • Business analysts in finance and banking make $81,874
  • Junior business analysts makes $55,924
  • Senior business analysts make $109,902

There are a great deal more opportunities available to economics graduates, as it’s such a diverse field. Whether you’re just commencing an economics degree or are about to finish, you’ve made an excellent choice. If you’re looking for graduate positions in economics right now or are about to start considering them, click here to browse some of the best.