Graduate Job Profile - Economist

Working with governments, industry and commercial institutions economist provide advice and information to assist these bodies to form sound policies and strategies to make the most of the economic climate. They have theoretical knowledge of market forces. Economists research and analyse raw statistical data to produce written and verbal reports for a wide range of purposes. Economists advise on probable future economic performance and such issues as competition, import and export, interest rates and investment opportunities.

Economists have to work under extreme pressure and may be involved on several projects at the same time. Economists may work alongside other professionals, senior managers and government officials. Many are involved in academic roles, teaching in universities and conducting research into developing current economic and social theory.

The minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 or better. Most economists will have a degree in business or finance. Employers also look for postgraduate qualifications and relevant financial or business experience. It is an advantage to be able to speak a foreign language as you may be required to liaise with overseas clients. This could also lead to international opportunities in organisations such as the European Union, the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund.

Training is delivered on-the-job by the employer and involves working under the direction of senior staff. Employers value professional qualifications and encourage studying for a postgraduate qualification which they will often fund. Around 500 economists are employed by the government and many positions available are in London or other large cities. Other employers include financial institutions such as the Bank of England, investment and insurance companies, commercial banks, management and economic consultancies.

A graduate going into this industry could earn from £19,000 to £25,000 a year but this depends on location and whether you are employed in the public or private sector. Experienced economists earn as much as £40,000 with senior positions commanding around £60,000.

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