What can I do with a degree in Economics?

Find out where the range of skills you develop studying economics can take you. Here we list potential careers and tell you how you can find a job in this sector.

Economics careers

The occupations below are a selection of those that may interest students and graduates from the School of Economics.


Economists research and analyse economic trends, issues and data and produce forecasts & reports. These findings are used for advising clients (companies, financial institutions and public bodies) and providing them with economic information to assist in forming policy or strategy.

Prospects job profile: Economist


Actuaries and analysts are experts in risk management. They use their mathematical skills to measure the probability and risk of future events and to predict their financial impact on a business and their clients

Prospects job profile: Actuary
Institute of Actuaries: Become an Actuary
Inside Careers: Actuarial Careers

Chartered Accountant

Chartered accountants are never limited to one discipline. You can take your career into a diverse range of specialist areas including auditing, taxation, corporate finance, forensic accounting and business recovery.

Prospects job profile: Chartered Accountant
Inside Careers: Chartered Accountancy
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales


Investment analyst

Investment analysts undertake research and provide information and reports to help stock market traders, stockbrokers and fund managers make decisions about investments.

Prospects job profile: Investment analyst
All about finance careers: Investment research and analysis
Inside Careers: Investment analyst

Investment Banker

Investment banking relates primarily to helping large organisations access the capital markets to raise money for expansion or other needs. Two main areas of interest in investment banking for graduates are typically Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Proprietary Trading.

Prospects job profile:  Investment banker

All about finance careers: Investment Banking
Inside Careers: Investment banking

Please note that some of these careers may require further study. In particular, if you are interested in a career as an economist, a postgraduate degree is almost essential. Approximately 3% of graduates from Economics BA/BSc degrees begin their career in a specialised economics position each year; however, this proportion rises to over a third of those completing Master's degrees in Economics

This list gives brief details of organisations that have in the past advertised posts for graduates for work in economic research, policy and consultancy.  Many of these are likely to give preference to people with a postgraduate economics degree: the Bank of England and the Government Economic Service are the largest recruiters of undergraduate economists.

  • Financial Conduct Authority: Economics graduate scheme supporting the wider function of the FCA providing analysis and advice based on economic principles and techniques. Also undertake a fully funded MSc in Economics.
  • Government Economic Service Recruit for economist graduate roles, year-in-industry placements and summer vacation placements.
  • HM Treasury – Graduate programme, policy adviser developing policies that impact all areas of government
  • Institute for Fiscal Studies Independent research institute specialising in the economic analysis of public policy, especially fiscal policy. Offers a summer vacation scheme as well as graduate opportunities.
  • London Economics – Research assistant, work experience positions and summer internship programme. Speculative applications for positions at LE are welcome.
  • NERA Economic Consulting - seek to recruit Students with quantitative backgrounds, particularly as they align with economics and finance, as well as in related fields such as accounting, statistics, computer science, and other associated disciplines.
  • Bank of England Undergraduate and postgraduate development programmes, industrial placements and internships
  • CEBR, London Independent economics and business research consultancy providing analysis, forecasts and strategic advice to companies of all sizes, financial institutions, government departments and agencies, trade bodies and the European Commission.
  • Charles River Associates Global consulting firm that offers economic, financial, and business management expertise to major law firms, industries, accounting firms, and governments around the world
  • The Economist Group Economic information and analysis delivered in various formats, including The Economist.
  • New Economics Foundation UK think-tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice. 
  • The New Policy Institute UK research institute which produces evidence-based research on a range of social and economic issues.
  • OECD Young associates program and internship programme
  • OFCOM Graduate programme includes an Economist pathway.
  • ODI Fellowship scheme - gives postgraduate economists and statisticians the chance to work in developing country public sectors as local civil servants on two-year contracts.
  • Oxford Institute for Energy Studies  Doctoral and Masters research fellowships and occasional Research assistants and interns (for postgraduates only)
  • PWC Economic Consulting- advise high-profile clients in the public and private sectors, providing economic insights and evidence to help inform their business and shape their organisations
  • RBB Economics Offers career opportunities for entry level economists, generally with a postgraduate degree, “however, we do offer places to some candidates who only hold an undergraduate degree”
  • SQW Ltd, Cambridge  Recruits new graduates as Research Consultants. SQW provides research analysis and advice on sustainable economic and social development solutions for public, private and not-for-profit organisations
  • The World Bank Offers various graduate programmes and internships
  • National Institute of Economic and Social Research Britain's longest established independent research institute, founded in 1938. Carries out research which aims to improve understanding of the economic and social forces that affect people’s lives, and the ways in which policy can bring about change.

Other careers

Other careers

An Economics degree may be useful in the following career areas because the skills developed are likely to be important to do these jobs.

Insurance underwriter

Underwriters analyse risks and make decisions on whether or not to accept applications for insurance cover, and on what terms, with the aim of minimising the risk to their company and helping it to make a profit.

Prospects job profile: Insurance underwriter
Target Jobs: Insurance underwriter

The Chartered Insurance Institute: Discover Risk

Management consultant

In essence, a consultant’s job is to advise an organisation on improvements that can be made. Consultancy usually involves identification and assessment of a problem or analysis of a specific area, reporting findings and formulating recommendations..

Prospects job profile: Management consultant
Inside Careers: Management consultancy

Market researcher

Plans, co-ordinates and manages market research projects, collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative information and communicating it to clients.

Prospects job profile: Market researcher
Market Research Society: Your Career in Market Research

Retail Merchandiser

Retail merchandisers maximise stores’ profitability by predicting and monitoring sales trends and accurately controlling stock levels. Their work aims to ensure that the right amount of goods are available to customers and sold at the right price.

Prospects job profile: Retail merchandiser
Target jobs: Merchandising area of work

Risk Manager

Risk managers advise organisations on any potential risks to the profitability or existence of the company. They identify and assess threats, put plans in place for if things go wrong and decide how to avoid, reduce or transfer risk.

Prospects job profile: Risk manager

You may be interested in graduate roles outside of Economics. There are many employers who are looking for graduates with good degrees but that don’t have a preference for the subject studied. To explore different career options see:

Target Jobs: Information on career sectors

Skills gained

A graduate in Economics typically will have the ability to:

  • abstract and simplify in order to identify and model the essence of a problem
  • analyse and reason – both deductively and inductively
  • marshal evidence and to assimilate, structure, and analyse qualitative and quantitative data
  • communicate concisely results to a wide audience, including those with no training in Economics
  • think critically about the limits of one’s analysis in a broader socio-economic context
  • draw economic policy inferences and to recognise the potential constraints in their implementation
  • apply literary and information-processing skills, as well as interpersonal skills.

Studying Economics therefore develops a wide range of transferable skills, which are important in many career fields. These include:

  • Data handling and analysis
  • Communicating well in speech and writing
  • Numeracy
  • Thinking through and presenting logical arguments
  • Problem solving
  • Making decisions
  • Using IT well
  • Working with others
  • Time management
  • Managing and improving your own learning and performance

Find a job

The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships. The websites listed below may also be useful when searching for a job and when looking for further information on this sector.

You may also find useful reviews and application/interview tips for specific organisations on the following websites:

Further study

More and more students are following their first degree with further academic or professional study: over 20% of Economics graduates are engaged in some form of further study, either full or part-time, six months after graduation. Other graduates, who are working or taking time out at this stage, will begin their postgraduate study later on.

If you are interested in a career as an economist, a postgraduate degree is almost essential. Approximately 3% of graduates from Economics BA/BSc degrees begin their career in a specialised economics position each year; however, this proportion rises to over a third of those completing Master's degrees in Economics. A few employers which recruit undergraduates into economics-related posts will sponsor you to obtain a postgraduate qualification, often on a part-time basis. These include the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Government Economic Service.

Many employers of interest to Economics graduates, particularly those in the finance sector, target their graduate recruitment on undergraduates rather than postgraduates. This does not mean that they will not recruit postgraduates, but you may find that you are entering the organisation at the same level that you would have done with your first degree. These employers will provide on-the-job training and study leave if there are relevant professional qualifications to be gained (such as chartered accountancy) which are of value to them.

If you are interested in other careers, some, such as teaching or law, will require study for a relevant professional qualification. In other careers, such as journalism, a postgraduate degree is not a requirement, but may be an advantage, while there are many careers that will put more emphasis on personal skills than on academic qualifications. The “Types of Jobs” section of the Prospects website will tell you whether postgraduate study is essential, useful or not needed for a specific career.

There are many reasons for choosing to continue into postgraduate study. You may wish to obtain a higher degree purely for interest rather than for career reasons. Whatever your motivation, you need to consider issues such as your suitability for further study, the options available to you and the costs involved. 

Looking for Careers Advice?  

The Careers and Employability Service is open to all University of Kent students and recent graduates. We support students from the moment they start their course, throughout their student life and up to three years after their graduation.   

Book an appointment with a Careers Advisor today 

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