Economist

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Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would help governments to develop policies and businesses to plan financial strategies for the future.

You’d do research and analyse statistics. You’d look at issues like how much people earn, how much things cost and how people spend their money.

You’d apply economic theory to come up with ideas about what’s happening in the economy and what it might mean for the future. You’d explain your ideas clearly and simply to people with less technical knowledge than you.

You could work for a government department, a business, a bank or another organisation.

You would:

  • Research information from computer databases, websites, journals and newspapers
  • Look at past and present economic issues and trends
  • Create mathematical models to predict future developments
  • Analyse statistics
  • Produce reports
  • Present findings to your employer or client
  • Write reports for the media
  • Examine the effectiveness of current policies
  • Advise on the potential economic impact of policies and ideas

If you work in a university you may also teach students as well as doing research.

Working conditions

Hours

You would typically work standard office hours Monday to Friday, although flexible and part-time work may be available with some employers.

Environment

The work is office-based.

Travel

You may need to travel in the UK and possibly overseas, depending on the projects you were working on.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Working as part of a team
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Using computers
  • Solving mathematical problems
  • Researching and investigating
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management
  • Working with numbers

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You would need a first or second class honours degree (SCQF 10). Some employers require postgraduate qualification (SCQF 11).

Though you can apply for this job with any degree, courses with a numerate, finance and/or business focus and with units in economics or development studies can be particularly helpful.

To enter an economics degree requires National 5 qualifications and Highers at BBBC or above or a relevant HNC/HND.

To enter a finance/economics postgraduate qualification usually requires a degree in a related discipline at 2:1 or above and/or relevant work-based experience.

 

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most employers and courses)
  • Maths (required by most employers and courses)
  • Accounts
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • ICT subjects
  • Business
  • Social subjects

You will also need

Once in the job you may find it useful to join a professional body such as the Royal Economic Society or the Society of Business Economists.