Most in Demand Jobs in Economics Today
When it comes to choosing a career path, pragmatic people know that they shouldn't select a job purely based on how interesting they find it. In order to have a stable, long-term career, the job path chosen should be based on the needs of the market as well as the interests and skills of the individual. For this reason, we've rounded up some potential jobs for economists which are highly in demand today.
The job of a financial analyst is to research and create reports on the status of companies, industries, stocks, or other financial products. These analyses usually consist of statistical tests using the advanced quantitative skills that economics majors have often acquired. But in addition to mathematical and statistical skills, such work also requires the ability to write reports and to convey this mathematical information in a clear way. This is a skill which economists tend to have more practice in than mathematicians or hard scientists, so the job is a good fit. As long as there is a market for financial products and investments, there will be a need for financial analysts so this is a job that will be in demand for the foreseeable future.
Actuaries most often work in the field of insurance, and their job is to create models which will determine how likely it is that a given event will happen: fires, earthquakes, accidental deaths, natural deaths, businesses failing, and more. The idea is to quantify how much risk there is of a particular event occurring so that insurance companies can use this information to set the costs of their coverage. Like working as a financial analyst, this role also requires exceptional quantitative skills, although it has less of an emphasis on written reports. The insurance industry is one of the more stable industries over the long term, so this job will continue to be in high demand.
An auditor works to check and verify the financial statements of companies to ensure that they have paid the correct taxes and that their finances are in good order. This requires skills in quantitative analysis, but even more so it requires recognising patterns and identifying outlying or suspicious data points. As economics researchers often focus on analysing patterns, this is a task they are well suited to. Auditing is important for all big companies and will be especially important as computerisation and automation take over more and more tasks. There is a big need for auditors who can check and verify the numbers produced by automated systems to ensure they are in compliance with all relevant regulations.
Information security analyst
An information security analyst works to create and maintain the security measures that an organisation has in place to protect them from cyber attacks. While this is traditionally a job more linked to computer science than economics, in fact, there is quite some crossover in the skill required. Security analysts require excellent attention to detail as well as a degree of creative thinking to imagine all of the ways that a security system might be vulnerable. This job is hugely in demand thanks to recent high profile hacking events, and it is a job that an economics major with an interest in computers and digital security could be well suited for.
Environmental or resource economist
A major growth area is the environmental sector, as companies become more aware of the importance of sustainability and the need to follow environmental regulations. Environmental economists perform empirical or theoretical studies into the economic impact of environmental issues and policies, such as examining the economic impact of new air pollution regulations, carbon tax initiatives, plans to dam a river. Environmental projects such as working to reduce waste or improve air quality have economic effects as well as ecological effects, so environmental economists are required to predict the economic outcomes of these projects. With an increased emphasis on environmental awareness all around the world, this job is one that is highly demanded.
- A Career in Economics
Additional Courses to Improve Your Prospects in a Career in Economics
If you're doing an economics degree and thinking about ways to maximise your career prospects once you graduate, there are lots of courses outside the realm of economics for you to choose from. From business to programming to statistics, there are plenty of areas which can help you improve your chances of getting a job and widen your skillset more generally, if you've got the money and time to enrol on one.
The Pros and Cons of a Career in Research
Upon completion of a Master's degree or PhD, the big question arises: what next? Although it seems like natural progression to continue with further research, there are many other careers open to academics in business, education, or communication and journalism, to name but a few examples. So how do you know if research is the right career choice for you? A good way of figuring it out is weighing up the pros and cons. Browse our job listings for economics opportunities
- Economics Terms A-Z
Elasticity of Substitution
Elasticity of substitution measures the ease with which one can switch between factors of production. The concept has a broad range of applications, from comparisons of labour and capital in firms, immigrant versus native workers in the labour market, to assessing ‘clean’ versus ‘dirty’ methods of production for environmental economics.