What do Warren Buffet – the third wealthiest person in the world, Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla Inc., and Urjit Patel – former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India have in common? Yes, you guessed it right!
They are exceptionally successful in their fields and well-renowned among the smartest minds around the world.
However, are you aware that all three of them were Economics graduates as well?
A career in Economics is extremely rewarding in today’s business scenario. The interdisciplinary nature of the subject, compounded with its rigor, opens a plethora of doors for an Economics graduate in areas spanning from public policy and development, to data science and marketing.
So let us explore some of these careers in greater detail. If you are among those thousands of students seeking a career as an Economics Honours graduate, but aren’t yet sure how to go about it, this guide is for you.
Since the core skill of an Economics graduate is her/his ability to understand the economy as a whole, many students choose to study Economics at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in order to become successful researchers and policymakers. One may aim to do this as the state or country’s finance minister in future, or as a central banker, or in other technical policy making roles. Aside from being popularly elected, routes to active policy making include academia in conjunction with active policy consultations, or becoming a technocrat (or technical bureaucrat).
Development Sector Organisations or Think Tanks
This is a sector that is closely connected with policymaking, but often in the form of its alter-ego. Both development sector organisations and think tanks often conduct research on incumbent and other policy options, in fields like poverty, rural/urban development, education, healthcare, agriculture, international trade and economic policy, in order to present civil society and governments with credible policy alternatives. Again, this is a research-driven field, and expertise in statistical and econometric tools, which Economics graduates tend to have, provides an edge.
Economist in a Corporate Sector Firm
Many corporate sector firms hire economists to conduct research on the macro business environment that they operate in, and help them better navigate business cycles and policy changes. Your work will involve conducting thorough research using statistical and econometric tools, and make recommendations based on your findings. If you choose this career, you may find yourself working for a bank, a large e-commerce firm, or even a technology major such as Google.
Not all Economics graduates go on to carve careers in the field of core Economics. Many move to allied areas like management and finance, and are very successful there on account of the strong analytical base provided by a training in Economics.
Management consulting is essentially about analytical problem-solving. Organisations from all industries and sectors, including the government, when faced with challenges that they are unable to address with the internal resources at their disposal, reach out to consultants to offer an external, professional and thoroughly researched view. As a result, a consultant is consistently involved in solving problems across a range of industries, by conducting in-depth analyses of the clients’ businesses and the market environment they operate in.
Since the basic skills required for Finance are taught in Economics undergraduate programmes, many Economics students go on to specialise in Finance. One may go on to a career in the financial services industry, including investment banking, corporate banking, private banking, and investment / wealth / asset management. Alternatively, one may specialise in corporate finance, thereby revenue streams, investment projects and overall financial management, and aim to become Chief Financial Officer some day.
Actuarial science is a fast-emerging career option among Economics graduates. Actuaries are essentially experts at analysing risk and uncertainty, and also pricing them and provisioning for them. They have strong domain knowledge of mathematics, statistics and finance, in addition to economics, and are prominently employed in the insurance industry, and by pension funds, investment firms and actuarial consulting firms.