By the SMU Social Media Team
So Freakonomics has made the field of economics cool again. But did you know that economics has long been valued as the science to study because it usually promises plenty of opportunities and stability, in any kind of — well — economy? Scroll down to see the trending careers that an econs grad could embark upon, and prepare to be surprised:
Renowned investors George Soros, Ray Dalio and Jim Rogers all possess degrees in economics; and there’s a good reason why the trading floor is flooded with economics majors. The course of study provides the framework for understanding economic indicators, business cycles, fiscal policies and so on—crucial for interpreting the impact of world events and policy decisions on the stock market.
Just because you didn’t major in English doesn’t mean you can’t be a star reporter for the money desk or business journalist. Econs grads have the ability to understand the situation of a particular business, or possess the vocabulary to interview, say, the CEO of a major company—before clearly communicating a compelling story for readers.
A degree in economics provides so much insight into the workings of a business and that of the business world in general. Besides being able to read interactions between consumers and businesses, econs majors can reflect upon issues like inflation and economic growth—skills that are essential for the survival of any business. They are better able to predict opportunities or shortcomings to sustain their own business. Consider a double degree in Economics and Business Management and you’re well on your way to being a biz whiz.
4. Finance and accounting
A degree in economics helps one figure out how markets work and analyse data. Couple that with a double degree in accounting and econs grads will be equipped with a global outlook relevant to a wide range of job opportunities. Investment banking, for example, is an avenue to explore due to their unique ability to conduct investment analysis; or be a tax specialist who could take into account issues like economic policies and international trade.
5. Public service
Econs degree holders can make a difference in society by employing their knowledge to strategise government finances and economic planning. They can contribute to sectors like taxation, transport, investments and other areas where government spending needs to be analysed and allocated—thereby influencing the buses and trains upon which we travel, or the taxes that we pay as research analysts and consultants.
6. Data Analyst
With the flood of information that we’re facing, there is a need for specialists who are able to review and decipher data and statistics in any industry. An actuarial data analyst, for example, could utilise statistical formulas that were mastered as an econs major, to assess, say, insurance policy premiums; while an investment data analyst researches investments for organisations ranging from banks to charities and individuals by making sense of financial data. Consider a double degree in Economics and Information Systems, to fully utilise algorithms and technical tools to analyse data.
Retail merchandisers do a lot more than just shop for a living. Working for department stores, grocery chains or even e-commerce outlets, buyers need to constantly study spreadsheets and analyse and track market and sales trends to determine products that are in demand. They also need to track sales to decide on pricing, inventory and even product placement—all of which could be aided with the analytical skills of an econs grad.
The study of economics helps one gain a better understanding of the world, from the effects of globalisation to the impact of a recession on everyday life. It puts into context how we consume resources and overlaps so many fields including law, politics and environmental studies. Hence, help others explore this fascinating field by being a qualified economics educator—who is well in demand at every level.
9. Business consultancy
A business consultant provides sound advice to organisations to help improve their performance and efficiency. Econs grads are well positioned to work with data and develop strategies based on research—by analysing a company’s economic, financial and accounting history.
10. Product management
We consume products on a daily basis but seldom stop to think how they came into being. A product manager is tasked with coordinating the process of creating a product efficiently, from overseeing scheduling and costs, to analysing the quality of a product and managing waste. Econs grads understand market forces and consumer behaviour, with the added advantage of being able to analyse data and patterns for greater efficiency.
Learn more about SMU’s Bachelor of Science (Economics) programme today.