What Qualifications Do I Need To Become An Economist?
Now more than ever, economists have become a high-profile career, helping the Government, businesses and the public to read the signs of a country’s economy.
Social media and the news are brimming with armchair economists, whose training and experience in the field are dubious at best.
But real economists work in a range of sectors, helping companies plan ahead for the future or helping non-governmental organisations look at inequality and opportunity in a country.
Other major employers include the Government, which relies on economists to project how much it will earn in taxation, how the economy of the country has performed, and how it will fare in the future.
The opportunities are varied and it can be a highly rewarding and remunerating job, with salaries ranging from £25,000 a year to over £70,000 for an experienced economist, according to the National Careers Service.
What Skills Do Economists Need?
Essential to being an economist is a good grasp of numbers, and a desire to understand theoretical ideas.
Economics is in fact considered a science – academic economists study trends, look at ways economies work and posit theories and ideas for those trends.
This requires a strong analytical or logical mindset – to look at ideas and question theories, plus to be able to look at data and read trends within it.
Economists need to be able to read data, analyse figures, and consider financial and economic policy ideas. A good aptitude for problem-solving and deduction are great facets too.
Basic Economist Qualifications
To become an economist, the starting point is to look at what undergraduate degree you have or might be likely to pursue.
Economics is a common undergrad degree course in itself, but the field combines components of other areas such as statistics, maths, business studies, finance, and accounting.
Joint degrees in economics and other topics are also suitable, but typically Master’s programs will look at how many units were taken in economics – with the institution likely to want you to have done a majority in economics.
Master’s degrees in economics are common, and there is a very good range of courses out there from major universities in the UK.
But it is also on the spectrum of more expensive postgraduate courses, particularly as the remuneration for professional economists is relatively high.
As an example of cost, the London School of Economics (LSE) is one of the most prestigious higher education establishments to study economics (the clue is in the name!). It currently charges £31,584 for its MSc in Economics.
Another Russell Group university, The University of Manchester, charges somewhat less at £13,500 for UK students.
Working In Economics
Getting a job in economics is perhaps not the easiest profession to get into. It is a highly specialised field, and while the demand is there for economists, it’s not a profession that requires thousands of participants.
Entry points for trained economists are certainly available, but realistically having a Master’s degree will go a long way to set you out from the crowd.
Are you thinking about pursuing a master’s at a top UK university? Make your dream come true by seizing this opportunity to either take your career to the next level or tick off a personal interest. *Apply online and we’ll support you on your path to success.
*Credit is subject to status and loan approval is not guaranteed. Over 18’s only. Terms and conditions apply.