Factors to consider when thinking about a career in Statistical Services and Operational Research:
Economists provide specialist advice based on the applications of economic theory and knowledge. They:
- Spend their time studying data and statistics monitoring economic trends and aspects of economic and social policy, ranging from interest rates, taxation and employment levels, to energy, health, transport and international development.
- Economists use specialist software and advanced methods in statistical analysis to assemble, sift and present this information, which is then used to advise businesses and other organisations, including government agencies.
Types of jobs
Career development for economists varies between organisations:
- Within the Government Economic Service (GES) as an entry-level assistant economist, you will join a fast stream development programme designed to develop your economic, managerial and communication skills. This programme will involve you working in the many different Civil Service departments so you will be expected to move jobs every year or so.
- Those joining the Bank of England will start on the Analyst Career Training Programme, which includes on-the-job training, development workshops, seminars and other relevant training.
- Those entering the Private Sector may enter as economic research officers or analysts before progressing to become economic consultants or senior economists. In business, economists often work very closely with senior-level staff and after an appropriate level of experience may enter management at strategic or operational level.
As an economist you could also consider other related occupations to include:
- Agricultural Economist
- Chartered Management Accountant
- Industry Economist
- Investment Analyst
- Management Consultant
- Operational Researcher
- Financial Adviser
Work experience is vital. On every application form, in addition to the minimum 2:1 degree and 300/340 UCAS points, employers will ask about work experience. Questions about your achievements and skills will require you to focus on work-based competencies, and employers will want to see evidence of this.
Naturally, relevant work experience would be an advantage as it will help you to gain inside knowledge of careers and organisations, build contacts in industry, and also give you the opportunity to gain practical experience to enrich understanding of your studies.
Many organisations offer students the opportunity to undertake a period of work experience. Some also offer internships. It is therefore strongly advised that you take advantage of these opportunities. As such early application is necessary ie by November 2016 for placement in Spring/Summer 2017 (see related links for useful websites). Remember, those organisations that do offer internships, they will be used by the employer as a means of pre-recruitment.
- You can also develop appropriate skills whilst at university by taking on positions of responsibility, such as organising people, events and finances, whether in a voluntary or paid capacity.
- Within economics employers are going to want to see evidence of, research skills, business understanding, analytical and problem solving skills, excellent communication skills, self reliance, motivation, IT skills
- Ability to build productive working relationships and excellent time management and organisational skills.
Local links and events
Many varying organisations visit the university to make presentations and attend recruitment events throughout the year. Check the latest edition of the Careers & Employability Programme of Events and notice boards in your Department to find out who has arranged forthcoming visits. All events and recruitment fairs are posted here - the Business, Finance & Banking Careers Fair and the Autumn Careers Information & Recruitment Event (every October) are an excellent way to meet potential employers seeking to recruit graduates.
Also ensure you see your Personal Tutor and check Department notice boards on a regular basis, many placement opportunities will be posted in your Department.
Employers and vacancy sources
- Our Jobs Board – search vacancies posted by employers or set up job alerts via the Jobs Board or Career Account apps. Also tweeted via @CardiffCareers