Are you an analytical thinker? Do you want to apply skills in maths, data and problem solving to real-world challenges?

If so, you may be thinking about studying economics. But you might also be surprised about what you can do with an economics degree. Jobs in economics are many and varied, because nearly every aspect of life can be analysed through economics. And that means economics is about more than just money; it’s about using data, maths and reason to understand behaviour, improve wellbeing and make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Why study economics?

Studying economics gives you a broad range of skills in logical reasoning, mathematics, data, statistics, problem-solving and communication - all of which will set you up for success in the jobs of the future. By bringing together an exploration of powerful economic concepts with these sought-after professional skills, an economics degree will empower you to pursue careers that drive solutions to grand challenges like climate change, inequality, and the wellbeing of societies.

Careers in economics

Let’s take a look at the diverse range of jobs you can pursue if you study economics:

  • The most obvious starting point is a job as a professional economist. Economists analyse how trends and patterns impact society, with an overarching goal to improve life for all. There are diverse fields economists can specialise in, meaning you can use your skills in to make an impact in the areas you’re passionate about. Here’s a few:

    Health economist – looks at how resources are allocated and used in different health systems and how people make choices about their health. They can work in public or private healthcare settings to reduce waste, increase efficiency and improve health outcomes for society. 

    Behavioural economist – looks at the psychology of economic decision-making for individuals and institutions. They explore how decisions are made in the real world.

    Financial economist – looks at how financial instruments are priced in markets and how individuals and firms manage financial risk.

    Labour economist – looks at the functioning and dynamics of the labour market including supply and demand, unemployment, wage determination and economic development.

    Macroeconomist – looks at the performance and processes of an economy using macroeconomics, including economic output, inflation, interest and foreign exchange rates and the balance of payments. 

  • With analytical thinking, statistics and data at the core of economics, you’ll be well set up for diverse analyst roles across business:

    Credit analyst – analyses and makes recommendations on credit and loan applications.

    Business analyst – analyses business data to improve processes, products, services and software.

    Financial analyst – analyses data to plan, forecast and assess potential financial risks for a company and inform strategy.

    Insurance analyst – analyses and evaluates insurance policies to determine the risks involved for both the insurance company and the policyholder.

    Data analyst - analyses data to identify key insights into a business or organisation’s customer base and uses their insights to solve problems.

    Policy analyst - uses skills in economics to analyse policies and their effects, and to advise governments and organisations how to adjust those policies to achieve goals.

  • Graduates with a background in economics are also highly valued in other roles throughout business – from banking and financial markets to accounting and beyond. Specific roles include:

    • Actuary
    • Business reporter
    • Economic researcher
    • Economic consulting
    • Financial consultant
    • Financial controller
    • Financial services
    • Human resource manager
    • Investment analyst
    • Management consultant
    • Market research analyst
  • A degree in economics will also set you up for a range of public sector and government roles. These include roles within economic planning, pricing and risk analysis, policy analysis, public taxation, transport, energy and other forms of government spending.

Study economics at UNSW

Whether you’re looking to study a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, UNSW offers renowned professional qualifications including Bachelor of Economics and Master of Applied Economics as well as economics majors in Bachelor of Commerce, and Master of Commerce.

We're shaping the future

Bachelor of Economics student Tom Houlden wants to use his curiosity and analytical mind to improve lives for future Australians.

Connect with us

Where could an economics degree take you?

Explore your economics study options at UNSW.