2020 applicants
Department of Economics

Career prospects

Two students wearing mortar boards at a graduation ceremony.

Economics will give you the skills to succeed in a post-pandemic world

Economic recovery is probably the most pressing and urgent challenge of the current university generation. A degree from the Department of Economics will give you the unique tools to take on this challenge, find a solution, and improve well-being.
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Which jobs will suit me?
  • A financial analyst, banker, wealth manager, stockbroker, accountant, international trade specialist, political risk analyst or a consultant; these are just a few of the exciting careers a degree in economics could lead to.
  • You could continue your education with us in readiness for a career as a professional economist. Your advanced skill set will be highly valued by local, national and international government organisations, public and private banks, insurance companies, think-tanks, large multinational companies, financial consultancies, accountancy firms and local authorities.
  • In addition to finance and banking careers, past students of the Department have graduated into a range of successful jobs in fields such as; law, accountancy, tourism, teaching, government, charity and third sector roles, business management and entrepreneurship.

How will an Economics degree benefit my future career prospects?

Which employers will value my degree?

Economics is vital to our future well-being. In the months and years to come, the UK will become increasingly reliant upon careful economic management, in order to rise above the current economic, social and political challenges we face. Those who study economics will be highly valued in all areas of public and private spending.

A degree from the Department of Economics will prepare you for careers in fields such as:

  • Financial analysis
  • Accountancy
  • Banking
  • Financial management
  • Business development
  • Government and public sector roles
  • Corporate finance
  • Insurance
  • Data analysis or data science

The sectors listed above are just a few examples of the pathways that a degree from the Department can lead to. Employers are often looking for a degree level qualification rather than anything subject-specific, so there is no need to limit yourself to the roles listed above. The skills you will develop during your time at Essex will enable you to pursue a wide range of potential career paths.

Which skills will I develop in readiness for the workplace?

At Essex you will be immersed in a broad programme of study, uniquely designed to equip you with a diverse skill set. Graduates of the Department will find their skill set highly sought after by employers looking to withstand the many economic challenges that lie ahead.

A degree from the Department of Economics will help you to develop:

  • Mathematical proficiency; handling complex data and applying mathematical and statistical analysis methods
  • Creative problem solving; extracting information, drawing conclusions and making recommendations
  • Communication skills; enabling you to convey complex theories and models
  • Analytical skills; analysing research methods, data, conclusions and recommendations
  • Computing skills; utilising specialised software
  • Time management; completing specific tasks within designated time frames

How will my degree help me to succeed in a challenging jobs market?

Brexit, Covid-19, the threat of recession and increasing austerity measures; these are just a few of the pressing issues which have necessitated an increased demand for highly skilled economists in many employment sectors. From health and social care, to trade policy, labour market organisation, education and industrial policy, today's students of economics will play an integral role in overcoming the challenges we will face in all areas of public life.

During your time at Essex, you will be trained in the areas traditionally associated with economics, such as finance, business, and international trade and development. You will also have the chance to develop a unique strength in public policy measures, learning how to stimulate and manage the economy, including the behavioural techniques to get messages across. This distinctive focus will ensure you stand out from the crowd and will equip you with the necessary skills required to tackle the most difficult economic obstacles.

 

How will the Department support my career development?

Which career development opportunities are unique to the Department of Economics?

The Department of Economics provides a host of unique resources and opportunities, specifically designed to boost your future career prospects. They include:

Placements: 

As part of your Degree, you will have the opportunity to include a placement year, giving you invaluable workplace experience in readiness for your life beyond education. The Department will work closely with you to ensure you find the best possible placement, in line with your future career aspirations. The proximity of the University of Essex to London ensures that you will be able to access the wealth of employment opportunities available within the capital.

Students from the Department have recently undertaken placements in high profile companies such as:

  • Goldman Sachs
  • Ford
  • Greater Anglia
  • Barclays

Mock Interviews:

We want to ensure our graduates receive the very best employment offers. To help you achieve this, we host mock interview panels and provide you with critical feedback in preparation for and tailored to your specific job interviews. This programme has been carefully designed to ensure you are able to compete with confidence, giving you the competitive edge in an increasingly fierce job market.

The Economics Society:

The Economics Society is a lively student-led organisation which hosts weekly events such as talks, dinners, and meetings. Talks are given by alumni to students of all levels, enabling you to learn directly from employers about specific jobs, sectors, and careers. Following each talk, you will have the chance to meet and interact with our guest speakers in a small group setting. This unique networking opportunity will enable you to gain valuable face-to-face time with high-quality employers.

The Economics Society also organises its own seminar series in which current students give talks and respond to questions. These events will enable you to hone your public speaking skills in a friendly and supportive environment.

 

Visit the Economics Society

The Employability Advisory Group:

Our Employability Advisory Group is comprised of a network of alumni who work closely with the Department, constantly advising us on how best to shape our teaching programme to improve career prospects for current students.  This group also provides a source of alumni mentorship for our students.

The UK Data Archive:

The UK Data Archive (UKDA) is located within the University of Essex and is home to the the UK's largest digital collection of social sciences and population research data from the past 50 years. The UKDA provides researchers and students with training and support to access and utilise the data housed here. Students of the Department of Economics are able to access this unique and valuable resource.

 

Visit the UK Data Archive

What about opportunities for further study?

An advanced skill set in economics is becoming increasingly attractive to employers looking to overcome the challenges we face in a post-pandemic era. Continuing your study with us will ensure you have the opportunity to graduate with finely honed skills, ready to propel you into the job market.

Graduates of economics are able to choose from a wide range of Masters level courses. Don't have an undergraduate degree in economics? Don't worry - students with a degree in unrelated disciplines will also be considered for further study with us, subject to meeting entry requirements.

Browse our full list of Masters level courses to find your advanced area of study:

 

View our Masters level courses

Funding your further study:

Students of the Department can benefit from a number of scholarships and funding opportunities. To view the very latest opportunities, please visit our scholarships and funding page.

Fee discounts:

If you are a graduate of the University of Essex, studied abroad here or have a spouse or partner studying here as a full-time international student paying overseas fees, we'll give you a loyalty discount of up to 33% on the tuition fee for your first year of postgraduate study at Essex.

 

Learn more about the loyalty discount 

What support can I expect to receive after I graduate?

The Department of Economics is home to a supportive environment for budding and active economists alike. Your time with us will ensure you are able to work alongside some of the most prominent academics working in the field today. But this network of support doesn't disappear after graduation. Through activities such as our Employability Advisability Group, we ensure our alumni retain close ties with the Department long after they leave academia. Graduates are also welcome to return to the Departmental open seminars so you can stay up to date with the very latest thinking from the Department.

Once you leave Essex, all graduates are able to access a lifetime of career support. From help with hunting for your perfect job, to support transitioning from one career to another, the Career Services team are always on hand to help you at any point in your life after Essex. Visit the Career Services page to learn more about how we support graduates throughout their lifetime:

 

Visit Career Services 


The University also hosts an incredibly vibrant alumni network. This community is open to all graduates of Essex and will provide you with exclusive membership for a lifetime, discounts, networking events and much more:

 

Learn more about our alumni network 
A portrait of Nina Heyden.
"I’m now based in New York City and I'm an Economist at Chainalysis; a blockchain analysis company with the mission of building trust in blockchains to further the growth of the cryptocurrency industry."
Nina Heyden, Economist MSc Applied Economics and Data Analysis

Learn more about Nina's career as an Economist

Nina Heyden, MSc Applied Economics and Data Analysis, University of Essex

Why did you decide to study your course at Essex?

The MSc Applied Economics and Data Analysis programme offered a unique combination of modules, with opportunities to cultivate data analysis skills in addition to continuing my studies in Economics. The UK Data Archive was also a draw, as we were trained on interesting datasets in class and I was able to tap into the UK Labour Force Survey for my dissertation. I received a grant from the US-UK Fulbright Programme which sponsored me to complete my studies at Essex. During my application for the Fulbright, I reached out to several professors at the University of Essex who expressed interest in my dissertation topic: immigration. I was grateful to be supported by the professors at Essex even before my studies began.

What employability or further study skills did studying at Essex give you?

I sought feedback from Careers Services in preparing for internship interviews. Although I ultimately decided to focus on my studies during the months I spent at Essex, the careers centre gave helpful feedback on my CV, which I've taken with me. Studying at Essex allowed me to connect with professors and classmates from all over the world and maintaining those professional relationships and friendships has been very rewarding.

Can you tell us about your current role?

I’m now based in New York City and I'm an Economist at Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company with the mission of building trust in blockchains to further the growth of the cryptocurrency industry. We offer compliance and investigation software to allow businesses to assess risk and protect their reputations and to help law enforcement identify and stop actors who use cryptocurrency for illicit activity such as fraud, extortion, and money laundering. To illustrate one of the uses of our software, the US Department of Justice recently announced the shut down of a child sexual abuse material site which was operating out of South Korea. The case resulted in the arrest of the site's operator and more than 330 users. Moreover, 23 children were identified and rescued from their abusers as a result of the investigation. Authorities used Chainalysis' investigation tool to analyse transaction activity and follow the flow of money to cryptocurrency exchanges, from which they could request information about users.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

The MSc Applied Economics and Data Analysis is extremely relevant to my work every day. I work with other economists and researchers to think through novel economic problems in the cryptocurrency industry, working a lot on time series econometrics, and visualising and processing data to make sense of trends and draw conclusions.  I frequently use Stata to run regressions just like we did in Econometrics and Applications of Data Analysis modules.

Is this the kind of job you were aiming for when you embarked upon your Masters?

I envisioned working in the field of Development Economics or in government, but the opportunity to apply my background to a burgeoning field while gaining insight into the tech industry appealed to me. Plus there is certainly overlap with my previous career plans: there is a lot of hope that the cryptocurrency industry will help to serve those under served by traditional financial systems and our software is used by governments to monitor illicit activity. In many ways it is the career I hoped for - I get to continue to learn new tools for data analysis and new econometric techniques to solve problems with a dynamic team.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a similar role?

Reach out to students and professionals in fields you're interested in for informational interviews. Remain open to opportunities - even ones you hadn't considered, you might be surprised at how applicable your background is! And of course, study hard, what you're learning is valuable and applicable.

A portrait of Roxana; a graduate from the Department of Economics.
"The University of Essex really did prepare me to face the career world and equipped me with some very strong knowledge and experiences for the outside world."
Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, Chief Strategy Officer MSc Financial Economics and Econometrics

Learn more about Roxana's career as a Chief Strategy Officer

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, MSc Financial Economics and Econometrics, University of Essex

Why did you decide to study your course at Essex?

One of my undergraduate professors back in Spain had studied at the University of Essex in the 1960's and he recommended it to me so I looked into it. Furthermore, at that time, the course I wanted - econometrics and finance - was only taught at the University of Essex so it became a very easy decision.

What did you enjoy most about your studies? Which modules or areas of research did you particularly enjoy?

Well, I really wanted to do quantitative economics (econometrics, statistics and finance) so my favourite modules were reflective of this. My favourite was econometrics.

Can you tell us about your current job, and how you got there?

I went to work for a commodities consultancy in London, then joined Barclays Investment Bank as an Associate Vice President. I then joined a hedge fund before going back to investment banking as a Vice President at Morgan Stanley. I left banking in 2015 and started my own business, it was highly successful and I sold to a competitor. My current business; Blend Network, was selected by the Mayor of London as one the UK's top-ten FinTech companies and recently secured £10 million funding from a group of high-net-worth investors. I am Chief Strategy Officer there and also a Board Member.

How did your time studying at the University of Essex help your career?

It was a fantastic experience, both personally and professionally. The University of Essex really did prepare me to face the career world and equipped me with some very strong knowledge and experiences for the outside world.

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Portrait of Economics graduate Emmanuel Akoteyon.
"I was motivated to choose the University of Essex to study Economics because the Department of Economics was in the top 10 ranking in the whole of the UK. I believed I was going to get the best possible education and I was glad I made the choice."
Emmanuel Segara Akoteyon, Investment Banking Analyst MSc Economics

Learn more about Emmanuel's career as a Investment Banking Analyst 

Emmanuel Segara Akoteyon, MSc Economics, University of Essex

Why did you decide to study your course at Essex?

I was motivated to choose the University of Essex to study Economics because the Department of Economics was in the top 10 ranking in the whole of the UK. I believed I was going to get the best possible education and I was glad I made the choice. Essex was also offering about scholarship opportunities to high-performing students from Nigeria.

What did you enjoy most about your studies? Which modules or areas of research did you particularly enjoy?

I had a very nice experience at Essex. I really enjoyed the academic atmosphere; it was a very positive experience. The faculty staff were highly supportive and were always interested in the success of students. I remember taking the Languages for All module where I learnt Spanish. I was exposed to some Spanish traditions and cultures which has given me a great interest in Spain, I’d love to visit one day.

Can you tell us about your current job, and how you got there?

After graduation I returned home to Nigeria. My first engagement after my return was at Globacom Nigeria Limited (one of the three biggest telecommunication companies in Nigeria). However, as I was more interested in the financial services industry while in Globacom I registered as a Student Member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) to prepare myself for the industry. After Globacom I worked as a Research Analyst at Dynamic Portfolio Limited and currently, I work as an Investment Banking Analyst at MBC Capital Limited in Lagos.

Could you describe a typical day?

Given the nature of investment banking, every day comes with its own challenges. A typical day as an Investment Banking Analyst can be any combination of the following; attending engagement meetings along with Senior Associates to discuss transactions or prospects with clients or prospective clients, writing proposals for presentations, writing teasers, doing company analysis, developing financial models and general research.

What are your aspirations for your career?

I do not see myself leaving my current role any time soon. I am enjoying where I am and there are opportunities for advancement within the organisation. However, before I enrolled for my Masters I hoped to work at the Central Bank of Nigeriaas an Economist, where policies that affect the aggregate economy are made. I believe my knowledge from an Economics Department that is as highly ranked as Essex will equip me better for such a challenging opportunity.

A portrait of Stephanie Chan.
"When I visited Essex for the first time it was definitely the uni that I felt was for me, plus the course structure was flexible enough to allow me to pick the modules which suited me."
Stephanie Chan, Trainee Accountant BSc Economics

Learn more about Stephanie's career as a Trainee Accountant

Stephanie Chan, BSc Economics, University of Essex 

Why did you decide to study your course at Essex?

When I was looking for universities, Essex was one of the best for Economics and research. I also wanted to stay near home but be far enough away to move out, so I chose Essex! When I visited Essex for the first time it was definitely the uni that I felt was for me, plus the course structure was flexible enough to allow me to pick the modules which suited me.

What did you enjoy most about your studies? Which modules or areas of research did you particularly enjoy?

I was able to study different areas of economics and see what suited me. As I like international economics to do with trade etc. I was able to study modules with an international focus which I really enjoyed. I also took Chinese Mandarin for 2 years as my optional modules so I was able to learn basic Chinese and develop language skills.

What employability or further study skills did studying at Essex give you?

I used the Careers Services to help with my CV and for guidance on how to write a covering letter. I also got an internship through Essex interns which helped me gain my current job in accounting.

Can you tell us about your current job, and how you got there?

I did an internship with Essex Interns in Barking but I am now working as a trainee Accountant at a firm called Rickard Luckin, based in Essex. Alongside my job I am also studying for my ACA qualifications.

Could you describe a typical day?

My job is very varied because I am either preparing accounts or on an audit. A‘typical’day in the office is seeing what job I have in the team plan, or if I’m currently in the middle of a job, for example preparing client’s accounts, I will continue with that and whilst doing that answer any queries my colleagues may have.

What advice would you give to someone looking for a similar role?

Accountancy doesn’t require an accountancy degree so choose a degree you like and if you really want a job in accountancy after your degree you will probably still be able to pursue it. If you have a real interest in accountancy then if you set your mind to it anything is possible. Find the firm that is right for you in size and environment then find out what qualifications and routes it can offer you. The main thing is to do your research about the firm and the job and just go for it.

Portrait of Roxana Molina
Success stories from the Department

The Department of Economics are proud to nurture students from a diverse range of backgrounds. Their success is our success. Read Roxana's story to learn more about how the Department helped to launch the career of a budding economist.

Read Roxana's story
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Daniel Tene Student Engagement Officer
Department of Economics, University of Essex
Professor Marco Francesconi Employability Development Director
Department of Economics, University of Essex