Skip to main content
10 answers
Asked 282 views Translate

I'm not sure what sector of work to go into, or what type of jobs to apply to

I'm currently in third year studying economics, which i love however i dont want to go down the path most do with economics because i dont enjoy the maths side as much, which leads me confused on where i should go next #university #economics

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you


10 answers

Updated Translate

Jagoda’s Answer

Economics is a broad field of study that you can apply to many areas (many requiring not that much math!), here are some examples:

- data analysis - it requires some basic math like adding or subtracting, but most of the calculations will be done by a program or computer. You would apply logic and analytical thinking in your daily work. From my perspective the most important characteristics of an analyst is curiosity.
You can land an entry level job with good knowledge of spreadsheets and basic data visualization in Google Dashboard/ PowerBi/ Tableau. Google has recently launched a MOOC on Coursera in data analytics, you could check out if the field interests you.
The best analysts combine good technical skills with an expertise or understanding of an area like finances, HR, product design or similar

- public sector - there are many organizations that could benefit for your knowledge and offer many roles. You could check what roles and skills are in demand at UN, WHO or the world bank

- project management - projects managers come from all disciplines and their are still in high demand. They combine overall business understanding with knowledge of a particular project framework (like Prince, PMP or agile). It's a dynamic role requiring strong communication skills and indirect leadership. An internship could help you understand if project management would be interesting for you

- consulting - if you have top grades and enjoy high-pace of work, consulting could be for you. One of the benefits is a huge variety of projects you can be involved in, many of them requiring interdisciplinary skills. The role requires constant learning because the challenges of customers are always changing. Ex- consultants are also highly sought after by many businesses for strategic or leadership role.

One last advice - you say math is not your thing. What are the subjects and activities you enjoy most? What brings you a sense of accomplishment? I strongly believe in building career around your strengths and passion - it ensures you are satisfied with your job also long-term

Updated Translate

Maeve’s Answer, Team

Hi Hermoine, I was in the same exact boat as you when I studied economics in college. I enjoyed different parts of my major such as the research component, and I especially enjoyed the problem solving skills required for economics majors. BUT just like you - I didn't love the math as much (at least I knew I didn't want to enter a career where I was doing a lot of math every day).

I don't have any specific suggestions for where you should go next, but I want to emphasize that as an economics major you have endless possibilities of things you could do. When I graduated college, I ended up doing a teaching fellowship (inspired by my economics research projects centered around the education gap in the United States) which was totally unexpected of an economics major! Now I work in a position that helps develop corporate partnerships at a non profit organization. The point I am trying to make is that you can really do anything you want. My friends in the econ program all went on to do so many unique and interesting positions. So my suggestion to you is to start by thinking about what excites you and interests you most, and explore from there. Don't think that because you are studying economics that you have to do something economics related in the future. Gaining an economics degree will show future employers that you have great critical thinking skills and work hard, and you can follow any career path from there! Good luck!!
Updated Translate

Gene’s Answer

Hi Hermione,

One industry for which your educational background would be beneficial is insurance. Most people think of sales or claims when they hear insurance, but the insurance industry incorporates just about any discipline you can think of: sales, marketing, finance/investment, actuarial science, predictive analytics, underwriting, legal, claims, customer service/experience, etc.

I happen to have a math degree (perhaps I enjoy math a little more than you!), but I've been a commercial underwriter for 25 years (insurance underwriters evaluate businesses and determine if we're willing to offer them insurance, and if so, for what price). What I've found interesting is you learn a lot about different types of businesses and industries, and the role incorporates pricing, market trends, economic indicators, profitability, contract language, sales, relationship building, etc.

This is just one path, and as noted by others a degree like yours has very broad applicability, ranging from a career specifically focused on economics to one that has very little to do with it (most college graduates don't have a career doing specifically what they studied). Think about 2 or 3 industries that seem interesting to you, then drill down into those to see what types of businesses/companies operate in that industry. I think you'll discover many paths to consider, but hopefully all within an area that energizes you.

Hope this helps, and best of luck in your search!
Updated Translate

Rebecca’s Answer

Hi, I am glad to hear that you are interested to work in Economics. This is an interesting and useful subjects that can apply to many aspects.
Below are a few suggestions :
- Economists working in government, banks, etc.
- Economic Teacher
- Do research in Universities
- Consultant in consultancy firms
- Work as a banker in corporate banking, investment banking, etc.
In fact, there are a wide variety choices for you. I suggest you can do more research or discuss with your economic teacher or career counsellor in school. They may give you some useful advice.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
Updated Translate

Sylvia’s Answer

Hi Hermione, I would say economics is the foundation of business and finance, so you have plenty of career choices that won't necessarily need you to go very detail in math. If you don't like the math side, probably just mean you are not going to become an professor, but as long as you like the idea and concept, you are able to utilize that in your future career. I have lots of friends who majored in economics now doing consultant, accountant, banking, etc. But I need to point out that it's important for you to get relevant skills related to those careers that you are interested in. For example, if you want to do accounting, you need to prepare for CPA, and if you want to do finance, you need to prepare for CFA or other certificate. Because economics is a more general major, and if you are more interested in doing job that's not pure economics, you would need to learn some more specific skills like minor in other field, self study or doing internship to make yourself competitive.
Updated Translate

Dana’s Answer

First, congratulations for being in your 3rd year! Doing something that you don't really like for that long, long enough to get the degree and stick it out is a really big accomplishment! Clearly you know how to work hard, sacrifice and succeed at something hard!

But don't worry, just because you've done it for this long doesn't mean you have to do it forever. There are plenty of people who understand or like the maths part even less than you. And you'd be a great communicator to that vast majority of people because you do understand it, even if you aren't the one doing it!

I'd encourage you to think about your degree as more broadly applicable. For example, if I saw any job that asked for a degree in business, I'd think you are highly qualified! You might look into a general business, business development or strategy role to get started. That would help you get a broader perspective of the different departments within a company and which ones might interest you. It'll also start to give you your first network of business contacts!
Updated Translate

Thao’s Answer

Given many detail advices above, I am just giving another hand on material for career in economics for your reference
Summary of options ( excluding banking/ finance with analyst occupation as you mentioned math is less preferable)
Business Sector
• Management Consultant • StrategyAnalyst
• Property Economist
• Economic Analyst
• PolicyAnalyst
• International Relations • Demand Planner
Social Sector
• Policy Adviser
• Agricultural Economist
• Health Economist
• Water/ Natural Resource/ and Energy
• Urban Planner
• Public Policy Consultant • Development Economist • Journalist
Education Sector
• High School Economics Teacher • University Researcher/Academic • Education Policy Economist
Tech Sector
• Virtual Economy Designer • Operations Manager
• Online Games Designer

Hope it helps! Good luck!
Updated Translate

Anup’s Answer

Hello - One of the areas that I've seen a lot of people get into with Economics degree is working in non-profit organization (national and international) and United Nations. These don't usually involve a lot of maths.

Updated Translate

Joseph’s Answer

There's a scale in terms of not "enjoy[ing] the maths side as much" ; from "I'm struggling with a few of the more difficult bits of calculus" down to "I've really had enough and never want to see another equation in my life".

Depending where you are on that scale, you might find that outside of a university environment, actual work in Economics doesn't actually involve much of the harder maths you've been taught recently, and for most things all you actually use in an Economics-oriented workplace (whether that's government, consultancy, or elsewhere) is fairly easy A-Level standard at worst.

Further down the scale, there's a lot of Business and Finance type work (including banking, insurance, accounts and more) where Economics is a great starting point but the maths you use is largely just spreadsheets and basic arithmetic.

At the bottom of the scale, things can be a bit more limiting. Many jobs involve at least a little bit of maths - but remember you're not locked into a field just because you studied it for a few years. A degree is still a degree regardless of subject, and there's many jobs that don't care what degree someone has.
Updated Translate

Jon’s Answer

Let's start by taking inventory of 1) what do you like vs 2) what don't you like. What interests and activities keep popping up in this list? Is there any pattern that surfaces during this exercise?

As you are your in 3rd year, what other business classes have you taken that you truly enjoyed? Finance, accounting, business law, etc.? Did any of these prove to be interesting? You might consider a minor to go with your major.

So trust me... lots of people graduate with their college major, start down a path in the work world, and then diverge, following another path later. I was an accounting major and eventually stumbled into IT/development, later moving into Product Management (which is a combination of technology know-how and the business side). It can be very interesting to pair multiple interests together and see where you can take that.

Have you done any internships in your field yet? Even generic internships (nothing to do with economics) may help you shed light on your possible career direction. Maybe speak to some close family, friends or neighbors for how they approached their career paths and what their job is like now relative to their path they took to get there.

How avid a reader are you? This should be required for every college student! Pick the Wall Street Journal, or Wired, or Discovery, or even USA Today. Read, read, read! What are articles truly pique your interest? Once identified, go do some additional research in these areas.

Don't let frustration with a particular concept in your major worry you too much. You are only in the beginning stages of "figuring out who you are and what makes you tick". Just press forward, keep your eyes and ears wide open, talk to others for input, and you will find your path. Good luck!