What else can I do with a business studies or economics degree?

What else can I do with a business studies or economics degree?

What if you’re a business management student or graduate and you’re not sure that you want to pursue a career in business? This overview of your options should help you find a way forward.

Economics and business students typically have good commercial awareness, one of the qualities highly sought after by recruiters. What is more, they are able to effectively apply their knowledge of industries to the job.

Popular areas of employment for business and management graduates include business, HR, finance, marketing, PR and sales. Careers in consulting are another option. Consultants can specialise in a range of fields, including strategic consulting, IT consulting, HR consulting and business process management.

There is strong demand for economics graduates for financial and business roles, and as a result they are particularly well placed to move into professional level employment within a short time after finishing their degrees.

Whether you want to know what your options are or are looking for alternative careers, you can find some ideas here. This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

Skills for your CV

Specific skills you will have gained include:

  • analytical ability
  • communication skills
  • understanding figures
  • problem solving
  • ability to think logically
  • presentation skills
  • report writing skills.

One of your options is to join a scheme with one of the big graduate recruiters. These will often provide professional training as well as experience and a decent salary.

You could also pursue the less obvious opportunities with SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises). If you’re particularly entrepreneurial you might even consider starting up your own business.

You could also consider moving into the following areas:

Alternatively, you could consider the following job roles:

What do business and management studies graduates go on to do?

Here’s what business and management studies graduates who finished their degrees in 2016 were doing six months after graduating, according to the What do graduates do? report published in 2017.

Destination Percentage
Full-time employment in the UK 62.5
Part-time employment in the UK 9.8
Working overseas 1.9
Working and studying 4.6
Further study 9.7
Unemployed 6.1
Other 5.4

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

What do economics graduates go on to do?

Here’s what economics graduates who finished their degrees in 2016 were doing six months after graduating, according to the What do graduates do? report published in 2017.

Destination Percentage
Full-time employment in the UK 56.3
Part-time employment in the UK 6.8
Working overseas 2.7
Working and studying 6.2
Further study 14.5
Unemployed 6.7
Other 6.7

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

Key areas of employment for fresh business and management graduates

These are the top five areas of work taken up by 2016 business and management graduates six months after graduation, according to the 2017 What do graduates do? report.

Areas of employment Percentage
Business, HR and finance professionals 24.5
Marketing, PR and sales 20.8
Managers 12.0
Clerical, secretarial and numerical clerks 10.7
Retail, catering, waiting and bar staff 10.6

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

Key areas of employment for fresh economics graduates

These are the top five areas of work taken up by 2016 economics graduates six months after graduation, according to the 2017 What do graduates do? report.

Areas of employment Percentage
Business, HR and finance professionals 54.3
Marketing, PR and sales 9.5
Retail, catering, waiting and bar staff 7.4
Clerical, secretarial and numerical clerks 6.6
Managers 5.4

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

Which careers attract business and management students?

Hospitality, leisure and tourism was by far the most popular career choice for business and management students identified by a 2017 survey of more than 60,000 undergraduates carried out by trendence UK, a partner of TARGETjobs’ parent company GTI. More than half (63%) of business and management students who participated in the survey said they were interested in this area. The most popular careers were as follows:

Career Percentage
Hospitality, leisure and tourism 69% expressed an interest
Accounting and financial management 63
Banking, insurance and financial services 54
Consulting 54

Source: trendence UK Graduate Study 2017

Which careers attract economics students?

Investment banking and investment was by the most popular career choice for economics graduates identified by a 2017 survey of more than 60,000 undergraduates carried out by trendence UK, a partner of TARGETjobs’ parent company GTI. Just under a quarter (23%) of economics students who participated in the survey said they were interested in this area. The most popular careers were as follows:

Career Percentage
Investment banking and investment 23% expressed an interest
Banking, insurance and financial services 14
Consulting 11
Accounting and financial management 10

Source: trendence UK Graduate Study 2017

Famous people with economics or business degrees

If none of these career ideas tickle your fancy, consider the following, who all studied either business or economics:

  • Russell Howard – started his stand-up career while studying economics at the University of the West of England.
  • Cate Blanchett – originally studied economics and fine arts before starring in films including Elizabeth, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Ivanka Trump – the daughter of the US president has an economics degree.
  • Konnie Huq – the former Blue Peter presenter studied economics at the University of Cambridge.
  • Mick Jagger – began playing with the Rolling Stones while studying at the London School of Economics.
  • Kunal Nayyar – landed the role of Raj in The Big Bang Theory shortly after graduating from the University of Portland.
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