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Economist » Overview

Imagine if people-watching was a full time occupation - that would be pretty cool. Well guess what, it is, under the very professional title of ‘economist’.

Economists are interested in the factors that influence the well-being of people and aim to find solutions to improve people's standard of living. This includes studying how financial, labour and trade markets are organised and how they interact.

Economists ask questions of everyone, about everything; therefore, you need to enjoy research, putting together facts and figures and coming up with solid, fact-based results. An economist has to be interested in the world around them and happy to spend weeks, even years, collecting data to analyse and report on.

It is a pretty important job to have, especially if you get to advising at Government level, so economists have to be very confident with the information they pass on. Making sure you ‘dot your i’s and cross your t’s’ where detail is concerned is a huge responsibility in this role, as you don’t want to tell someone that 80% of people are affected by a change of policy, when it is actually 8.0%.  

With the world changing daily, an economist needs to always have one eye on news and events, so you have to be someone who enjoys being immersed in knowledge, whether from books, the internet, newspapers, listening to talkback, communicating with others or any other source available to you.

Being an economist isn’t an 8 to 5 job, as information may be presented in the form of a news bulletin at 9pm in the evening, or when a large event occurs (like an election) you will need to be processing the immediate outcomes and predicting how it will effect society in the future.

For those who like to help others, economists can have a really big role to play in trying to make society better for everyone.