It sounds ridiculous, you have spent the past three years studying towards your degree but the skills section of your CV could still be empty.
What skills has economics taught you? Filling in job applications and selling yourself on two sides of A4 is difficult, especially at the moment. We can’t provide you with a perfect CV that will land you five job interviews and the perfect job but we can give you an Economics employability profile (just as exciting, I am sure you agree).
An employability profile is predominantly a list of the skills you will have once your Economics degree is complete. The Higher Education Academy and the QAA have compiled a list that shows what skills and abilities a typical Economics graduate will have:
- Abstract and simplify in order to identify and model the essence of a problem
- Analyse and reason – both deductively and inductively
- Marshal evidence and to assimilate, structure and analyse qualitative and quantitative data
- Communicate results concisely to a wide audience, including those with no training in Economics
- Think critically about the limits of one’s analysis in a broader socio-economic context
- Draw economic policy inferences and to recognise the potential constraints in their implementation
- Apply literary and information-processing skills, as well as interpersonal skills
The report goes on to say what Economics is. Hopefully, you already know this, but if you’d like to see it, it is on the HEA website (pdf).
In addition, Malindi Myers, an Economist working for the Office of National Statistics and previous Economist for HM Treasury and the European Commission, explains that, “The skills you develop as an economist are very transferable – from an ability to problem solve, handle strong data, communicate with both specialist and non-specialist audiences, develop a wide range of communication skills (verbal, written, presentational) to working with other people often across a range of fields and interests and analysing things at a regional, national and international level- you will not be short of the skills that employers prize.”
The QAA benchmark shows you what skills you should have after your Economics degree:
- Demonstrate understanding of economics concepts and principles
- Demonstrate understanding of economic theory and modelling approaches, and their competent use
- Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative methods and computing techniques and know how to use these techniques and methods effectively across a range of problems
- Display understanding of the sources and content of economic data and evidence and of those methods that might be applied appropriately to the analysis of such data
- Know how to apply economic reasoning to policy issues in a critical manner
- Demonstrate knowledge in an appropriate number of specialised areas in economics, as well as an appreciation of the research literature in these areas
- Display familiarity with the possibility that many economic problems may admit of more than one approach and may have more than one solution
Prospects also provide some advice on the skills an Economics degree teaches you (vital for your CV).
- Communication: presenting findings and explaining complex data to a wide range of audiences in a concise and easily understood manner as well as being confident in group discussions and the preparation of written technical and non-technical materials.
- Numeracy: handling complex data presented in a numerical form, using this data to draw conclusions and make recommendations as well as applying mathematical and statistical analysis methods to the data.
- Problem-solving: extracting relevant information, drawing conclusions and making logical recommendations whilst considering the wider social and political influences.
- Computing: using specialised software to analyse data, presenting findings using appropriate IT methods and producing visual presentations to inform and shape decisions.Time management: completing specific tasks within designated time frames.
- Analytical skills: analysing research methods, methodologies, data, conclusions and recommendations, critically evaluating government policy and assessing performance against home and global economies
Hopefully, this has provided you with at least a starting point for your CV’s skills section. Good luck!