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What does an Economist do?

Studying Economics

Contact-us-buttonw171Macquarie University's flexible degree structure offers a number of options for students choosing to specialise in Economics in the following single degrees:

You can tailor a program to suit your interests and needs. This could be a broadly-based program, or one specialising in Finance, Labour Studies, Econometrics, Professional Economics or the Social Implications of Economics. These single degrees give you the opportunity to combine studies in Economics with subjects taken from a wide range of disciplines includingPolitics

, Business Law,

Human Geography,



, to name a few. Single degrees take three years of full-time study, or approximately six years for part-time.

Double degrees – an extra edge

An additional year of study is required for the following double degrees:

A five year combined degree is also available:

Why economics?

Economics affects our lives every single day, and economists engage in many activities including:

  • conducting research
  • collecting and analysing data
  • providing consulting services and preparing reports
  • formulating and analysing policy for public and private organisations
  • researching public issues such as inflation, employment levels or energy costs
  • monitoring economic trends
  • developing forecasts

For example, companies may employ economists to monitor the economic situations in countries where they do business or to provide a risk assessment of a country into which the company might expand.

Associate Professor Tony Bryant

Honours Co-ordinator, Department of Economics

"Economists understand complicated economic and social processes, intervene to try to make outcomes better, and set policies that have a major effect on society."

Tony Bryant is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics. Although primarily an economic theorist, he has wide and varied research interests.

Tony has worked for many years on General Equilibrium Theory. This area is complex and highly mathematical. He has published some outstanding papers in very good journals. These have been highly regarded as making a major contribution to understanding in his field.

Tony's new book, General Equilibrium: Theory and Evidence is published by World Scientific Co. (2010).

Areas of specialisation

The following specialisations can be applied in areas as diverse as including energy, health, transport, agricultural, environmental, cultural, urban and education economics:

  • Econometrics
  • Financial Economics
  • Industrial Economics
  • Labour Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Economics skills

Studying Economics will equip you with a wide variety of practical analytical skills which are in high demand in our global economy. These skills include:

  • research and analysis
  • problem-solving
  • ability to see the 'big picture'
  • strategic planning / setting the agenda
  • effective communication and management

Where can you go?

  • Major enterprises in the private sector:banks, investment companies, accounting and consultancy firms
  • Public sector institutions at both State and Federal level: Treasury, Reserve Bank and large government business enterprises
  • Universities and research bodies
  • International organisations: World Bank, IMF, OECD
  • NGOs: World Health Organisation (WHO), Greenpeace

Not all economics graduates become "professional economists". Other career paths include:

  • Diplomatic service
  • Financial analysis, planning and brokerage
  • Financial journalism / media
  • Portfolio management
  • Public administration
  • Stockbroking
  • Urban and regional planning

How much can you earn?

According to the Good Universities Guide 2008, economics graduates earned an average of $45,495. After a few years in the workforce economists can earn around $60,000 or more. Senior economists and econometricians can earn in excess of $150,000 per annum.


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