A job as a career economic analyst stands out as one of the most desirable careers. Sometimes this career can be termed as a business analyst career. However, most professionals in this field describe themselves as economists. While the terms economic analysts, economist, and business happen to be broadly descriptive of what the career entails, people outside this field may not fully understand what it covers which is why this paper will focus on researching, analyzing, and presenting some facts about the position and job description of a career economic analyst. Some of the matter that is the subject matter of this paper include the certification, knowledge, skills, and knowledge required of the person seeking to join this field. The paper will also describe the activities that an economist will be engaged in on his day-to-day working life. Lastly, the paper will focus on culture and values that stand central to practice in the field. To obtain this information, the research focused on acquiring data and information from desktop research as well through the use of interaction with practitioners in the field of economics.
To start with, a career as an economic analyst requires one to have taken a degree in economics. Bachelors’ degree level in economics covers a variety of areas aimed at imparting the learner academic knowledge in general applied economics. The definition of economics, as a field that entirely deals with the allocation of scarce resources to the most deserving agents, comes in handy at this level. As such, career economists spend their lives giving information that supports the goal of efficient and effective allocation of financial and other resources. That implies that economic analysts’ work does not end with the provision of data on inflation, gross domestic product, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, and other economic indicators. Rather, the work of an economist only includes the mentioned factors, data, and information as tools used in aiding informed decision-making in the allocation of scarce resources to vast, wide, and unlimited needs of individuals, households, business entities, and governments. This precise description of what an economist does, therefore, gives the implication that professionals in this field will utterly impact every person’s life with the person being employed in its legal context.
The degree in economics only gives the analyst the foundation upon which a career can be built. This is simply why some students get into business management, banking and finance, and consultancy among other career lines after graduation. This explains that the degree opens up doors to varied career opportunities with economic analysis being one of them. While the professional practitioners feel that the degree provides knowledge that would aid students to work in the field, they restated the fact that the degree only provides the academic knowledge while practice requires both academic knowledge and professional literacy.
Professional literacy encompasses actual on-the-job skills that are required of an economic analyst. School provides the students with the theoretical perspective of the work of an economic analyst. This includes understanding micro-economics, macro-economics, and econometrics among other areas of study. Practicing in the field on the other hand expands the above areas of study to the application stage where the practitioner’s savvy gets not tested on the ability to understand the theories and systems but rather on how they can apply the theories and actual data to explain events such as the last global financial crises and the impacts of a war going on in Yemen to the global economy. In a nutshell, practice as an economic analyst requires has proven skills and expertise to conduct research on impact variables, analyze that data scientifically, and be able to present it for decision making and forecasting of future events.
According to some of the economic analysts and economists contacted for the purposes of this research, a practitioner in this field will be judged not on the basis of how well they passed in their exams but on how close their forecasts are to actual occurrences in the economy and how well they advise their clients including governmental agencies, the investment entities, and even the general public. Some of the interviewees recorded that people such as Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes are not merely recognized by the economists for what they scored in class but rather for how their output in theories and economic models continue to impact the world. Nevertheless, the interviewees did not hesitate to note that the field is really competitive and at the entry-level where a student has no working experience, he is judged based on his grades and understanding of the academic content, which reflects how well he can possibly apply that knowledge in the field.
As stated by one of the professionals, practicing as an economist or an economist happens to be more of work culture than job position. This means that fitting into this career requires more than only academic knowledge and good grades. It is not about waking up and going to an office every day but rather an issue of loving what one does. To substantiate this assertion, many people regard economics as boring job but according to some people in the field, the job will be boring to those persons who were motivated into joining this careers other than passion and love for the job. If one does not love his job, he will never look forward to another morning in that office and they always look forward towards 5 p.m. if on an eight to five job.
Other than passion and love for the job, the economic analysis career also requires the practitioner to be good with numbers. Economics is about modeling of economic variables whose expressions will be in numbers ninety percent of the time. The lack of mathematical skills, therefore, will not only make life hard for the practitioner but also will make it unbearable. Secondly, the job requires the practitioner to have really good analytical skills. This is simply because it is only through the analysis of data and information that the economist remains to be a source of utility to the community and to the world. This means that this practitioner must be able to assess situations in a manner that other people may not see it. For instance, the common populace may have the perspective of how a war in Iran or Yemen with regard to how it will impact the oil prices. While that may be true, the economic analyst should be able to look into the matter of how long the effect will be in place, how the war will affect the GDP in the US, and even how such information relates to interest rates and inflation and their effects on financial markets. Lastly, the economic analyst must be able to give relevant forecasts and information on how a country or business entity can be able to hedge against unforeseen but related risks.
Similar to any other field, economic analysts uphold certain values that underscore the public confidence that ranks the career among the most attractive. Those values include professionalism, honesty, and integrity. Professionalism as a value follows the fact that economic analysts are required to use their academic and professional knowledge to aid the world in making decisions that make it a better place. This means that the economic analysts must alienate personal subjectivities in matters that require objective opinions and in case of any subjectivity, the economists must enlighten the public or the audience on the same. Notably, there exists no rulebook or codification supporting the requirement of professional practice for economic analysts. However, the members of this profession recognize that their opinions impact the whole world. The public respect and dependency bestowed on this profession mean that the members may make decisions following releases of economic reports produced by professionals only to end up with tragic results. Professional practice coupled with integrity and honesty, therefore ensure that the economic analysts do not give opinions geared towards getting personal gains such as a case where they may use their skills to distort securities markets for private gains. However, it would be important to note that there is no yet a professional body that certifies economic analysts meaning that the values and culture may vary from one organization to another or from one jurisdiction to another.
The research involved interacting with personnel practicing in the business of analyzing the economy. The interactions involved people from varied age brackets but one thing that came out clearly is the manner in which all those involved discussed various topics from the strengthening of the US dollar to the dipping of oil prices and to the case of terrorism as a global threat. One thing that never left the mouths of those involved is that all those events have great implications for the economy. There was one issue that caught the attention of all persons during the interaction and this involved the terror attack on a university in Kenya. The discussion ended with the opinion that the fight remains to be about gaining economic dominance by the militia. With that conclusion, the tone of the discussions indicated the sign of a people who were well-grounded in economic theory. A people who would precisely recommend an economic and unarmed solution to the problem and a people who have been grounded in a culture that seeks to influence the solutions to many of the socio-economic problems facing the world today. From the research, it was evident that economics has moved from an era where the culture was come up with theories to culture in which global integration has led to the development of a solution to global problems in a manner that indicates the congruence, interconnectedness, and dependency amongst the economic analysts globally without barriers.
Lastly, David Throsby recorded in his book titled Economics and Culture, that economy is the culture that everybody lives through only that all people are impacted differently by it leading to differences across jurisdictions and age classes. Looking at the resumes and interactions of the old guard and young blood in professional economic analysis, the culture that is economics remains in theories among the old professionals and that is why it is highly regarded in the group. On the other hand, the new blood in the profession believes in the technological integration with economics as the new frontier in economic analysis. While there is no doubt that the young professionals have acquired and apply the knowledge in theories such as Keynesian economics and other classical economic theories, they contend that times and facts have changed with technological advances which is why the future of a career in economic analysis requires more forward-looking than historical theoretical perspectives.