Employers Report

Economics is a prestigious subject and economic experts have considerable influence in the world – these two factors make graduates both employable and high earners. We argue, however, that it doesn’t give graduates the knowledge or skills that businesses and organisations are looking for or that they themselves need to thrive in the world of work.

We are compiling an Employers’ Report which we hope will provide further evidence for our argument that economics graduates must be better prepared to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, and that the reforms we propose will result in better educated students. We will approach esteemed professionals from the world of finance, consultancy, journalism, policy-making and the public sector.

Existing literature

Economics 2014/15 Network Survey of Employers – a considerable number of respondents believe that the economics graduates they employ have…

• Not very high critical self-awareness (28%).
• Not very high general creative and imaginative powers (23%).
• Not very high ability to communicate clearly in writing (22%).
• Not very high ability to apply what has been learned in a wider context (25%).25%).

‘What Economists do: and how universities might help’ – according to 500 employees from UK government departments, there is clear demand for…

• “Emphasis on presenting economic findings to different audiences.”
• “The application of economic tools to the evaluation of policy proposals.”
• “Knowledge of institutions and how they might impact on policy design as derived from
contemporary economic history.”
• “A use of models that emphasizes their selective use and their role not as ends in
themselves but as starting points for serious empirical analysis.”

What we are trying to investigate

• What knowledge and skills make someone successful in their field.
• What they look for in employees.
• What they valued in their economics education (which if it took place more than 20 years
ago was probably very different to the education in universities today).
• How neoclassical economics can be both useful and limiting in their work and therefore why
students should learn about other perspectives and how to judge which to use when.

Get Involved

Would you like to help design surveys and analyse data, or interview professional economists on the need for curriculum change? Email UKcampaign@rethinkeconomics.org