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Workshop on Skills, Entrepreneurship and Employability Survey evidence Presentation on two LSE mini-projects PBL and employability The use of PDPs Discussion.

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Presentation on theme: "Workshop on Skills, Entrepreneurship and Employability Survey evidence Presentation on two LSE mini-projects PBL and employability The use of PDPs Discussion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Workshop on Skills, Entrepreneurship and Employability Survey evidence Presentation on two LSE mini-projects PBL and employability The use of PDPs Discussion on integrating career skills into the Economics curriculum Plan of the Session

2 Employment Prospects of Economics Graduates John Sloman Director, Economics Network

3 Overview Views of graduates –Some findings of the Economics Network Economics graduates survey Views of employers –What employers feel about Economics graduates and what employers want from new employees

4 Views of Economics Graduates in Employment

5 Survey of Economics Graduates Year of graduation –1980s: 29%; 1990s: 30%; 2000–3: 41% Employment –Full time: 72%; Part time: 15%; Education: 7% Current salary –>£40K: 37%; £20K–£40K: 26%; <£20K: 26%;

6 Source: Economics Alumni Survey, Economics Network, 2005 How did the following influence your decision to take your current job? How did the following influence your decision to take your current job?

7 How do you rate your study of Economics in developing skills for your current job? How do you rate your study of Economics in developing skills for your current job? Source: Economics Alumni Survey, Economics Network, 2005

8 How well did your degree course help you to develop generic skills suitable for your current job? How well did your degree course help you to develop generic skills suitable for your current job?

9 Source: Economics Alumni Survey, Economics Network, 2005 How do you rate your own generic skills now?

10 Looking back on your time as a student and knowing what you do now about careers and the workplace, would you still choose to study Economics at degree level? Source: Economics Alumni Survey, Economics Network, 2005

11 Views of Employers

12 Australian employers of Economics Graduates Questionnaire Source: P. Hellier, M. Kenley, R Carr and B Lynch, Towards a Market Oriented Approach: Employers Requirements and Implications for Undergraduate Economics Programs

13 Importance of Economics Skills to the OrganisationTypes and Level of Economics Skill

14 General Economics Skills Required by EmployersSpecific Economics Skills Required by Employers

15 Strengths of Economics Graduates Analytical way of thinking Problem-solving –Recognition and clarifying –Problem analysis –Identifying and comparing alternative solutions to problems Scepticism over possible misuse of data

16 Looking for skills that can be transferred to various applications Public-sector organisation Many applicants and recruits appear to have less exposure to the application of economic theory to policy issues within their degrees Private-sector organisation Economic theory must be balanced: i.e. business reality Private-sector organisation Practical work experience is very important: e.g. vacation periods or placements Private-sector organisation Cannot emphasise too highly the value placed on (1) the capacity to write succinctly for an audience without formal economics training; (2) to speak clearly logically and articulately in conveying assertions, analysis and conclusions; (3) knowledge of data sources and the weaknesses of and limits to uses of different types of data Private-sector organisation Australian employers of Economics Graduates

17 What we are looking for in Economics graduates is how they apply economic theory to real- world problems, find the theory and the evidence to support it and dissect the problem before looking for its solution. HM Customs and Excise Economics graduates have an advantage in content knowledge, but they need to be careful not to concentrate too much on the theory, when applying for jobs. We would accept someone if they didnt have economics. Private-sector consultancy firm We are looking for Economics graduates ability to apply economic theory to policy in practical situations. They have to know enough of the theory to be able to extract it. Thats what we are looking for in selection, people who are able to apply economics to real-life issues. GES Economist Group Management Unit UK employers of Economics Graduates In problem-solving we are looking to see if applicants are able to quickly recognise problems, clarify the problem, analyse the problem, come up with different options and solve the problem effectively. Private-sector consultancy firm

18 that understanding of core principles, technical ability, potential and willingness to learn and continually updating knowledge are more important than a stock of knowledge. that graduates are not particularly good at applying knowledge or understanding to practical work situations because of (i) inability to improvise, (ii) lack of commercial awareness and (iii) lack of appreciation of the human or cultural context within which they are working. problem-solving to be a very important attribute but one with which they are only moderately satisfied because of graduates' lack of real-world application. Most employers consider: Employability Backpack (U of Central Lancashire) UK Employers Views on Graduate Skills (all graduates)

19 Weaknesses of Economics Graduates Communication skills –written; oral; empathising Ability to work effectively in teams / groups –lack of group work in many traditional degrees Problems in applying theory to real-world situations Lack of understanding of the requirements of employers


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