Want a high-paid and secure job? Studying Economics at university may just do it. If you are planning to return to HK or reside in the UK, you may even consider making use of the opportunities in these top-tier global financial centres. We have asked our Oxford and Cambridge consultants the key to planning for an application for Economics and summarised your preparation into 5 simple steps.
Want to know how a career in finance creates possibilities? How should you plan your Economics application and your career development?
3 Popular Career Destinations for Economics Graduates
1. Investment Banking
Investment Banking covers (i) corporate finance and advisory, (ii) sales and trading and (iii) asset management. Students who study Economics typically plan ahead to secure offers from Investment Banks due to the high remuneration and employment package. The experience dealing with mergers and acquisitions, leveraged finance, capital markets and restructuring will also enhance your industrial knowhow and allow you to better understand how corporations expand and develop through financing and other means of funding.
2. Private Equity
Similar to any other investment entities, a Private Equity Fund invests in private companies in hopes of their upcoming expansion and (if applicable) going public through an IPO. Private Equity Funds gather capital through its investors and conduct market research to make investment decisions.
3. Big 4 Firms
Most students are aware of Big 4 Firms and their opportunities. However, Big 4 Firms do not only cover auditing services but also include areas that are practiced by Investment Banks. Therefore, the work at PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, and EY is not entirely different from that at an Investment Bank. Students may decide to apply for Big 4 Firms based on the job requirements and career prospects.
5 Steps to Planning Your Economics Application
If you believe that an Economics degree can create more opportunities in the long term and would like to ensure your application is competitive enough for UK universities, here are 5 steps to preparing your application:
- Academic Grades
- Exploration of Academic Interests
- Academic Research
- Admissions Tests
1. Academic Grades
The first step is to ensure your grade predictions in DSE/IB/A-levels meet the minimum requirements of your target universities. Most universities require an A*AA grade prediction (equivalent to 5*55 in your DSE electives. A higher grade prediction will create advantages in your application, but your overall application profile will be considered before an offer is made to you.
2. Exploration of Academic Interests
UK universities look for students who are academically inclined. As such, students are typically required to spend 1-2 years researching into their areas of interests through internal and external activities. Based on our experience, an outstanding personal statement involves the use of internal roles and responsibilities, external experiences, research opportunities, academic competitions, and other practical experiences to showcase how determined you are in reading Economics.
3. Academic Research
Simply stating that you are passionate about Economics may not be enough. Students should delve into an area within Economics and research into academic topics. If you’re interested in topics such as the trade war or financial markets, you may consider looking into the underlying principles of government policies and econometrics. With the guidance of a tutor/professor, you may better understand how academic theories are applied in practice and analyse historical events or other current affairs to demonstrate your academic skills.
4. Admissions Tests (LNAT)
Your performance in admissions tests is key! The ECAA is used by Cambridge to assess student applications. The ECAA covers mathematics questions and a written essay. Oxford applicants have to complete the TSA which includes reasoning questions and a written essay.
With all the preparation above, you have created a competitive profile that will allow you to compete against the other top candidates in your year. The final step is to perform your best during your interview. Universities aim to confirm your academic background through interviews and raise questions relating to calculus (or other mathematics concepts that may be applied in econometrics) or macroeconomics to better assess your logical thinking and analytical skills.
We know that applying for Economics is an important decision. For this reason, we have prepared for all attendees a FREE “Complete Guide to Applying For Economics” explaining everything you need to know about applying for Economics including entry requirements, career progression, application timeline, external activity suggestions, and admissions test FAQs. Additionally, attendees will be offered a 1-to-1 free consultation with our admissions specialists (valued at HK$1,000) in order to better understand your admissions plans.
Consider your admissions plan through understanding career prospects. Make use of your personals strengths and advantages as a student educated in HK. This can be the most important application yet.