Economics and Finance

Economics and Finance provide a foundation for a wide range of careers. Alongside their technical and numeracy skills, graduates are highly rigorous thinkers.

Economics is the study of choices and touches on every aspect of life, from economic development, to sustainability and social wellbeing. It provides models for analysing complex economic, social or political problems and predicting outcomes. An understanding of financial markets is essential to understand how our economies work. Financial markets include the stock market and the financing of companies; financial contracts and decision-making by firms, and portfolio choice.

Roles and career pathways

Economics graduates may work as policy analysts, researchers and management consultants. A postgraduate qualification, Honours level or higher is usually required due to the level of complexity, numerical and analytical skill levels in these roles.

Economics graduates with undergraduate degrees or seeking a first role may work initially in coordination roles or as an adviser or graduate analyst.

Finance graduates can work as financial advisers, analysts, or in graduate roles in business banking or financial services. Finance graduates may go on to study a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification after they have completed their degree or while in their first role.

Where Economics and Finance graduates work

Studying Economics and Finance can lead to a diverse range of work possibilities in the public and private sectors, such as in multinational finance companies, economic development agencies or consultancies. Recent Economics and Finance graduates have worked for organisations such as:

Build relevant skills and experience

Internships, part-time work and volunteering all help to increase career options for graduates. A number of key employers of Economics and Finance graduates have internship programmes including The Treasury and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics.

The WFHSS Internship course run by the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences helps students of all disciplines develop leadership skills and practical workplace experience. Programmes such as Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) offer opportunities to gain diverse volunteer and leadership experience.

Make career connections

Networking and making connections with individuals and groups during your degree can help you learn more about career opportunities. Professional associations such as INFINZ (Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand) offer student memberships. NZAE (New Zealand Association of Economists) also have student memberships where students can mix with professionals and learn about career paths and make valuable contacts.

The Business Consulting Club is another great way to build employer contacts and develop workplace skills through projects and networking.

University clubs, such as the Victoria Commerce Students' Society (VicCom) and Finance and Investment club as well as mentoring schemes including the Victoria University of Wellington Alumni as Mentors programme for final-year students can also enhance your employability while studying.

Graduate career stories

Head and shoulders portrait of Selina Li smiling at the camera.

Selina Li

Economics and Finance helped Selina develop technical as well as communication and leadership skills that have supported her in several finance roles.

Head and shoulders portrait of Killian smiling at the camera.

Killian Destremau

Killian has followed a long-held passion for economics from working as a consultant to his current role in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.