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5: Careers & Personal Development

Student Opportunity - Skills & Student Development

From the time you arrive at Warwick, Student Opportunity can help you think about yourself and your future. We enable you to develop a global perspective, become culturally aware, and have confidence in achieving your vision of career success. We do this by supporting you to engage with a rich and varied range of experiences and opportunities to help you to achieve your full potential.

Higher education is about developing your academic capability and your personality, experience and skills - and though the future may seem far off, employers like to hear what students have done with their time at university and place great emphasis on the development of skills. Economics students are offered plenty of opportunities to develop skills through workshops and initiatives offered through Student Opportunity.

The Student Opportunity Careers Team can enable you to devise and implement plans which will help you get where you want to be in terms of work and careers once your studies here are over. Support is available to you regardless of which year you are in (and indeed after you graduate), whether your ideas are common or unusual and wherever you are in your career thinking, from being extremely focused to having no ideas at all. Support includes:

Details and booking for events and appointments run by Student Opportunity are at myAdvantage.

An Economics Careers Facebook Group is maintained by your Careers Consultant and Economics Student Opportunity Engagement Agents to keep you up to date.

Key skills

We have summarised skills, experiences and knowledge we believe you will acquire from your Diploma course. Reflecting on what you have learned and planning further personal development will help you to:

  • Achieve your academic and career goals
  • Recognise what professional attributes you have developed
  • Be prepared for searching questions from employers on applications and at interview
  • Become more independent learners and critical thinkers
  • Be more self-directed, self-reliant and proactive.

Cognitive skills

  • Analytical thinking, reasoning and communication. Verbal, graphical and mathematical analysis at an advanced level; understanding concepts of equilibria including equilibria in strategic contexts; the ceteris paribus method and counterfactual analysis; the ability to understand formal analysis and to communicate understanding through engagement and contributions in compulsory seminars, completion of exercise sheets, problem sets, essays, and through tests and formal examinations.
  • Critical thinking. Habit of questioning received ideas; judgement and evaluation.
  • Strategic thinking. Multi-agent decision making, where pay-offs depend on the actions of others.
  • Solvability and problem solving. Finding whether there exists a solution to a problem; knowing how to approach a new problem.
  • Abstraction. Balancing simplification (for tractability) against literalness (for relevance).
  • Social awareness. Private versus social costs and benefits; rationale for government and international policy.
  • Understanding institutions. What institutions exist and how incentives work in them.
  • Understanding simultaneity. Situations in which two or more independent factors vary simultaneously.
  • Understanding trade-offs. Concept of opportunity costs.
  • Understanding optimisation. Concepts of an optimum and efficiency.
  • Understanding uncertainty. Concepts of expectations and surprises; probability and its applications.

Professional skills

  • Research skills. Use of library and internet as information sources; locating, extracting, analysing, and presenting material.
  • Numeracy and quantitative skills. Use of mathematics and diagrams, understanding data, statistical analysis.
  • Information Technology skills. Word processing and spreadsheets; specialist econometric or statistical software; internet applications.
  • Written communication skills. Submission of essays, problem sets, seminar work, tests, projects and examination scripts.
  • Oral communication skills. Participation in seminars and group work.
  • Teamwork. Working with others through group work.
  • Time management. Attending compulsory seminars and a regular timetable of strict submission deadlines; working well under pressure of deadlines; conscientiousness.

Subject knowledge and understanding

  • Economic principles. Knowledge and understanding of core concepts and methods of analysis in microeconomics and macroeconomics.
  • Applied economics. Knowledge and understanding of standard economic models and quantitative techniques applied to problems arising in public policy and the private sector.
  • Research and debate. Familiarity with contemporary theoretical and empirical debates and research outcomes in some more specialised areas of economics.

Skills Programme

The University’s Skills Programme is designed to complement and build on the key skills gained during your academic studies. Workshop topics include working in a team, delivering effective presentations, and organising yourself and your time.

Further details about the Skills Programme are given at: www.warwick.ac.uk/services/skills

English language classes

Students from other countries may wish to take one of the free in-sessional English language classes organised by the Centre for Applied Linguistics (CAL). This will help your written work, reading, and understanding during lectures and seminars. It can also help improve your job prospects as employers will value language skills.

Further details are given at: www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/study/learn-english/in-sessional