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What you need to be an economist?


I'm Andy Ross, I'm a visiting professor at Loughborough, I'm a former deputydirector in the Government Economic Service and they invited me in to come along and talk precisely about professional practitioner skills.

I've been an academic and taught economicsat degree level and I've also worked in government where I became a senior civil servant, supporting the boards of the Government Economic Service and there you get a very good idea of what's needed by ministers and important busy people.

It's very very focused, it has to be useful, everything has to be, if it serves no purpose for the CEO or the minister then it shouldn't, that shouldn't be.

And it's very different and to say thecommunication was one thing that is very very important. Decision-making is also something that's going to be very important.

You need the tools of decision-making which has some what faded over the years.

We used to have something called cost-benefit analysis which was taught almost everywhere, and now it's not taught in many places but it's actually used a huge amount by practitioners.

Then of course there's all the, you know, you're in the commons, you're working in the large or ganisation, you're working with people from different disciplines so you need the interpersonal skills and the soft skills and teamworking and all that as well.

What you should have, and that you cannot avoid as an economist is good data skills.

Now good data skills doesn't just include advanced econometrics and stuff like that. It is also just the ability to eyeball data, to bring it into a good picture, to troubleshoot it and know all the pitfalls that you can get into.

Where as a practitioner you're very much using economics.


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