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Business Economist
Business economists study the ways that society distributes scarce resources and conducts research. They research various issues such as inflation, interest rates, employment levels, energy costs, imports, etc. They advise all sorts of organizations, banks, industrial and trade associations, unions and agencies.

They perform research by making use of surveys, and then compile reports to make the information understandable to non-economists. Some work for large organizations, lecture at universities or universities of technology or work for research companies. For example, they may do research on economic aspects that concern the financial position of an organization and be the financial adviser for top management. The scope of their research can vary from economic methods of crop cultivations to the growth of prison or school-aged populations or rates of crime or unemployment.

There are four basic kinds of economists:

Business economists who are permanently employed by large organizations. They do research, collect information and evaluate the business economic aspects that influence the growth and development of the organization.    They are directly answerable to the top management and act in an advisory capacity. They are then known as business economic advisers.

Business economists at universities of technology and universities, are involved in the introduction, elaboration and implementation of business and in activities such as applied business economic research, continuous literary study, liaison with business economists in practice,attending seminars and conferences, presenting short courses and lectures and training students in Business Management. Sometimes these business economists are approached by businesses to advise them on    matters relating to specific functions in the

Business economists at institutions such as the CSIR, are usually known as techno-economists.    Apart from formal training in Business Management, they also have a qualification in a technical or scientific field. Techno-economists are particularly research-orientated.

Business economists who are full-time professional managers. This is the career group where most come and work as employees. They are especially in demand for management posts in middle-sized and large organizations and are often appointed as financial managers, marketing managers, production managers and general managers.

Satisfying Aspects
- variety of projects to work on
- fulfilling and interesting career
- good financial rewards

Demanding aspects
- sometimes working long or irregular hours
- clients can be unpleasant and very demanding

- broad interest in the business world
- creative, analytical, systematic and critical approach
- strongly research-orientated
- ability to communicate easily and effectively
- good people handling skills
- accounting skills
- leadership and decision-making skills
- conceptual thinker
- interest in world politics

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory subjects: Mathematics
Recommended subjects: Economics, Accounting

Degree: A thorough academic training in Business Management and other economic sciences (at postgraduate level), as well as sufficient practical experience are required.

The following degrees with Economics, Business Management or Statistics as major subjects, can be acquired after three years' full-time study or four years' part-time study:

- BCom (all South African universities)
- BEcon (UFH, RU, UV)
- BEcon.Sc (Wits)

Some universities also offer a BA degree with Business Management as a major subject - UJ, US, UZ, NMMU, UNISA, UFH, UFS, NWU, UV. A course in Business Management is available at FET Colleges.

- management positions within various business enterprises
- top management of any business, with experience
- large financial institutions
- self-employment, own consultancy business

Business Management Departments
South African universities and universities of technology.

The Director:
The South African Institute for Management Scientists
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, 0002
Tel: (012) 420-3816 Fax: (012) 362-5058