Economists plan and direct research attempting to clarify the relationship between various aspects of business operations and the national economy. Economics is often divided into two disciplines: business economics and macroeconomics. Business economics deals with the basic units of economies: individuals, companies, market conditions, costs, investments and management. Macroeconomics, on the other hand, considers the economy as a whole and focuses on factors such as unemployment, inflation, income distribution and general economic policy. The distinction between the two, however, is not always clearly defined.

As an economist, you could work for larger business or service companies, banking institutions, stakeholders in the labour market or various institutions in state or municipal administration. Economists tend to specialize in a specific field in public or private enterprise.

Main tasks
  • researching and analyzing economic and statistical data
  • examining the relationship between influencing factors in the economy and predicting future developments
  • presenting results and preparing tables, graphs, reports and memos
  • advising on strategy, planning and management
  • providing education, advice and general information on economic topics
Competence requirements

An economist must have good research skills and the ability to analyze complex information and statistics. Good mathematics skills and computer skills are important, as is the ability to explain complex issues in a simple manner. An economist needs to be organized when working on many projects at once and be able to provide education, advice and general information.


Economics is taught at the University of Iceland and at Reykjavík University. An undergraduate program in economics lasts three years and yields a BA/BS degree. The University of Iceland also offers two-year masters and additional diplomas.

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