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Application for admission process: Undergraduate qualifications

Economic and management sciences interest fields

How do my interests link with this field?

Read the following statements and select the statements that apply to you. The more statements you select that apply to you, the higher your interest in this area.

Economic and management sciences
(main motivation: business leadership)

  • managing finances
  • overseeing administrative procedures and systems
  • running my own business
  • running someone else’s business
  • selling products or services
  • numbers and figures
  • leading a group of people
  • planning and organising the activities of others
  • marketing

Career fields, possible job titles and work environments

The following is a list of career areas linked to economic and management sciences, together with a description, possible job titles and work environments. Remember that this information is a start for you to explore options related to specific career fields you will need to expand your research as you continue with your studies.

Back to topEconomics

What is this all about?

Economics studies the production and allocation of resources and includes a number of focus areas, such as applied economics, managerial economics, econometrics, development economics and natural resource economics.

Possible job titles

  • Business consultant
  • Client portfolio administrator
  • Commercial broker
  • Commercial manager
  • Commodities trader
  • Credit risk analyst
  • Demand supply planner
  • Development economist
  • Economist
  • Financial programming analyst
  • Insurance
  • Investment analyst
  • Lecturer
  • Portfolio administrator
  • Property analyst
  • Research analyst
  • Researcher
  • Risk analyst
  • Stockbroker
  • Technical investment advisor

Possible work environments

  • Economic consultants in both the public and private sectors
  • Government departments (eg Department of Finance or Trade and Industry and municipalities)
  • Manufacturing and consulting firms
  • Research organisations
  • Self-employment
  • South African Reserve Bank and other banking and financial institutions
  • International organisations such as UNESCO and World Bank

Back to topDecision sciences

What is this all about?

Decision sciences applies mathematical, statistical and computer science-related tools to the analysis and solving of business problems.

Possible job titles

  • Business analyst
  • Data modeller
  • Data scientist
  • Management analyst
  • Management consultant
  • Research analyst
  • Statistical analyst
  • Statistician

Possible work environments

  • Private and public sector
  • Financial institutions
  • Government
  • Market research firms
  • Statistical services organisations (including StatsSA)
  • Financial institutions
  • International organisations (eg World Bank)

Back to topManagement and management support services

What is this all about?

Management and management support services

Possible job titles

  • Business consultant
  • Manager
  • Lecturer
  • Researcher

Possible work environments

  • Economic consultants in both the public and private sectors
  • Government departments (eg Department of Finance or Trade and Industry and municipalities)
  • Manufacturing and consulting firms
  • Research organisations
  • Self-employment
  • South African Reserve Bank and other banking and financial institutions
  • International organisations such as UNESCO and World Bank

Back to topTransport economics, logistics and supply chain management

What is this all about?

Transport economics and logistics focus on the allocation and planning of resources to transport goods and people from one point to another. The economics of transportation is therefore an applied science in which economic and business principles are applied to the transport industry. It deals mainly with balancing the demand for with the supply of transport in all the various modes of transportation. Logistics is closely related to transport economics and involves all activities to ensure that the right product is at the right place at the right time in the right quantity.

Possible job titles

  • Customer service manager
  • Demand and supply planner
  • Distribution manager
  • Fleet controller
  • Inbound logistics analyst
  • Logistics buyer
  • Logistics manager
  • Logistics specialist
  • Production control manager
  • Production manager
  • Project manager
  • Purchasing manager
  • Researcher
  • Retail buyer
  • Retail manager
  • Road transport manager
  • Supply chain logistics planner
  • Supply chain manager
  • Transport analyst
  • Transport controller
  • Transport manager
  • Transport operations manager
  • Transport route planners
  • Transportation analyst
  • Warehouse manager

Possible work environments

  • Consulting firms
  • Department Of Transport
  • Factories and manufactures
  • Government (local, provincial and national)
  • Large retailers and retail firms
  • Logistics and distribution companies
  • Self-employment
  • Transport companies

Back to topTourism management

What is this all about?

The tourism industry supports people who travel for business, pleasure and other purposes. Many new niche tourism experiences, such as medical tourism, ecotourism, educational tourism, creative tourism have created new opportunities for individuals in this field.

Possible job titles

  • Travel and tourism practitioner
  • Event organiser
  • Opportunities exist in tourism transportation management, tourism marketing, tourism distribution, tourism planning and development, and tourism policy development

Possible work environments

  • Events management organisations
  • Tourism information centres
  • Local, provincial and national tourism departments, NGOs and associations
  • Opportunities exist in different tourism sectors such as airlines, car rental, rail, cruise liners, hotels, restaurants, events companies

Back to topHuman resource management

What is this all about?

Human resource management is related to the systems needed to manage people in an organisation. Human resource management specialisations include planning, recruitment and selection, learning and development, employee relations, organisational development, HR administration, HR information systems, reward and remuneration and productivity.

Possible job titles

  • Human resource management practitioner
  • Human resource manager
  • Job development specialist
  • Labour relations practitioner
  • Leadership development specialist
  • Lecturer
  • Recruitment practitioner
  • Training and Development practitioner

Possible work environments

  • Government (local, provincial and national)
  • Commerce and industry
  • Self-employment
  • HR Consultancies
  • Universities and universities of technology

Back to topBanking and financial management

What is this all about?

Financial management principles help organisations (including those in the banking and financial industry) to be able to manage finances effectively in order to achieve the goals of the organisation. This includes assessing risk, financial planning, credit management, stock control, capital management, tax planning, and budgeting.

Possible job titles

  • Bank manager
  • Bank teller
  • Banking analyst
  • Credit analyst
  • Financial and investment manager
  • Forex trader
  • Investment banking analyst
  • Loan officer
  • Personal banker
  • Personal financial planner
  • Portfolio manager
  • Wealth manager

Possible work environments

  • Commercial and general banks
  • Merchant banks
  • Accounting firms
  • Investment banks
  • Commerce and industry
  • Financial and insurance institutions

Back to topMarketing management

What is this all about?

Marketing management involves planning new product development, advertising, promotions and sales. In order to manage these tasks, market research is needed. Marketing practitioners are increasingly using online data and social networks to identify consumer needs and serve customers.

Possible job titles

  • Auctioneer
  • Brand manager
  • Customer service liaison
  • Market researcher
  • Marketing and communications specialist
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Marketing manager
  • Marketing practitioner
  • Online community manager
  • Sales and marketing manager

Possible work environments

  • Advertising agencies
  • FMCG (Fast-moving consumer goods) industry
  • Manufacturers
  • Government departments
  • Specialist communication agencies
  • Entrepreneurs or self-employed consultants

Back to topRetail management

What is this all about?

The retail industry sells goods and services to clients and retail management aims to support this function by understanding how to effectively market these goods and services and how to plan efficient processes.

Possible job titles

  • Area manager
  • Retail buyer
  • Store manager
  • Planner
  • Customer service manager
  • Sales manager
  • Merchandise analyst
  • Merchandise manager

Possible work environments

  • Fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) industry
  • Retailers
  • Self-employment

Back to topIndustrial and organisational psychology

What is this all about?

Industrial psychology focuses on career management, organisational development, learning theories and assessment within the work context. To register as an industrial psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, you need to complete your master’s degree, and meet other requirements such as completing an internship and passing a professional board examination.

Possible job titles

  • Benefits and compensation practitioner
  • Change management practitioner
  • Coach
  • Community development practitioner
  • HR Project coordinator
  • Employee engagement specialist
  • Employee life cycle and payroll specialist
  • Employee wellness practitioner
  • Human resources administrator
  • Human resources project coordinator
  • Human resources practitioner
  • Learning & development practitioner
  • Organisational development practitioner
  • Talent acquisition specialist
  • Talent manager
  • Training and Development practitioner
  • Training facilitator
  • Training officer
  • Transformation officer

Possible work environments

  • Government (local, provincial and national)
  • Cooperative companies
  • Mining companies
  • Commerce and industry
  • Self-Employment, for example as an employment agent

Back to topLaw

What is this all about?

Knowledge of mercantile law is beneficial in careers in human resources management and economics since it allows one to understand issues related to companies, taxation, labour relations and insurance. Private law focuses on aspects such as contracts, obligations, property and trusts.

Possible job titles

  • Economist
  • Financial legal assistant
  • HR practitioner
  • Labour relations practitioner
  • Legal administrator
  • Legal manager
  • Legal officer
  • Manager
  • Policy advisor
  • Researcher
  • Tax practitioner

Possible work environments

  • Financial institutions
  • Provincial administrations
  • Government (local, provincial and national)
  • Self-employment, in private practice as a consultant

Back to topPublic administration

What is this all about?

Public administration and management is the study of activities such as the provision of health, protection, education, housing in the public sector. Although the subject is especially beneficial for those who want to follow a career in the public sector, it is important to note that the subject is also beneficial for those who want to follow a career in the private sector. The management skills, for example, can be applied with equal success in both the public and private sectors.

Possible job titles

  • Project development specialist
  • Public affairs researcher
  • Public Sector consultant
  • Public administration officer
  • Provincial officer
  • Compliance officer
  • Project manager
  • Budget & reporting manager
  • Public outreach officer
  • Policy advisor
  • Government relations manager
  • Non-profit Administrator
  • Teacher/lecturer
  • Activist/ lobbyist
  • Local government officer

Possible work environments

  • International affairs (United Nations, Africa Union, Southern African Development Community)
  • National affairs (eg education, health, commerce, law enforcement, defence, finance, transport, and environmental affairs)
  • Provincial affairs (eg tourism, nature conservation, education, andhealth)
  • Municipal (local government) affairs (municipal manager, water and electricity supply, roads, town planning, and parks and recreation)
  • Careers can also be followed in quasi-autonomous government institutions namely: research institutions, universities, development agencies, state parastatals (eg Transnet, CSIR, and Eskom)

Back to topSafety management

What is this all about?

Safety management refers to how organisations identify hazards and control risk in the organisation. Practitioners in this field are responsible for setting up safety management systems in order to manage safety risks.

Possible job titles

  • Occupational safety inspector
  • Safety manager
  • Health and safety practitioner
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Quality (SHEQ) practitioner and manager
  • Underground safety officer
  • Safety advisor

Possible work environments

  • Government departments (eg Department of Labour, SABS)
  • Construction industry
  • Manufacturing industry
  • Mining industry
  • Airlines
  • Motor industries
  • Self-employment, as a consultant

Back to topBusiness informatics

What is this all about?

Business informatics refer to a combination of information systems knowledge with business knowledge.

Possible job titles

  • Business analyst
  • Consultant
  • IT project manager
  • IT trainer and database specialist
  • Knowledge manager
  • Networks specialist
  • Systems analyst
  • Systems designer
  • Systems developer

Possible work environments

  • Commerce and industry
  • IT consulting firms
  • Self-employed as consultant or business owner

Further career information

  • Visit the Unisa Directorate: Counselling and Career Development website to further explore career information related to economic and management sciences.
  • Download the 8 ways to do career research brochure to get started with your career learning.

Academic departments at Unisa