Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle wrote in the nineteenth century that economics was ‘the dismal science” because of its pessimistic outlook for mankind. But for University of Tasmania Economics Honours graduate Peter Legg, 23, it’s anything but dreary.

“Economics is interesting because you are able to debate contentious issues that affect people’s lives but you need economic logic, data and on occasion statistical modelling to support your conclusions,” he said.

It made “perfect sense”  for Peter to study at the University when he weighed up his options.

“I did not believe that studying at a university outside of Tasmania would make me any better off.

I figured that if there were prominent UTAS alumni, such as economist Saul Eslake, who were well regarded then there was probably nothing stopping me from achieving my career aspirations.

“I also noticed there were plenty of professors with high reputations in their chosen fields at UTAS as well as plenty of nice study spaces which encouraged me to study there.”

After his degree the 23-year-old completed an honours thesis on groundwater use values in the Pilbara in 2018.

It proved a perfect lead-in to his current job as a research economist at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics where he is working on one of the most contentious areas of national public policy: the Murray Darling Basin and Australian water markets.

“I knew that I wanted a stimulating job in economics and government policy.

“The job requires my economics knowledge and research skills to be utilised which is exactly what I hoped would happen after University. 

“I believe doing work with policy implications serves an important role in society,” he said.

My career has definitely followed the pathway that I envisioned when I finished my degree.

Peter’s move to Canberra meant leaving behind his love for Hobart, his family and the social life he developed during his University years.

“What I loved about living and studying in Tasmania was the people that I got to meet and the natural beauty of the place,” he said.

Even though I lived there my entire life I was always awestruck by the amazing views it had -the Derwent River or kunanyi/ Mount Wellington looming overhead.

“Often I would go on bushwalks with family or friends to explore the natural landscape.

“I found it a great way to relax and to refresh my mind when pausing from studies.”

Interested in studying Economics? Find out more here.