Economics Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-09-0825 min read

Contrary to popular belief, there are many careers in the economics field beyond practicing as an economist. Stocks, money, banking, and the government are only a few aspects of economics, and even those themes have lots of career roles in them.

Economics focuses on understanding human behavior as a group and how they shape the world.

Due to the critical role that economists play in global economic policies, science, and commerce job prospects in the field remain bullish. The private sector is expected to see the most demand for consultancy, management, and scientific services.

In this guide, you'll get a complete breakdown of everything to know about economic careers.

Why Choose Economics?

Modern society runs on economics. Economists work with statistics and data, but their conclusions and recommendations can affect significant change.

Economics students learn the analytical and problem-solving abilities needed to understand complicated markets. They also learn the business skills required for success in the workplace.

You will learn about economics and how your company and its market operate. It also provides information about your ideals and spending habits.

Apart from learning economic theory, you'll also develop the tools needed to make business decisions.

How to Start your Economics Journey

Getting started usually requires an education. You could get an associate, bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree.

The greatest economics courses teach students how to do quantitative and qualitative analyses, which are essential skills for becoming a top economist. Employers also favor economists with a background in statistical analysis software more and more.

Master's students can specialize in economics to separate themselves from other job seekers. Experienced candidates with a master's degree or a doctorate often face less competition for positions than those with a bachelor's degree.

Here are a few education options.

Education Requirements

Associate Degree

An associate's degree covers economics studies. While most jobs in economics require a bachelor's degree, those with an associate's can work as accounting clerks or bookkeepers to gain experience and see if they enjoy the field.

Earning an associate degree is a great first step in pursuing a bachelor's degree. An associate's degree will let you work as an insurance sales agent, an accounting clerk, or a bookkeeper.

Bachelor's Degree

There are two primary types of bachelor's degrees available in economics: bachelor of arts (BA) and bachelor of science (BSE) (BS). Economics BA degrees frequently emphasize theory and social sciences.

In contrast, students pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BS) in economics learn how to apply theoretical concepts and business practices to real-world issues and quantitative skills.

Neither degree is inherently superior to the other, although a bachelor's in economics may give you an advantage when applying to graduate programs. A bachelor's degree lets you work as a financial risk analyst, actuarial analyst, or market research analyst.

Master's Degree

Master's degrees are almost as common as bachelor's for economists. Economists can get an MBA in economics, or a master's in economics (either MA or MS).

An MBA provides a wide business foundation, with economics as a secondary learning objective. A master's in economics is often a more thorough and specialized look into the field. Choose a college offering courses that align with your personal/future career path.

Graduates can work as economists, data analysts, statisticians, and other administrative and leadership positions.

Doctorate in Economics

PhDs are an option for economists who aren't terrified of academics. Some institutions don't require a master's degree, while others provide a lighter course load to students with a master's.

In an economics Ph.D. program, you have a lot of freedom to choose your research topic and focus while learning. Graduates with a Ph.D. in economics are well-equipped to work in high-level positions, such as quantitative analysts or department chairs. This degree also qualifies graduates for full professorships with tenure.

Employment Prospects

Aspiring economists can work for governments, corporations, and international organizations. Because economics can fit into any industry, how they choose to specialize often determines their career path.

Economics Career Forecast

Careers in economics are typically secure, rewarding, and in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts economic careers will see a 6% growth between 2021 and 2031.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for economists is $105,630.

Economics careers encompass business, education, and healthcare. Some economists work for municipal, state, or federal governments, while others forecast and study for worldwide enterprises, think tanks and research firms.

How to Boost your Economics Career

You can advance your economic career with professional certification and continuing education courses. Economists don't always need certification. However, these credentials show you have professional qualifications in areas like finance and research.

Similarly, earning an advanced degree isn't strictly necessary to climb the economics career ladder, but it can help driven individuals stand out in the field.

Employers usually prefer applicants with relevant experience and competence, which you can gain through a course, volunteering, or internships.

Lucrative Economics Career Paths

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Economists research financial trends involving stocks, bonds, spending, currency exchange rates, inflation, and other topics. In addition, they conduct specialist research to make forecasts and provide information to businesses and governments.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of an economist is $105,630. The salary ranges from $62,460 to $193,690.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Economic research.

  • Get information and conduct surveys.

  • Use mathematical models, statistical methods, and software to analyze data.

  • Report and graph research outcomes.

  • Analyze and predict market trends.

  • Advise on economic issues for organizations, institutions, and individuals.

Industries Employing Economist

Some industries actively employing statisticians are:

  • Universities

  • Research institutes

  • Banking and Finance sector

  • Private companies

  • Think tanks

  • Government

  • Healthcare

  • Internet / Communications

External Auditor

External auditors check customers' accounting records and determine if financial statements are presented fairly based on the entity's accounting standards. They must determine if financial statements include serious errors or fraud.

Following an audit, stakeholders, like investors, creditors, and regulators, review the ensuing financial statements. External auditors frequently offer numerous tax and advisory services besides conducting audits.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of an external auditor is $77,250. The salary ranges from $47,970 to $128,970.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Plan and implement financial and operational audits to guarantee GAAP compliance.

  • Test the effectiveness of internal controls.

  • Perform reasonableness tests on account balances.

  • Prepare and provide management reports on audit findings and recommend solutions to these problems.

Industries Employing External Auditor

Some industries actively employing external auditors are:

  • Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services

  • Finance and insurance

  • Government

Investment Analyst

Investment analysts evaluate financial and investment data to give buy, sell, and hold recommendations. Brokerage houses, financial planners, and mutual fund companies employ investment analysts to produce investment research for various uses.

Average Salary

The average salary of an investment analyst is $67,785. The salary ranges from $49,000 to $98,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Evaluating the value of assets and businesses.

  • Calculating opportunities and risks for past and present clients.

  • Monitoring investment portfolios and market movements.

  • Examining past investment decisions and coming up with crucial conclusions.

  • Holding meetings with management and clients all year round.

  • Creating sophisticated financial models to be used in decision-making.

  • Creating financial reports for stakeholders and other team members.

Industries Employing Investment Analysts

Industries actively hiring investment analysts include:

  • investment banks

  • Insurance companies

  • Institutional investors

  • Private equity firms

  • Stockbrokers

  • Large charities

Financial Risk Analyst

A financial risk analyst's job is to keep businesses, governments, and non-profits safe from any threats to their finances.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a financial risk analyst is $95,570. The salary ranges from $57,900 to $166,560.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Suggest ways to lower or minimize risk, possibly using an insurance plan

  • Help traders calculate transaction risk

  • Conduct risk assessments

  • Analyze a bank's market position and running data with advanced modeling to identify VAR (value at risk).

  • Review laws that potentially affect a firm and offer recommendations on how to comply to protect assets and reputation.

  • Create backup plans for handling emergencies.

Industries Employing Financial Risk Analysts

Industries actively hiring financial risk analysts include

  • Sales

  • Origination

  • Trading

  • Marketing

  • Financial services or private banking:

Economic Researcher

An economic researcher carries out research, writes reports, and prepares plans to manage production and distribution issues.

Average Salary

The average salary of an economic researcher is $81,198. The salary ranges from $72,954 to $92,532.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Gather and analyze statistical and economic data using quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

  • Compile, analyze, and publish data using models and statistical approaches to explain economic events, forecast trends, and provide policy advice.

  • Make economic proposals, policies, or plans.

Industries Employing Economic Researchers

Industries actively hiring economic researchers include:

  • Research institutes

  • Banking and Finance sector

  • Private companies

  • Think tanks

  • Government

Market Research Analyst

Market research analyst is another promising field for economics majors. These professionals analyze market data to spot patterns and forecast future events. They are especially helpful for businesses introducing new products to the market or expanding their service offerings.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a market research analyst is $63,920. The average annual pay usually ranges from $37,550 to $128,320.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Tracking and predicting sales and marketing trends.

  • Helping to develop marketing plans.

  • Investigating unique market situations.

  • Analyzing customer preferences to estimate product sales.

  • Examining costs, distribution channels, and marketing strategies.

  • Evaluating the success of marketing initiatives and plans.

  • Conceiving and testing data collection strategies.

  • Gathering data on customers, rivals, and market circumstances.

  • Data analysis and interpretation using statistical tools.

Industries Employing Market Research Analysts

Industries actively hiring market research analysts include:

  • Manufacturing

  • Consulting firms

  • Finance and Insurance

Actuarial Analyst

An actuarial analyst manages a company's financial risks. Actuarial science plays a big part in a company's performance.

Average Salary

The average salary of an actuarial analyst is $75,000. The salary ranges from $66,300 to $82,800.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Using stats and modeling to interpret data.

  • Providing technical help and analysis to actuaries.

  • Creating reports on analysis results.

  • Identifying risks and liabilities.

  • Helping with insurance policy pricing and design.

  • Identifying and scrutinizing the data sources.

  • Creating procedures for better reporting and data analysis.

Industries Employing Actuarial Analysts

Industries actively hiring actuarial analysts include:

  • Insurance companies

  • Consulting firms

  • Government

  • Hospitals

  • Banks

  • Investment firms.

Management Analyst

Management analysts offer strategies to increase an organization's efficiency. They assist management in reducing costs and increasing revenues to boost profits.

Average Salary

The average salary of a management analyst is $93,000. The salary ranges from $50,190 to $163,760.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Gather information regarding problems or procedures to be improved.

  • Interview personnel and observe onsite to assess procedures, equipment, and personnel.

  • Analyze financial data and other information, such as income, spending, and employment statistics.

  • Create remedies or different procedures

  • Promote new techniques, policies, or organizational modifications

  • Present or write recommendations to management

  • Consult with managers to verify changes are working as intended

Industries Employing Management Analysts

Industries actively hiring management analysts include:

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services

  • Government

  • Self-employed workers

  • Finance and insurance

  • Management of companies and enterprises

Political Risk Analyst

Professional political risk analysts help investors assess the risks and rewards of their decisions. These experts consider the country's political and economic situations and societal developments.

Average Salary

The average salary of a political risk analyst is $70,937. The salary ranges from $54,718 to $93,856.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Gather and analyze data from multiple sources on a topic

  • Calculate risk scores by using modeling tools and data analytics.

  • Forecast and simulate political or worldwide changes to inform corporate or policy decisions.

  • Create risk analyses and reports for clients that include guidance on risk management.

Industries Employing Political Risk Analysts

  • International publishing companies

  • Software development firms.

  • Financial services firms.

  • Banks

  • Insurance companies

  • Mortgage firms

  • Consulting organizations.


A statistician is a person who uses statistical techniques and models to solve issues in the real world. They collect, examine, and evaluate data to support many business decision-making processes. Statisticians are in high demand and frequently work in fields like business, healthcare, government, the physical sciences, and the environment.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a statistician is $96,280. The salary usually ranges from $61,760 to $169,500.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Data gathering, analysis, and interpretation

  • Finding patterns and connections in data

  • Designing data collecting procedures

  • Providing strategic counsel for businesses and organizations

  • Planning data acquisition trials

  • Helping with decision-making

Industries Employing Statisticians

Some industries actively hiring statisticians are:

  • Government

  • Market research companies

  • Healthcare and pharmaceuticals

  • Educational bodies

Pros and Cons of an Economics Careers

An economic career has benefits and drawbacks, just like any other occupation. Here are a few.


  • You'll learn valuable skills

  • You can work in different fields

  • The pay is decent

  • Plenty of opportunities to grow in your career.

  • Regardless of how the world changes, economics will always be important.


  • Poor work-life balance

  • You may need a graduate degree to get a better job

  • It can be stressful

  • Most economic careers require you to work from an office

  • You'll need to be good at math.

Skills You'll Develop While Studying Economics

When you study economics, you learn several useful skills, some of which are listed below.

Quantitative Analysis

Quantitative analysis employs statistical and mathematical techniques to address issues in finance, business, and risk management. It's a crucial data-driven tool that financial analysts, scientists, and researchers use to unravel difficult concepts and problems.

Businesses use quantitative analysis to help make better decisions. Using quantitative and qualitative analytical tools together enables people and organizations to develop a deep understanding of a situation or issue.

Mathematical Aptitude

Being good with numbers is essential for an economist. You'll need to be proficient with statistics and math to handle massive datasets and graphics. So many aspiring economists enroll in math courses as a foundation for their economics studies.


A solid understanding of economics is useless if you can't effectively communicate it to others. Never use a long word when a short one suffices, and remove extraneous 'that's wherever possible. Keeping the aim and audience in mind will help you decide how much economic jargon to use.

How to Prepare for an Economics Career

1. Build Critical Skills

Most economist careers require a Master's or Ph.D. because it instills vital traits. There are three fundamental abilities that any competent economist must have: (1) using economic theory to establish forecasts and hypotheses; (2) analyzing data to address questions quantitatively; and (3) communicating findings to a large (non-economist) audience.

2. Develop your own Brand.

Start creating a brand in your desired business or profession while in graduate school. For example, if your ultimate career is in development, choose development-related topics for your optional papers and a capstone project.

You can highlight your research experience and skills on your resume or c.v. and bring them up in interviews.

3. Get experience

You should look for economics-related internship opportunities while pursuing your bachelor's degree. Many aspiring economists spend one to two years interning. Internships help you gain skills and gain valuable work experience.

After landing an internship, it's important to make the most of the experience. You should make the most of the opportunity to work directly with full-time, active economists who can instruct you on the subject's intricacies.

4. Build a Network

It's not simply their knowledge that makes professionals successful; it's also their network. Create a LinkedIn account and connect. Join a low student rate professional organization such as the National Association of Business Economists (NABE). Such groups frequently hold local networking events and regularly update their own job boards.

5. Market Yourself

Marketing your skills is a great way to distinguish yourself from the competition and rise to the industry's top. While strolling in with your resume will still get you a job, adding a personal touch eases the trouble. Employers consider more than just your resume when making hiring decisions.

Companies want to know that you will fit in well with the team dynamic and that you won't be a distraction to others. Having a reputable internet presence in your field is a plus while job seeking. Luckily, you started branding earlier, so now, you have a reputation among other professionals who can endorse your skills.

Resources to Help Your Economics Career

Professional organizations are great places to get your hands on useful resources. They are also a great place to network and access job boards.

If you prefer learning on your own, you can enroll in Open courseware to further your education.

Here are some useful professional organizations you can join

How to Switch to an Economics Career

If you're just graduating from high school, your first step is getting a bachelor's degree. However, if you already have a business-related degree, you'll have an easier time switching to an economics career.

Gain experience by volunteering, which will also help you land entry-level roles. You may need a master's degree to land high-paying roles. You can also get a professional certificate to kick start your economic career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Economics?

Economic definitions vary. It's the study of scarcity, how individuals use resources, and decision-making. It incorporates subjects like wealth and finance, but it's not all about money. Economics is a vast study that helps us comprehend past trends, evaluate today's headlines, and predict the future.

What certification do I need for an economics career?

Here are four certifications that can boost your economic career and help you land those high-paying jobs.

Can I get an Economics degree online?

Yes. Several schools offer online bachelor's degrees in economics. These online degrees usually take four years to complete. Make sure you check that it is accredited before enrolling.

What fields can Economics work in?

An economics degree lets you work in manufacturing, communications, mining, transportation, economic and market research firms, and financial industries.

Is there a high demand for Economics majors?

Yes. Many economic-related careers are in demand. However, the competition for the best-paying jobs is stiff. You can stand out by getting a graduate degree or professional certification.

Final Thoughts

If you're interested in mathematics and statistics, why not consider a career in economics? As industries continue to evolve, skilled economists are needed more than ever to lead the way.

Earning a degree in economics will increase your marketability in various fields. The global job market has an acute need for highly educated graduates. Because economics majors build highly transferable analytical and problem-solving skills, there are many economics careers to choose from.

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