An economics degree can open the door to many well-paying jobs. Economists work in many different types of environments, including schools, government, and all facets of the business world, including banks, insurance companies, retail establishments, and many other types of businesses.
What is economics? Economics is the study of how society distributes resources, such as land, labor, machinery, and raw materials. Economists conduct research, analyze data, and forecast trends. Energy costs, interest rates, inflation, taxes, and employment rates are all studied by economists.
An economics degree is a general degree intended to teach basic economic principals with an emphasis on problem-solving skills. Besides classes in economics, a wide variety of other courses are taken, such as computer science, calculus, and statistics. By graduation, an economics major is trained to think critically in order to solve complex problems.
A typical economics curriculum helps a student to develop core skills that prepare them to succeed at any number of jobs. Economists have skills in data acquisition, and are able to gather data from many different sources. For example, they might survey random samples or use statistical models.
Besides data acquisition skills, economists have strong critical thinking skills and can see between the lines to analyze data. They also have writing and reporting skills to communicate their conclusions to others. Reports are often in the form of charts and graphs. They are able to recognize economic trends and patterns. The trends discovered and reported by economists are used to the benefit of many different organizations. As an employee of a corporation, economists are able to project customer demand or product trends.
Many economists are employed by the federal government. As government employees, economists may conduct surveys and gather data such as salaries, employment rates, and industry growth.
Most students who study economics specialize in a particular area. Micro economists study individual companies or people. They evaluate supply and demand and project trends. Macroeconomists look at the economy as a whole, watching for historical trends. They are able to forecast the effects of unemployment, inflation, and investments.
Some economists specialize in finance and are employed by banks, analyzing interest rate fluctuations, and making predictions about lending promotions. Others specialize in international trade and study exchange rates and global tariffs. Economists employed by large organizations evaluate the competition and predict trends.
A bachelors degree is sufficient for most entry-level jobs, such as management trainees or research assistants. As the amount of responsibility increases, so do the education requirements.
Most opportunities for advancement require a master's degree or a PhD. In graduate school, a student can choose a specialty such as advanced theory or demographics. To be on the faculty of a community college requires a master's degree. To teach at a large university requires a PhD.
A student who is interested in pursuing a career in economics should be very detail-oriented, disciplined, and self-motivated. They should have above-average analytical skills and problem solving ability. A potential economist who possesses these qualities and pursues a degree in economics will find many types of job opportunities.