Last Updated: April 27, 2021
Career in Economics
The most commonly asked question faced by Economic graduates is of the different career options they can have after they have completed their education. Students who have graduated with a degree in Economics have a series of different professional fields they can enter into which they can choose according to the field they want to be in. While it is expected that learning Economics makes a person an Economist, there are other professions and other degrees that can enhance their credibility and provide them with high-paying jobs.
Candidates can expect to end up in fields like law, government sector, NGO’s, international relations, etc. depending on what career they want to take up after studies. But most candidates often ensure that they have taken a Master’s in the subject and rarely joins work environments right after their degree. Students can also choose to take a Ph.D. in the subject which increases their subject knowledge and their value in the job market.
Career Options for Economic Graduates
Economics graduates are always in demand due to the ever-increasing demand that the global labor market has for people with analytical skills and other problem-solving skills that have been shaped in an economically aware environment. The most popular careers in this field are
- Financial Analyst
- Economic Consulting
- Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
- State and Local Government
- Economics or Financial Researcher
- Finance and Insurance
- Postsecondary Teachers
Being a Financial Analyst
Economists who are employed as Financial Analysts have to analyze the finances including the company expenditure and their budgeting for projects through which they should be able to construct favorable financial planning for increasing the profit margin of the company. They should be able to both analyze the company’s previous budget and predict their future expenses based on which the company can handle their finances.
Their job description includes analyzing current and previous data, report preparation based on the analysis, figuring out investments that are feasible, creating and executing profit plans, and also drawing financial models all the while cooperating with finance teams in the company.
People working as Financial Analysts can also work under titles like Senior Financial Analysts, Investment Analysts, or even as a Financial Analysis Manager or Reporting Manager.
Being an Economic/Financial Consultant
Economic Consulting is a job that requires a lot of research based on the statistical data available about the company which will help them understand the conditions of business and let them offer solutions to economic problems that the company faces. They also have to evaluate the economic statuses of the business organizations at hand and constantly work to improve the existing programs even if it means altering the entire system in place.
There are Consulting agencies that hire consultants who can provide expert solutions to client companies dealing with different problems. The consultants can join as analysts and go on to being an associate, a consultant, a senior economist, a manager, and so on based on their skills and performance.
Candidates who have a Ph.D. in Economics can often even earn up to $74,630 in a year as long as their performance remains constant and can be relied upon by the company and clients equally.
Working in the Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
This is an all-encompassing field where economists are required to work in roles like Financial Analysts or Consultants based on the needs of the company that approaches them. They include actuarial firms that deal with statistical problems that companies face and also consulting firms that deal with the economic problems and other business-related problems that companies face.
This market also includes environmental firms that deal with companies dealing with the reduction of environmental pollution where solutions are required regarding the amendment of policies that can affect the business market drastically. Economists who have taken combined majors with other subjects are most chosen in the field since they will be able to tackle most of the issues that often approach them in a tangled form.
Working in the Government Sector
The Government Sector offers jobs to economists with different degrees depending on the difficulty level and importance of the job. Economists with BA degrees generally get a pay scale of GS-7 level whereas those with MA degrees receive salaries at a pay scale of GS-9. Candidates who have a Ph.D. in Economics often get paid as much as a GS-12 pay scale.
While working in a government sector, candidates can be given jobs in Foreign Services or Civil Services and even in the Central Intelligence Agency depending on their skill in statistics and data managing. They will also be able to work in sectors dealing with public taxation, transport, and the different forms of government spending where their market-related knowledge and statistical skills will be put to use.
Being an Economic Researcher
Economists are often given job positions that require them to do research which can be used to develop business theories and strategies that can aid big companies. This is done either by companies hiring the economists they require or through an independent company hiring clients whose economic problems need to be addressed.
The big names associated with financial or economic consulting are McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company, Mathematica Policy Research, etc. who take up the role of consulting firms that can be approached by businesses for problem solutions that are offered by economic experts in the field.
This job helps economists bask in their comfort field of research and yet it differs from a teaching job that deals with the same concepts in the fact that they have to formulate theories that stand the competition of the present business world and offer solutions that can totally shape a new market trend in the business sector. Also, the work experience attained by working at such firms leads to candidates taking up MBA or law-related courses for a better-standing career.
Academic Options for Economic Graduates
Students who have graduated with an Economics Degree often have doubts regarding taking a full-time course for 5 years just to receive their Ph.D. Such candidates often always move on to other fields of education like Law or MBA where they can make use of their knowledge in Economics and at the same time increase their job opportunities by learning something more professional in nature.
Candidates who choose to move on to other fields of study often prefer Law more than other fields since this field requires them to shape economic decisions like creating and interpreting contracts or tackling the tax system along with other topics rich in economics-related content.
People who take up MBA yet again deal with business-related topics that are associated with economics. Though this is a professional course it helps them use their knowledge in Economics and put it to use in a professional context thereby taking them closer to practice than theory and also letting them create and exercise new theoretical concepts that may be removed from the academic arena.
Working as an Economist
For being an economist, candidates have to generally have a Master’s degree in Economics or a Ph.D. in the same. Being an economist offers people the flexibility of working either from home or in an office independently though there are economists who do try to team up with statisticians in order to get work done. At the same time, one of the important aspects that have to be noted is that being an economist is a full-time job requiring people to work extra hours and a lot of paperwork.
The duties that economists perform in their jobs are generally in the nature of researching economic issues, taking surveys and collecting the necessary data for the same, using mathematical models and statistical models to understand data, and recommending solutions for the problems found. Economists also have to identify market trends and interpret them and while doing a consulting job they have to take on business problems and advise businesses or individuals on economics-related topics.
People working in this field often receive an approximate amount of at least $108,350 per year with a rate of $52.09 per hour according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Though this is the figure a full-time job can offer the person, economists often also take up part-time offers outside of their employment or do overtime due to the nature of their work.
Alternative Career Options for Economists
Candidates with an Economics degree can always find jobs in other sectors like auditing, insurance, or teaching. For a postsecondary teaching job, it is ideal that candidates have a Ph.D. degree and they will be required to teach students academically different and technical subjects if they proceed beyond the high school level. But if the candidate cannot do a Ph.D. course due to different reasons, they can always choose for jobs a little outside their comfort zone like HR Intelligence, IT, Law, Public Relations, etc. since most of these fields require an economics expert on their team.
Being a stockbroker or a business manager may seem to be far out of reach for an economics graduate but the job possibilities for people with a degree in this particular subject are inexhaustible as economics is a subject that is dealt with in every field possible. Candidates often also reach out to Banking jobs that can make use of their statistical knowledge.