A degree in economics can help students develop mathematical, analytical, and communication skills that are highly marketable in the workplace. Economists use empirical data to study human behavior and can make contributions to almost every discipline ranging from government policy, environmental strategies to everyday, household decisions.
Economists: Abilities and skills
Familiarity with economic laws and principles often leads economics majors to employment in the business and finance industries. The ability to forecast financial trends and consumer spending habits is highly sought after by organizations aiming to make smart financial, marketing, and product-related decisions. Analyzing specialized markets in business allows organizations to strategize around changes in the marketplace.
Economics majors are particularly adept in communicating their findings in written, verbal, and even visual formats, often to others who are outside their fields. Writing reports, developing charts to visually explain findings, and giving multimedia presentations are a few of the valuable skills often attained by these graduates. These abilities may help students communicate and collaborate effectively in a variety of industries and settings.
Careers for economics majors
Economic majors are not just confined to working in the business or finance fields, although these are the most common. According to the American Economic Association, other careers economics majors can find success in are law, medicine, government, nonprofits, international relations and academic roles. In fact, a degree in economics can give students a background in solving human problems using data and facts that can be applied to an array of interesting career choices.
Career outlook and potential earnings with an economics major
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth projections for economists from 2018 to 2028 is 8 percent (as fast as average for all other occupations). The mean annual wage for economists in 2019 was $116,630.
Top-paying industries for economists include:
- Legal Services
- Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities
- Monetary Authorities-Central Bank
- Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
- Other Information Services
Occupations that require an entry-level education of a bachelor's degree include:
- Budget analysts
- Financial analysts
- Market research analysts
- Operations research analysts
Those who hold a master's degree may find occupations such as:
- Political scientists
- Survey researchers
A doctoral degree may be required for those seeking positions as a postsecondary teacher.
Online degree program options in economics
Students who would like to pursue a major in economics but are already working or have other responsibilities that prevent them from enrolling in a traditional, campus program may be interested in online degree programs. Many programs deliver fully online programs that allow you to study at your convenience.
Financial aid and scholarships for economics students
If you're looking for ways to fund your education, take a look at the scholarships and grants offered by these organizations for economics degree students:
What jobs can you get with an economics degree? The infographic below examines some of the possible career paths for economics majors.
Source: What is Economics: Understanding the Discipline, American Economic Association, https://www.aeaweb.org/resources/students/what-is-economics, accessed July 2018
Please reference the visual for a full list of sources.