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What can you do with an economics degree?

by Ellen Georgiou 6th February 2019

You aced Microeconomics, excelled in Econometrics,dominated Industrial Organization and Public Policy.  You also know how to manipulate datastatistics and understand the factors that drive the economy… but nowwhat?  What are you going to do with that economics degree?

The good news is there’s actually a lot you can do. Given the breadth of your studies, you can cast a much wider net in your job search.  Economics majors have analytical skills, can manipulate data and understand the relationships between trends, producers and consumers. 

These strengths can be used in many areas. But as you scan the job listings you probably won’t be looking for a job with ‘economics’ in the title.  The opportunities abound in banking, insurance, public policy, and finance but almost none of them will ask specifically for economists.  They are, however, looking for workers with well-developed abilities inresearch, analysis and data modeling.

Here is a list of related occupations that are seeing amuch-faster-than-average employment growth and are a great match for economics majors:

1. Statistician

A law student studying

No doubt one of hottest jobs right now.  Statisticians are in demand in many sectors and the field is expected to grow by 35%.  If you prefer the more analytical side of economics and love number crunching, this could be a great profession to pursue. Statisticians collect and analyze data to detect trends and relationships. They design surveys, collect data, and communicate the results to policy makers and others.

2. Operation research analyst

We know you’re smart. You have a degree in economics.  But if you’re really smart you will look into a career as an operations research analyst.  Projected growth is around 30% for this industry and an economics degree will help you slip right into this coveted profession.   You will use your quantitative reasoning skills to solve complex problems and provide solutions. 

3. Personal financial advisor

This is another career that is seeing faster-than-average growth. An aging population has an increasing needfor investment and retirement advice and this can be a rewarding way to putyour economics education to work.  Youwill help educate clients on how best to manage their money and investments.

4. Market research analyst

Economics majors are well prepared for positions in research and analysis. You will tap into your knowledge of industry trends to assess how products or services can fare under various economic conditions. You are also able to design studies and gather and analyze data. This is a role that is widely available in many industries.  Any business that wants to sell something can take advantage of market research analysis.

5. Actuary

Again, another job that is very hot right now that can utilize the numerical and statistical skills of the economics major. Actuaries traditionally work in the insurance industry but it is a role increasingly found in other sectors.  Actuaries help businesses minimize financial risks by using statistical analysis to determine the cost of potential risks and ways to minimize them. 

6. Healthcare analytics specialist

Due to the aging of the country—and related expansion in services and medical spending— healthcare has become the largest source of jobs in the U.S.  Economics majors are finding that their specialized knowledge of data acquisition, management, analysis, and interpretation is highly valued as it provides insight to physicians, clinical researchers and decision-makers and also helps streamline and improve operations.

7. Financial manager

An MBA online student studying

This is one of the classic jobs for economics majors since it involves analyzing market trends to find ways to reduce costs and increase profits. Financial managers also devise strategies to help companies expand.

8. Financial examiner

Financial examiners help keep the world’s financial systems on track by ensuring banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, and other financial institutions comply with applicable lawsand regulations. An economics degree is a great foundation for this career.

9. Environmental economist

This is the perfect career choice for economics majors who are passionate about protecting the environment.  This is a fast-developing field where professionals collect and analyze data to study the environmentalimplications of government policies on issues like alternative fuel use, soilconservation, and climate change. Many of these positions require advancedtraining, but some government agencies are hiring candidates with a bachelor’sdegree.

10. Economist

You may not be able to call yourself an economist right now as it’s a hefty title and usually economists have advanced degrees, but it’s certainly something to aspire to.  You can gain valuable experience collecting and analyzing data and conducting interviews in many entry-level jobs.  Economists monitor economic trends by collecting and analyzing data and studying the production and distribution of resources, goods and services.

We’ve highlighted top jobs for you based on current hiring levels, industry growth and compensation, but economics majors can work in a huge range of industries including banking, insurance, non-profit organizations, real estate, and government.

And if this still doesn’t appeal to you, there are other options including international development, journalism, law, public relations, and human resources.  Economics majors are not only working successfully in all of these areas they are also rising to powerful positions.

Ellen Georgiou - author at Eduvenio

By Ellen Georgiou

Ellen Georgiou is a writer who was born in London, studied journalism in the United States and has worked as a journalist and editor around the world.

All posts by Ellen Georgiou