Degree Guides

100+ Degree Guides: Explore job opportunities in your field of study.

Read More

Top 15 Economics Degree Jobs

By Ammar Ahmed

Published:

Struggling to map out your career after an economics degree? You’re not the only one facing this challenge. It can be unsettling to feel unsure about your job prospects, making your career planning stressful.

Fear not! Our article offers a way forward by exploring various job roles that your degree equips you for, helping you navigate the uncertainty and set your career compass right.

Here are the top 15 professions at a glance:

degree guide economics

1. Loan Officer


Loan Officers utilize their understanding of economics and finance to evaluate, authorize, or recommend approval of loan applications. If you possess strong interpersonal skills and have an interest in assisting others with their financial needs, this profession could appeal to you.

As a Loan Officer

Your primary responsibility will be to evaluate loan applications and documentation by confirming creditworthiness, assess financial status, and determine the feasibility of granting loans.

You may find yourself in banks, credit unions, or mortgage companies, meeting with applicants to obtain personal and financial data, answer questions, and explain options. Your role will be crucial in helping individuals and businesses manage their finances and achieve their goals.

Benefits

  • Commission-Based Earnings: Many loan officers earn a base salary, but the real financial opportunity often lies in commission-based earnings, which can significantly increase their income, depending on their performance and the number of loans they process.
  • Robust Retirement Plans: Many financial institutions offer strong 401(k) or similar retirement plans, sometimes with matching contributions.
  • Life and Disability Insurance: In addition to health benefits, many companies provide life and disability insurance, providing loan officers and their families with additional security.
  • Employee Assistance Programs: These are work-based intervention programs designed to identify and assist employees in resolving personal problems that might be adversely affecting their performance. Such problems might include stress, financial concerns, or family issues.

Working Conditions

As a Loan Officer, you’ll usually operate within a bank or financial institution, though visiting clients’ homes or businesses could also be a part of your job. While regular business hours are standard, achieving lending targets or dealing with complex cases might require additional hours. Your workday will revolve around meeting with clients, assessing loan applications, and making lending decisions.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Finance: To deepen your understanding of financial concepts and markets, a Master’s Degree in Finance can be a significant asset. You will delve deeper into topics such as investment analysis, corporate finance, financial modeling, and risk management, equipping you with skills to make informed lending decisions. Furthermore, advanced credentials could potentially position you for leadership roles in the banking sector.
  • This program generally requires undergraduate coursework in statistics, calculus, and financial accounting. Some institutions might also require the GMAT or GRE for admission.
  • NMLS Licensing Courses: Loan officers in the U.S. are required to be licensed through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS). Some states require pre-licensure education courses, and all states require a national exam. Maintaining this license may also require ongoing education courses, keeping you updated on the latest federal regulations, lending standards, and loan products.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As a Loan Officer, having excellent customer service and communication skills will help you build rapport with clients. Strong financial analysis abilities are vital for evaluating loan applications. Proficiency in financial software and loan processing systems will streamline your work.

A good understanding of economics and financial markets will aid in making sound lending decisions. Attention to detail and adherence to regulations is essential for successful loan processing.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($103,438)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

Loan officers earn a handsome income, with a median annual wage of approximately $103,438. The job outlook for Loan Officers is relatively stable. People will continue to seek loans for homes, education, and businesses, so there is a consistent demand for these professionals who can help facilitate these transactions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for Loan Officers is projected at around 4%, which is slower than the average. Despite this, the need for Loan Officers remains due to the persistent demand for loan services in various sectors of the economy.


2. Management Consultant


Management Consultants use economics and business skills to advise organizations on improving performance. If you like solving complex problems and dynamic environments, this role may be for you.

As a Management Consultant

Your fundamental duty will be to analyze the existing organizational problems and develop strategic plans for improvement. You could work with various industries, providing advice on matters like revenue optimization, operational efficiency, or organizational design. Your guidance can shape the direction and success of the businesses you work with.

Benefits

  • High Earning Potential: Management consulting often comes with a lucrative salary, bonus structure, and sometimes even profit-sharing plans.
  • Work-Life Balance Initiatives: While management consulting can be demanding, many firms are now emphasizing work-life balance, offering benefits such as flexible working hours, remote work options, or sabbaticals.
  • Reputation and Prestige: Many of the top management consulting firms are recognized globally, which can add a significant boost to a professional’s reputation and resume.
  • Career Advancement: Broad exposure to different business problems and industries can fast-track your career progression, both within and outside the consultancy field.
  • Develop Business Acumen: Working on various projects helps develop a solid understanding of business operations, strategies, and management practices, enhancing your overall business acumen.

Working Conditions

Management consultants work in high-pressure environments, leveraging their deep understanding of market trends and economic principles to devise strategic solutions for diverse clients. Travel and long hours are common, especially during project deadlines. Yet, their work is intellectually stimulating and offers a chance to impact businesses across sectors, making it both challenging and rewarding.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Business Administration (MBA): Possibly the most highly recommended qualification for prospective management consultants is the Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). This degree provides a comprehensive understanding of business operations, strategic planning, and financial management. It also incorporates elements of economics, making it a valuable choice for those with a bachelor’s in economics. To prepare for an MBA program, it might be necessary to take prerequisite courses in areas like accounting, finance, and statistics if you did not cover these areas sufficiently in your undergraduate economics degree. Many MBA programs also require the GMAT or GRE exams, so preparatory courses for these tests could be beneficial.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As a Management Consultant, your problem-solving skills will be pivotal in diagnosing issues and implementing strategic solutions. A firm understanding of business economics, alongside the ability to analyze data and business operations, is key.

Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills will enable you to effectively liaise with clients and present your findings. Adaptability and the capacity to work in diverse industries and on various projects will also make you a stronger candidate.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($102,529)
  • Job Outlook (11%)

Management Consultants, also known as Management Analysts, are compensated with a median annual wage of around $102,529. In terms of job outlook, the future is quite bright for Management Consultants. As businesses and organizations continually seek to improve efficiency and control costs, the demand for skilled Management Consultants is expected to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for Management Analysts is projected at around 11%.


3. Economist


Economists utilize their understanding of economic theory and quantitative skills to analyze and interpret economic data and trends. If you are naturally curious and like to dive deep into research and data analysis, this career path might be ideal for you.

As an Economist

Your main role is to analyze and interpret economic data, providing valuable insights to governments, corporations, or financial institutions. You may delve into the world of macroeconomics, exploring broad issues such as inflation, unemployment, or international trade. Alternatively, you could focus on microeconomics, studying the behavior of individuals and firms to understand market dynamics.

Benefits

  • Remote Work Options: Many economists can perform their research and data analysis tasks remotely, providing the potential for work-from-home or other flexible work arrangements.
  • High Earning Potential: Economists, especially those in private sector roles, often command competitive salaries due to the specialized skills and knowledge they bring to an organization.
  • Relocation Assistance: If the job requires a move, many organizations offer relocation assistance, making the transition smoother and more affordable.
  • Healthcare Benefits: Economists typically enjoy comprehensive health benefits, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as wellness programs.

Working Conditions

As an Economist, you will operate primarily in a tranquil office environment or potentially work remotely, spending substantial time analyzing complex datasets and market trends. The pace and hours can be quite typical, but expect to put in additional effort during significant economic events. 

The work involves a great deal of research, writing, and presentation, requiring a balance of solitary focus and team collaboration. International travel might be part of the job if involved in global economics.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Economics: A natural progression for economics majors, this advanced degree delves deeper into economic theory, quantitative methods, and specialized fields like health economics, labor economics, or environmental economics. With a Master’s in Economics, you’ll be more prepared for analytical roles in both the public and private sectors.
  • Certified Business Economist (CBE): The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) offers this certification. It enhances credibility and demonstrates mastery of advanced economics and analytics as applied to business and policy issues. The certification process involves coursework and an exam.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Strong quantitative skills are crucial for economists, as the role involves dealing with a substantial amount of numerical data. Proficiency in statistical analysis software and economic modeling tools can set you apart.

Excellent communication skills are essential for explaining complex economic concepts in layman’s terms. Additionally, critical thinking abilities will aid you in developing sound economic forecasts and strategies.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($98,258)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

Economists earn a median annual wage of $98,258. The demand for skilled economists remains high as governments, businesses, and nonprofits continue to require expert analysis of economic conditions and forecasts.

The job outlook for economists is good, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with a projected growth rate of 6%. This reflects the value of their insights in an increasingly complex and globalized economy.


4. Investment Banker


Investment bankers use their economic background to help businesses, governments, and other entities raise capital. If you enjoy high-stakes financial planning and can handle stress well, this could be a fitting career path.

As an Investment Banker

You’ll be primarily engaged in underwriting new securities issued by a company, facilitating mergers and acquisitions, and providing strategic advice for complex financial transactions. You could find yourself working in areas like corporate finance, equity capital markets, or even in specialized sectors like healthcare or technology. Your work will be crucial in shaping your client’s financial futures.

Benefits

  • Professional Development Opportunities: The industry offers numerous opportunities for professional development and specialization, such as certifications in financial modeling or private equity.
  • Expensive Accounts: Investment bankers often have the ability to expense high-end dinners, travel, and entertainment for client relationship-building.
  • Educational Reimbursement: Some investment banks offer educational reimbursement for further studies or certifications, contributing to personal growth and career advancement.
  • Career Opportunities Post-Banking: Many ex-bankers find opportunities in private equity, hedge funds, or corporate roles due to their skills and networks developed in investment banking.

Working Conditions

An Investment Banker works in a high-energy, high-stress, and often high-reward environment. Working hours can be long and irregular, typically extending far beyond the standard 9-5 schedule, especially during deal closures. 

The atmosphere is fast-paced, driven by the ebbs and flows of global financial markets. Travel may be a frequent part of the job, meeting clients and investors. Despite the demanding nature of the work, it often comes with significant financial compensation.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Finance (MFin): The MFin is a specialized degree that focuses on developing expertise in finance theory and practices, including risk management, investment strategy, and financial analysis. It can provide a solid foundation for those seeking roles in investment banking, asset management, and financial consulting.
    • Pre-requisites: Depending on the program, you may need to complete courses in finance, calculus, and statistics.
  • Certifications in Finance: The CFA charter is a globally recognized professional certification in investment management. It covers a broad range of topics and is invaluable for investment bankers. The FMVA certification, offered by the Corporate Finance Institute (CFI), provides practical skills for financial modeling, company valuation, M&A, LBO, and capital raising. These skills are directly relevant to the work of an investment banker.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

To be successful as an Investment Banker, you must have strong financial modeling skills and a deep understanding of financial markets. You should also be proficient in spreadsheet and presentation software, as these tools are essential for analyzing data and presenting investment strategies.

Strong communication skills will help you negotiate deals and build relationships with clients. Resilience and the ability to work under high pressure are necessary due to the demanding nature of the role. Your problem-solving skills will be indispensable for devising innovative financial solutions.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($140,025)
  • Job Outlook (9%)

Investment bankers make a lot of money, with a median annual salary of $140,025. The Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS projects a 9% growth rate for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. The future of investment banking is generally positive. As the economy continues to grow and companies seek capital for expansion, mergers, and acquisitions, the demand for investment bankers is expected to increase.


5. Actuary


Actuaries use their profound knowledge of economics and statistics to analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. If you have a penchant for predicting future scenarios and evaluating risk, this profession could be a perfect match.

As an Actuary

Your primary role will be to use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs. You could work in insurance companies, consulting firms, or government bodies. Your insights will help organizations develop policies and plans to maintain their financial stability.

Benefits

  • Stable Job Market: The actuarial profession is known for its stability due to the ongoing demand for risk assessment in various industries, especially insurance and finance.
  • Attractive Compensation: Actuaries often receive competitive salaries, which increase as they pass more professional exams and gain more experience.
  • Work-Life Balance: Many actuarial roles offer a good work-life balance compared to other jobs in the finance industry.
  • Exam Support: Many employers offer support for the rigorous actuarial examination process, including study materials, paid study time, and exam fee reimbursement.

Working Conditions

Actuaries, typically working in insurance, finance, or consulting firms, enjoy structured work hours, predominantly in office settings. Their work, rooted in assessing risk and uncertainty, often involves collaborating with other professionals. Despite the analytical nature of their work, periods of intensive effort may arise, especially during critical project phases.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Actuarial Science: This specialized degree deepens your understanding of the mathematics, statistics, and financial theory used in risk assessment. It prepares you for advanced actuarial roles, where you might be called upon to design insurance policies, pension plans, or investments. Depending on the program, you may need to complete courses in calculus, probability theory, and financial mathematics.
  • Actuarial Exams: Actuaries need to pass a series of actuarial exams to obtain professional credentials. The exams are conducted by actuarial organizations such as the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).The number of exams and their specific topics depend on the actuarial track you choose (life, health, pension, or property/casualty). Typically, candidates begin taking exams while still in school or shortly after graduation.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As an Actuary, your strength in mathematics and statistics is paramount for analyzing the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. Proficiency in statistical analysis software and actuarial modeling tools can differentiate you. Strong business acumen will help you understand and predict market trends. Exceptional problem-solving skills are needed for devising strategies to minimize risk.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($112,635)
  • Job Outlook (21%)

Actuaries earn a high salary, with the average annual wage being around $112,635. In terms of job outlook, the future is quite promising for Actuaries. As businesses and governments continue to need professionals who can analyze the financial consequences of risk, the demand for skilled Actuaries is expected to grow.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for Actuaries is projected at around 21%. This strong growth rate reflects the critical role that Actuaries play in financial planning and risk management across various sectors.


6. Financial Manager


Financial Managers apply their extensive knowledge of economics to plan, direct, and coordinate an organization’s financial activities. If you’re intrigued by strategic financial planning and have a knack for leadership, this profession could be an ideal fit.

As a Financial Manager

Your main role will be to oversee financial reporting, direct investment activities, and implement strategies for long-term financial goals. You may work in various settings, including banks, insurance companies, or corporations.

Beyond budgeting and financial reporting, your duties may also include financial risk management, business performance analysis, and strategic planning. Your decisions and recommendations will shape the financial health and strategic direction of your organization.

Benefits

  • Comprehensive Insurance Coverage: Health, life, and disability insurance are often part of the comprehensive benefits package offered to Financial Managers.
  • Equity or Stock Options: In some companies, especially startups, Financial Managers may receive stock options or other forms of equity compensation, which can be financially rewarding.
  • Competitive Salaries: Enjoy attractive compensation packages, reflecting the value of your financial expertise.
  • Career Progression: With experience, you can advance to executive roles such as Chief Financial Officer or Finance Director.

Working Conditions

As a Financial Manager, your primary workspace will be a corporate office setting. You’ll steer the financial direction of your organization, which may lead to extended hours beyond a standard workday, particularly during critical reporting periods or strategic planning phases. Your role will balance strategic thought, operational oversight, and team management, providing a dynamic and rewarding work environment.

Further Studies

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): An MBA, with a specialization in finance, is highly recommended for aspiring financial managers. It provides a broader understanding of business management while offering in-depth knowledge about financial planning, market behavior, risk management, and investment strategies.
    • Pre-requisites: MBA programs prefer work experience, relevant courses, and GMAT/GRE.
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA): The CMA is a professional certification that demonstrates expertise in financial planning, analysis, control, decision support, and professional ethics. It’s highly regarded among financial managers in the corporate world.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As a Financial Manager, strong financial acumen and proficiency in financial analysis are paramount. Leadership and management skills are essential for overseeing financial operations and guiding teams.

Strategic planning and decision-making abilities are crucial for optimizing financial performance. Moreover, a deep understanding of economics and financial regulations will be instrumental in ensuring compliance and driving financial success.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($97,249)
  • Job Outlook (17%)

Financial Managers earn a median annual wage of $97,249. The job outlook for Financial Managers is positive because they are in high demand as businesses expand and regulations become more complex. They create financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop long-term financial strategies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for Financial Managers is projected at around 17%, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth rate reflects the critical role that Financial Managers play in helping companies operate effectively and profitably.

Related Article


7. Stockbroker


Stockbrokers apply their expertise in economics and finance to buy and sell stocks and other securities on behalf of clients. If you thrive in high-pressure environments and have a keen interest in financial markets, this profession could be the right fit for you.

As a Stockbroker

Your primary role will be to advise clients on investment strategies, monitor securities markets, execute trades, and maintain client portfolios. You may work for brokerage firms, investment banks, or independently.

Aside from executing trades, you’ll be researching financial markets, staying abreast of economic trends, and building relationships with clients. Your expertise will be crucial in guiding investors and helping them achieve their financial goals.

Benefits

  • High Earning Potential: Stockbrokers often have the potential to earn significant income, especially through commissions on the transactions they facilitate.
  • Corporate Discounts: As part of larger financial institutions, stockbrokers might have access to various corporate discounts, such as lower interest rates on mortgages or car loans.
  • Financial Planning Services: Some firms offer their employees financial planning or wealth management services as a part of their benefits package.

Working Conditions

As a Stockbroker, you’ll be living in the fast-paced world of stock exchanges, which could mean working from a bustling trading floor or a quiet home office. Your hours might extend beyond the standard workday due to global market operations. Each day will bring new challenges as you monitor markets, execute trades, and advise clients, offering a high-energy work environment.

Further Studies

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): An MBA, particularly with a focus on finance, equips you with a comprehensive understanding of business operations, leadership skills, and advanced financial theory. This can be beneficial for stockbrokers, especially those looking to assume managerial or executive roles down the line.
    • Pre-requisites: Most MBA programs require applicants to have some work experience. Additionally, GMAT or GRE scores are typically required for admission.
  • Licensing Exams: To work as a Stockbroker in the United States, you must pass the required licensing exams. The most common exams are Series 7 (General Securities Representative Examination) and Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination). These exams are administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

To be successful as a stockbroker, you need to have strong financial analysis and research skills, as well as proficiency in financial software and trading platforms. Excellent communication and negotiation abilities are also essential for building and maintaining client relationships.

A solid understanding of economics and financial markets will help you analyze market trends and provide investment advice. Finally, resilience and the ability to handle high-pressure situations are essential for success in this fast-paced industry.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($95,045)
  • Job Outlook (10%)

The median annual wage for stockbrokers is $95,045, but many earn significantly more through commissions. Stockbrokers have a bright future as individuals, businesses, and governments continue to invest in the stock market.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics  (BLS) predicts that the job growth rate for securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents, which includes stockbrokers, will be around 10%. Despite market fluctuations, the demand for experienced and qualified stockbrokers remains relatively stable.


8. Project Manager


Project Managers use their knowledge of economics and other management skills to plan and oversee projects to ensure they are completed on time and within budget. If you have strong organizational skills and enjoy leading teams to achieve specific goals, this profession could be rewarding for you.

As a Project Manager

Your key responsibility will be to define project scopes, plan project stages, and assess business implications for each phase. You might work in a variety of sectors, such as construction, IT, or healthcare.

You’ll be overseeing a team, assigning tasks, managing resources, mitigating risks, and ensuring project objectives are met. Your role will be instrumental in bringing projects to successful completion.

Benefits

  • Career Advancement Opportunities: Successful project management can lead to opportunities for advancement into higher managerial or executive roles.
  • Professional Development: Many organizations support project managers in obtaining professional certifications like PMP (Project Management Professional) or Agile certifications, contributing to career growth.
  • Employee Assistance Programs: Some companies offer employee assistance programs that provide resources for personal issues, like stress management, which can support a healthier work-life balance.
  • Job Stability: Project management skills are in high demand across many industries, leading to a high degree of job stability for competent project managers.

Working Conditions

As a Project Manager, your time will be divided among office spaces, remote work, and potentially job sites. Your workday can extend beyond typical hours, especially when managing complex projects or dealing with tight deadlines. Your role will require you to coordinate with diverse teams, oversee project tasks, and ensure goals are met on time and within budget, making each day unique and dynamic.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Project Management: A Master’s degree in Project Management equips students with the knowledge and skills required to manage complex projects effectively. The curriculum often covers areas like project planning, execution, risk management, contract negotiation, cost control, and project quality management. Most programs require a bachelor’s degree for admission. Some may also require GRE or GMAT scores.
  • Project Management Software: Familiarize yourself with project management software such as Microsoft Project, Asana, or Trello, which are commonly used for project planning and tracking.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Project Managers need strong organizational, time management, leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. They should also be proficient in project management software and have a good understanding of economics and budgeting.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($88,950)
  • Job Outlook (7%)

As a project manager, you earn an attractive salary with a median pay of $88,950. The project manager’s job outlook is good. Demand for project managers will grow as organizations initiate projects.

However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a growth rate of 7% as demand is expected to grow at the average rate for all occupations. Strong planning, organizational, and people skills are all vital for success in this role.

Related Articles


9. Statistician


Statisticians apply their expertise in economics and statistics to analyze data and solve complex problems in various fields. If you find joy in deciphering patterns from raw data and have a keen interest in statistical modeling, this role might captivate you.

As a Statistician

Your chief responsibility will be to design surveys, questionnaires, experiments, or opinion polls to collect data. You’ll analyze this data, interpret your findings, and present the results in a comprehensible manner. You might work in a range of sectors including healthcare, education, or government. Your work will help guide important decisions and policy-making.

Benefits

  • Wide Range of Applications: The application of statistics is vast, providing an opportunity to work on diverse and exciting projects, from predicting economic trends to modeling pandemic spread.
  • High Demand: Enjoy a strong job market, as data-driven decision-making becomes essential in various industry.
  • Personal Growth: Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, enhancing your decision-making in everyday life.
  • Paid Leave: Many employers offer generous vacation, sick, and personal leave policies.

Working Conditions

A Statistician typically operates in a calm, focused office environment, often within a specific sector like healthcare, government, or research institutions. Regular hours are typical, though deadlines may occasionally require extra effort. The work primarily involves analyzing and interpreting data to solve complex problems.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Statistics or a Related Field: Most Statistician positions, especially in research and advanced analytics, require a master’s degree in Statistics or a related field. A master’s degree will provide in-depth knowledge of statistical theory, experimental design, and advanced data analysis techniques. Master’s in Statistics programs require a bachelor’s degree in Economics or equivalent, plus calculus, linear algebra, probability, and statistics.
  • Regression Analysis: Familiarize yourself with regression analysis techniques, which are widely used in statistical modeling.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Statisticians require strong mathematical and statistical skills to interpret and analyze data. Proficiency in statistical software like R, SAS, or Python is essential. Problem-solving abilities are important for designing surveys and experiments and finding solutions to complex issues. Critical thinking skills will help you make accurate interpretations and predictions from data. In addition, strong written and oral communication skills are crucial to present and explain findings to non-statisticians effectively.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($79,916)
  • Job Outlook (31%)

Statisticians earn a solid income, with the median annual wage around $79,916. The job outlook for Statisticians is bright, with a projected growth rate of 31%, much faster than the average for all occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this remarkable growth rate reflects the central role of statistical analysis in our increasingly data-driven world.

Related Article


10. Financial Analyst


Financial Analysts use their economics degrees to evaluate investment opportunities and provide financial guidance. This career can be an exciting choice if you are detail-oriented and have a knack for interpreting financial data.

As a Financial Analyst

Your core responsibility will be to analyze financial data and market trends to make predictions and guide investment decisions. You may work in a variety of sectors, including banks, investment firms, insurance companies, or other financial institutions. Your work will directly impact financial strategies and investment portfolios, contributing to your organization’s financial health and growth.

Benefits

  • In-demand Expertise: As financial markets expand, your skills will be highly sought after, providing excellent job opportunities.
  • Professional Development: Many companies support financial analysts in obtaining further qualifications, like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, contributing to career growth.
  • Competitive Compensation: Financial Analysts often receive competitive salaries, which increase as they gain more experience and qualifications.

Working Conditions

Financial Analysts find themselves in dynamic, fast-paced corporate environments, where they’re tasked with analyzing financial data, forecasting trends, and helping guide strategic decisions. Typically operating during traditional business hours, these professionals should anticipate longer hours during busy reporting periods or during significant projects.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Finance (MFin): This is a more specialized degree that provides intensive instruction in finance, financial markets, and financial decision-making. MFin programs offer an in-depth exploration of subjects like corporate finance, financial modeling, and investment analysis.
    • Pre-requisites: You may need to have completed prior courses in finance, calculus, and statistics.
  • Financial Markets and Investments Courses: Take courses that focus on financial markets, investment analysis, and portfolio management. Understanding different asset classes and investment strategies is valuable for a Financial Analyst.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Exceptional analytical skills are a must for a financial analyst, as you’ll be interpreting complex financial data. Proficiency in financial software and spreadsheets is critical.

A keen understanding of business economics and financial markets will help you in making sound investment recommendations. Excellent communication skills are needed to present financial analysis effectively. Your ability to make data-driven decisions will be central to your role.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($77,129)
  • Job Outlook (9%)

Financial Analysts are compensated handsomely, with a median annual salary of $77,129. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for Financial Analysts is projected at around 9%. Financial Analysts are in high demand as businesses need investment advice. A positive job outlook indicates steady demand for these professionals.

Related Articles


11. Budget Analyst


Budget Analysts apply their understanding of economics to assess budgeting and spending for public and private institutions. If you have an aptitude for strategic planning and financial oversight, this profession could be your calling.

As a Budget Analyst

Your key responsibility will be reviewing budgets, monitoring spending, and evaluating the cost-effectiveness of various programs and initiatives. You could work in diverse environments, such as government agencies, universities, or private corporations. Your role will be crucial in ensuring the financial efficiency and stability of your organization.

Benefits

  • Influential Role in Organizations: As a Budget Analyst, your insights and recommendations can have a significant impact on an organization’s financial planning and strategies.
  • High Demand for Skills: Budget Analysts with a strong economics background are sought after in various sectors, including government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations.
  • Transferability of Skills: The skills developed in budget analysis are widely applicable, providing opportunities to move into other areas of finance or management.
  • Job Security: Every organization needs financial planning and budget management, making Budget Analysts indispensable and providing a stable career path.

Working Conditions

As a Budget Analyst, you’ll spend most of your time in a structured office setting, reviewing budgets and spending proposals, and making recommendations to management. Your hours will generally align with the typical workweek, though expect them to extend during peak budget-planning periods. 

While your role will require you to work independently much of the time, you’ll also collaborate with others across the organization, presenting findings and providing fiscal guidance. It’s a role with balanced periods of intense focus and steady work.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA): An MPA degree can provide the public sector budgeting skills needed for positions in government. You’ll learn about financial management within the public sector, including how to plan and implement budgets and understand the implications of public financial policy.
    • Pre-requisites: A bachelor’s degree is required, and some programs may require the GRE.
  • Certifications in Financial Management: While not always mandatory, certifications such as the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) designation can enhance your credibility as a Budget Analyst.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Budget Analysts benefit from having strong analytical skills to assess financial data and trends. Proficiency in budgeting software and spreadsheets is essential for managing financial information effectively. Attention to detail is critical for accurate budget analysis. Excellent communication skills will enable you to present budget reports and recommendations to stakeholders.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($75,097)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

As a budget analyst, you earn a substantial income with an average median pay of $75,097. Budget Analyst job outlook is stable, as businesses and governments need careful budget planning and management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for Budget Analysts is projected at around 3%, which is in line with the average for all occupations. This indicates a continued need for these financial professionals who can help organizations effectively manage their financial resources.


12. Policy Analyst


Policy analysts use economics to evaluate policies and their impact on public issues. If you’re interested in public affairs and research, this could be the job for you.

As a Policy Analyst

Your primary task will be to research, analyze, and interpret data on complex issues to influence policy decisions. You could work in a variety of settings, such as government agencies, think tanks, or non-profit organizations. You’ll be developing reports, briefing notes, and recommendations on a wide range of policy issues. Your work will contribute to shaping effective and impactful policies.

Benefits

  • Job Stability: Given the ongoing need for policy analysis in government, non-profit organizations, and private sector, job stability tends to be strong in this field.
  • Relocation Assistance: If the job requires moving to a new city or country, some employers may provide relocation assistance.
  • Opportunity to Influence Policies: Your research and analysis can directly influence policy decisions at local, state, national, or even international levels.
  • Cross-Sector Opportunities: The skills and knowledge gained as a Policy Analyst can be transferred to roles in many other sectors, such as academia, journalism, or the corporate world.

Working Conditions

Working as a Policy Analyst, you’ll typically be based in an office environment, often within a government agency, think tank, or non-profit organization. Your work schedule will mostly align with standard hours, but be prepared for additional effort during critical policy development or legislative sessions. You’ll spend your time reviewing existing policies, crafting new ones, and evaluating their impact on your organization or community.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, or a Related Field: Many Policy Analyst positions, especially in government agencies, research organizations, or think tanks, require a master’s degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, Economics, or a related field. Pursuing a master’s degree will provide you with specialized knowledge in policy analysis and research methodologies.
    • Pre-requisites: Vary for a master’s in public policy. Economics bachelor’s is usually sufficient, but some programs require economics, statistics, math, or public policy coursework.
  • Policy Writing and Communication: Develop strong policy writing and communication skills to effectively communicate policy recommendations to stakeholders. Learn about public policy and government operations to understand how policies are made and implemented.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Policy Analysts benefit from having strong research and analytical skills to examine data and assess policy impacts. Proficiency in policy analysis tools and software is crucial. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are necessary for presenting policy recommendations effectively. A solid understanding of economics and public policy will aid in formulating evidence-based solutions.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($65,872)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

Policy analysts earn a good living, with the median annual salary being around $65,872. Policy Analyst jobs are expected to grow as governments, nonprofits, and businesses need more people to develop, implement, and evaluate policies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is projected to experience a growth rate of around 6%. This growth indicates a continued need for these professionals who can analyze and interpret policies in various domains.


13. Credit Analyst


Credit analysts use their knowledge of economics to assess the creditworthiness of individuals and businesses. If you have strong analytical skills and enjoy assessing financial risk, this profession may be a good fit for you.

As a Credit Analyst

In your role, you’ll not only analyze financial data and credit histories, but you’ll also have to interpret complex financial documents, such as balance sheets and cash flow statements, to ascertain a borrower’s financial status. You’ll be involved in preparing credit reports based on your analysis, providing recommendations to your organization about extending credit or loans.

Furthermore, you may be responsible for monitoring and updating credit and loan files, as well as meeting with potential borrowers to gather more information. Your work plays a pivotal role in risk management and lending decisions within your organization.

Benefits

  • Performance-Based Bonuses: Credit Analysts may be eligible for performance-based bonuses tied to their individual or team achievements, incentivizing productivity and excellence.
  • Mentorship Programs: Some companies provide mentorship programs, pairing junior Credit Analysts with experienced professionals to foster skill development and knowledge transfer.
  • Performance Reviews and Feedback: Regular performance reviews and constructive feedback help Credit Analysts understand their strengths and areas for improvement, contributing to their professional development.
  • Career Progression: Experience in credit analysis can open doors to higher roles within financial institutions such as Portfolio Manager or Chief Risk Officer.

Working Conditions

As a Credit Analyst, you’ll be based primarily in an office environment within a bank or a financial institution. Your role will have you analyzing credit data and financial statements of individuals and firms to determine the risk involved in lending money or extending credit. 

While you can anticipate a regular work schedule, periods of high demand or complex cases might require you to put in additional hours. Your work will be a blend of independent analysis and client interaction, offering a dynamic workday.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Finance: A Master’s in Finance degree provides a deeper understanding of financial management, financial markets, and investment analysis, which are key to credit analysis. Prerequisites usually include coursework in basic economics, statistics, and calculus.
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): The CFA designation is globally recognized and highly valued in finance and investment fields. The CFA program covers topics such as corporate finance, financial reporting, and equity valuation, which are directly applicable to credit analysis.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and proficiency in financial analysis software are essential for evaluating credit risk. Excellent communication skills are vital for presenting credit assessments to clients and management. A solid understanding of economics and financial markets will aid in making informed lending decisions. Additionally, having a keen eye for financial trends and risk management is crucial for success in this role.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($61,252)
  • Job Outlook (9%)

Credit analysts earn a median annual wage of $61,252. Credit Analyst job prospects are stable as financial institutions need professionals to evaluate creditworthiness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job growth rate for Credit Analysts is projected at around 9%. This growth rate reflects the essential role that Credit Analysts play in the lending decisions of financial institutions.


14. Economic Development Specialist


If you have a keen interest in community development and enjoy strategic planning, this role might align with your interests.

As an Economic Development Specialist

Your primary duty will be to design and implement programs that stimulate economic activity, attract investment, increase job opportunities, and improve community services. You could be liaising with businesses, government officials, and community groups.

In addition, you may be involved in grant writing, project management, and community outreach. Your work will directly impact the economic prosperity and quality of life in the communities you serve.

Benefits

  • Professional Development Grants: Employers may provide economic development specialists with grants or budgets dedicated to attending workshops, conferences, and training programs to enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Sabbatical Leave: Some organizations offer sabbatical leaves after a certain period of service, allowing economic development specialists to take an extended break for personal growth or rejuvenation.
  • Health and Wellness Programs: Employers may offer comprehensive health and wellness programs that encompass physical fitness, mental health support, and stress management resources.
  • Professional Memberships and Associations: Companies may cover the cost of memberships in professional associations related to economic development, facilitating networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities.

Working Conditions

In the role of an Economic Development Specialist, you’ll split your time between an office setting and fieldwork. You’ll facilitate projects and programs that promote economic growth and create jobs in your community or region. Your schedule may extend beyond the typical nine-to-five as you meet with community stakeholders, businesses, and government officials, and address various community needs.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Economics, Public Policy, or Urban Planning: Many Economic Development Specialist positions require a master’s degree in Economics, Public Policy, Urban Planning, or a related field. Pursuing a master’s degree will provide you with specialized knowledge and skills in economic analysis, policy formulation, and development strategies.
  • Certified Economic Developer (CEcD): This globally recognized certification by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) can be beneficial. It covers topics such as business retention and expansion, real estate, and credit analysis.
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accreditation: For those interested in sustainable economic development, the LEED accreditation offered by the U.S. Green Building Council can be useful. It focuses on green building and sustainable development practices.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Strong research and analytical skills are crucial for assessing economic data and trends. Proficiency in economic modeling and statistical software is essential. Understanding of public policy and regulations will aid in navigating economic development initiatives. Adaptability and strategic thinking are essential for designing effective plans to promote economic growth.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($65,468)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

Economic Development Specialists earn a respectable salary, with a median annual wage of around $65,468. Economic Development Specialists are in high demand as cities, regions, and countries seek to promote economic growth and improve quality of life.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate is 6%. This outlook suggests a strong need for specialists who can strategize and implement plans for economic development.


15. Market Research Analyst


Market Research Analysts use their understanding of economics to study market conditions and examine potential sales of a product or service. If you have an inquisitive mind and enjoy dissecting consumer behaviors and market trends, this profession could be compelling for you.

As a Market Research Analyst

Your main task will be to collect and analyze data on consumers and competitors, interpret sales trends, and forecast future market conditions. You might work in diverse industries like advertising, business management, or government. Your insights will be critical in helping companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

Benefits

  • Professional Training and Workshops: Employers may offer regular training sessions and workshops to enhance the analytical and technical skills of Market Research Analysts.
  • Clear Career Progression: Companies may have well-defined career paths and growth opportunities for Market Research Analysts, providing a clear trajectory for advancement within the organization.
  • In-Demand Skills: Market Research Analysts, especially those with a background in economics, are highly sought after in various industries such as retail, healthcare, technology, and finance.
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Use market research to identify market gaps and launch new products or services.

Working Conditions

Management Consultants often find themselves traveling frequently to meet clients, working in various industries across different locations. This profession involves working in client-facing, team-based environments with high-pressure deadlines. 

While the working hours are generally full-time, they can extend due to project needs or travel requirements. The pace can be intense but it often provides diverse challenges and constant learning opportunities.

Further Studies

  • Master’s in Market Research: This degree provides in-depth knowledge about market research methodologies, consumer behavior, and data analysis. These skills are crucial for Market Research Analysts who need to understand market trends and consumer preferences. A bachelor’s degree is typically required, and some programs may ask for GMAT or GRE scores.
  • Professional Researcher Certification (PRC): Offered by the Insights Association, this certification demonstrates a high level of understanding of market research principles and adherence to industry standards.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

As a Market Research Analyst, having excellent analytical skills is crucial for interpreting complex data and spotting market trends. Proficiency in statistical software and data visualization tools can give you an edge. Your curiosity and understanding of consumer behavior will assist in developing insightful market forecasts. Additionally, your attention to detail and critical thinking will aid in producing accurate and thorough analyses.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($63,504)
  • Job Outlook (19%)

Market research analysts make a good living, with a median annual wage of around $63,504. The job outlook for Market Research Analysts is very promising. Market research helps businesses understand consumers, assess markets, and formulate marketing strategies.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the job growth rate for Market Research Analysts will be around 19%. This strong growth rate indicates the ongoing need for these professionals who can provide critical insights to guide business decisions.

Related Article

Making the Right Career Choice

So, there you have it! An economics degree opens doors to a multitude of jobs, as highlighted in our article. We’ve explored the top 15 jobs, each offering unique prospects, from financial consulting to academia.

Choosing the right career demands an honest assessment of your skills, interests, and ambitions. Also, consider factors like salary, job market trends, and personal growth.

With this article as your complete guide, finding the right career path in the field of economics is within your reach. Kickstart your journey to career success today!


Ammar Ahmed

About the Author

Read more articles by Ammar Ahmed


Create a Professional Resume for free!

No-sign up or payment required.