Economist Career Path
How To Become an EconomistEconomists create financial and economic forecasts for government organizations, educational institutions, and private sector industries. While a quality education is essential, economists need skills that you can't learn in a classroom. Successful economists excel at communication, teamwork, and creative thinking. Empathy and compassion are vital as well, especially if you plan on working in a classroom setting. If you enjoy collaborating on projects while taking a leadership role when necessary, then you may be interested in this role. In this article, we provide five steps for becoming an economist.
Earn a bachelor's degree in economics.
To become an economist, you first need to complete a bachelor's degree in economics. Coursework includes economic theory, social sciences, and international economics. If you've already decided on a specialty, you can add a concentration, such as fiscal policy, politics, or health care. Foreign language classes will come in handy if you want to work on global economics topics. Not only will a fluency in multiple languages make you more attractive to employers, but it can also qualify you for semester abroad programs.
What type of degree should you pursue to become an Economist?
100% of people working as an Economist earned a Associate's Degree
What skills do you need to be an Economist?
- PHD IN Economics
- Written Communication
Apply for economics internships.
As you complete your bachelor's degree, consider applying for economics-related internships, such as junior researcher, financial analyst intern, or economic development intern. As an intern, you'll assist senior economists with data compilation, chart and graphics production, and economic analysis. Completing an internship will give you practical experience and allow you to grow your professional network. Plus, an internship looks good on your resume and can sometimes lead to a permanent position.
Earn a master's degree.
Earning a master's degree can further hone your skills and develop your knowledge. If you want to expand your foundation of business knowledge and understand how financial industries affect economics, you'll want to complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Alternatively, a Master of Arts or Master of Science in economics will give you a deeper understanding of economics and prepare you to work in more specialized fields, including economic history, labor economics, and regional economics.
Apply for economist jobs.
After completing a master's degree, you'll qualify for many jobs in the field of economics. Private-sector industries that frequently hire economists include real estate, utilities, and finance. Government agencies and nonprofits can provide you with opportunities to serve the public interest. You might also consider employment with socially responsible corporations or startups.
Consider earning a doctorate.
If you want to teach at a university level or pursue research opportunities, you'll need to complete a doctoral degree. Pursuing a doctorate in economics will help you develop high-level skills that can lead to consulting positions with global organizations or the establishment of your own consultancy firm. Plus, many corporations and educational institutions seek out high-level economists to join their boards. It isn't uncommon for economists to hold multiple positions with both the private sector and nonprofit organizations, so always be on the lookout for these opportunities.
Total Pay Trajectory
Economist Career Path
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