What You Can Do with an Economics Degree
Studying economics enables you to acquire a set of skills that can be applied to a broad range of careers, including those that are directly related to this field, as well as those that are indirectly related.
Aside from providing you with a skill set and knowledge base that will be useful in a future carer, this degree enables you to acquire skills that can be applied to life in general. For example, learning about interest rates, exchange rates, economic indicators and equity markets can help you make confident decisions about investing and obtaining mortgages.
Job Posting Related to Your Economics Degree
To get a better idea of what jobs you can pursue with this degree, and to actually apply for some, take a look at our "Job Board for Economics Students & Grads" below. It lists job openings in Canada and the United States that are relevant to a degree in Economics, and similar fields
Job Board for Economics Students & Grads
More on What You Can Do with an Economics Degree
Many economics graduates use the skills they gain to pursue careers in business management, consulting, finance, government service, non-profit agency service, and community development. Other graduates go on to pursue graduate studies in order to further their education.
So, if you’d like to know more about what you can do with an economics degree, read on below. This economics careers guide contains detailed occupational information on career paths relevant to this degree. Included are job descriptions, expected salaries, educational requirements and other pertinent information related to these careers.
What an Economics Degree Teaches You
Economics studies how societies provide for their well being; the competition and cooperation that arises among individuals, private organizations, and governments in the process of allocating scarce resources to a variety of different uses in society.
Economics also explores the role of incentives and institutions in shaping economic outcomes and how public policies influence economic performance. If you major in economics, you have the opportunity gain a solid foundation in micro and macro economic theory, statistical and econometric methodology, as well as applied economic analysis.
A degree in economics is not meant to provide you with professional training for a specific career, although the skill set it teaches does serve as a good base.
Employable Skills You'll Have as an Economics Graduate
As a result of this coursework, you’ll be able to gain a skill set that is unique to the major and is highly applicable to careers in the broad field of economics. These skills include:
• An understanding of economic theory and modeling approaches, and their appropriate applications
• Acceptance that many economic problems may have more than one approach and may have more than one possible solution
• Knowledge in a number of specialized areas in economics, as well as familiarity of the research in these areas
• An understanding of the concepts and principles of economics
• Knowledge of methods that may be applied appropriately to the analysis of economic data
• Proficiency in quantitative methods and computing techniques
• Knowledge of how to use these techniques and methods effectively across a range of economic problems
• An understanding of the sources and content of economic data
• Knowledge of how to critically apply economic reasoning to policy issues
• Able to formulate clear questions related to public policy concerning economic performance
• The ability to analyze data using sophisticated econometric models in order to predict outcomes and test theories
• Able to use economic models to predict the outcomes of changes in economic policy or related laws
• An understanding of how governments, organizations and individuals interact in a market setting
• An understanding of the impact of factors such as interest rates, productivity, savings, private investment, government borrowing and taxation have on economic growth for organizations, governments, and other bodies
Career Guides: Directly Related to an Economics Degree
The following careers are highly applicable to your degree in economics, as a result of the field-specific skills and competencies that a degree in economics enables you to earn:
Career Guides: Indirectly Related Occupations
Although a little more loosely than those listed above, the following careers are some you can pursue that are related to your economics degree:
Please Note: Some careers, whether directly or indirectly related to a degree in economics may require further education and training above an undergraduate degree. Please click on careers that interest you to learn more about their specific education and training requirements.
Transferable Skills Economics Can Teach You
If you’re interested in a career that’s not directly related to economics, or you just want to know how an economics degree can be applied to the workplace in general, then take a look at the transferrable skills a degree in economics enables you to gain.
Written and Oral Communication
• Ability to explain complex concepts and theories to others in plain language
• Ability to write clear, concise technical reports and essays
• Finding, analyzing, and synthesizing material
• Conducting and clearly explaining scientific research
• Analyzing the multiple dimensions of a problem and identifying important elements
• Applying concepts of economic theory to define economic problems
• Analyzing problems and organizing ways of thinking about problems to strategize options
• Developing the intellectual ability to learn and think critically
Research Methodology and Statistics
• Handling details with accuracy
• Thorough knowledge of statistical procedures
• Gathering data relevant to a research problem
• Employing various data analysis research techniques such as statistical analysis and modeling to solve problems
Who Creates Jobs for Economics Graduates?
If you are looking to work in the field of economics when you graduate, you should look for work with the following types of employers (please note, this is not a comprehensive list):
• Banks and financial institutions
• Colleges and universities
• Economic analysis groups and organizations
• Economics publications and journals
• Econometric consultancies that specialize in various industries
• Environmental protection agencies
• Financial software solution providers
• Financial and management consultancies
• International aid organizations
• Municipal, provincial/state and federal government agencies
• National embassies and foreign affairs offices
• National treasuries
• Newspapers and other media
• Non-profit organizations
• Oil, gas and energy companies
• Public and private research organizations
• Trust companies
• Utility companies
Please Note: Some jobs with these employers may require an advanced degree, or a specified amount of previous work experience.
Economics Jobs: Available Opportunities
Whether you're an economics student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your economics degree.
Factors that Can Affect Your Future Earnings
You may be curious as to what salary you can earn as an economics graduate first entering the work force; the salary you could earn largely depends on what career you pursue. For example, if you go on to become an economic analyst, your earnings may be different, for better or for worse, from what you would earn if you choose to become a bank manager. Other factors that have an effect on your earnings include::
• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)
• The industry in which you find work
• The size and type of your employer
• The region in which you work
• Other work experience you may have accrued
• Other skills you may have
Sample Salary Figures
Despite this wide array of conditions your future salary is dependent on, we do have some concrete numbers for you to consider:
Economics Graduate Salary Canada: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $50,760 CAD is the average salary earned by graduates in the “Other Arts and Sciences” group, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2008. (This figure is a composite of all graduates who earned a Bachelor’s degree in “Other Arts and Sciences”, not specifically for economics graduates. Unfortunately similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.)
Success Tip: To get a better idea of what you could earn, click on some of the career fields listed above, in the "Career Guides: Directly Related to an Economics Degree" section. It is more accurate (although still not perfect) to estimate your potential future salary based on the career field you plan on pursuing, rather than by your general degree.
Economics Degree Scholarships
Are you an economics major looking for help paying for school? Search our scholarships database for Canadian and American economics-specific scholarships.
Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.
Professional Associations in Economics
Professional economics associations are collections of practitioners, organizations and agencies committed to the support, development and enhancement of the professions within the field of economics.
There are a number of professional associations that support ethics in the profession, as well as represent the interests of those working in economics careers. If you are interested in a career in economics, you should consult these websites for more information: