Careers 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 the subject matter of this field, as well as those that are indirectly related to it.


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.



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.


To find out more about what you can do with a this degree, read on below. This guide contains detailed occupational information on relevant career paths. Included are job descriptions, expected salaries, educational requirements and other helpful information.





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.


This field 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 a 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



Directly Related Careers

The following careers are highly applicable to your major, as a result of the field-specific skills and competencies that it teaches:


• Agricultural Economist

• Business Analyst

• Business Development Officer

• Business Valuator

• Collections Manager

• Commercial Realtor

• Demographic Researcher

• Econometrician

• Economic Analyst

• Economic Development Officer

• Economic Policy Researcher

• Economist

• Financial Analyst

• Financial Journalist

• Financial Planner

• Financial Trader

• Forecast Analyst

• Foreign Trade Manager

• Government Researcher

• Importer/Exporter

• International Aid Worker

• International Business Analyst

• International Sales Director

• International Trade Analyst

• International Trade Specialist

• Investment Banking Analyst

• Investment Consultant

• Labour Economist

• Labour Market Analyst

• Labour Organizer

• Labour Policy Analyst

• Loan Officer

• Market Research Analyst

• Market Researcher

• Microfinance Project Officer

• Non-Profit Administrator

• Poverty Researcher

• Pricing Analyst

• Product Analyst

• Purchaser

• Real Estate Appraiser

• Real Estate Developer

• Regional Development Manager

• Regional Planner

• Research Assistant

• Revenue Officer

• Risk Analyst

• Small Business Owner

• Statistician

• Tax Economist

• Trade Commissioner

• Trading Assistant

• Treasury Manager

• Union Organizer

• Venture Capitalist





Indirectly Related Occupations

Still related to your education, but not necessarily directly related to the subject matter of an economics program, are the following careers:


• Actuary

• Bank Manager

• Blogger

• Brand Manager

• Community Planner

• Compensation and Benefits Coordinator

• Compliance Officer

• Consumer Advocate

• Corporate Lawyer

• Cost Analyst

• Cost Estimator

• Credit Analyst

• Credit Counselor

• Credit Manager

• Diplomat

• Director of Strategy

• District Sales Manager

• Election Officer

• Employee Relations Officer

• Entrepreneur

• Financial Advisor

• Insurance Agent

• Insurance Manager

• Insurance Underwriter

• Land Agent

• Lawyer

• Legal Advisor

• Legislator

• Logistics Assistant

• Member of Parliament

• Operations Manager

• Parks Planner

• Political Organizer

• Procurement Manager

• Production Manager

• Project Supervisor

• Realtor

• Retail Buyer

• Sales Consultant

• Sales Representative

• Sports Agent

• Strategic Planning Consultant

• University President

• University Professor

• Urban Planner 


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 This Major Can Teach You

If you’re interested in a career that’s not directly related to the field economics, or you just want to know how this degree can be applied to the workplace in general, then take a look at this list of transferrable skills that you can learn as a student majoring in this field:


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


Information Gathering

• Finding, analyzing, and synthesizing material

• Conducting and clearly explaining scientific research

• Analyzing the multiple dimensions of a problem and identifying important elements


Critical Thinking

• 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 Graduates?

The following are common types of employers of economics graduates (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. 



Factors that Can Affect Your Future Earnings

You may be curious as to what salary you can earn as a graduate first entering the work force; the truth is very much 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.



What you can do with an economics degree



Relevant Scholarships for This Major

Our scholarships database has plenty of Canadian and American economics-specific scholarships.


Success Tip: Don't be shy! 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

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:


American Economic Association (AEA)

Association for Social Economics (ASE)

Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Canadian Economics Association

The Economics Developers Association of Canada

World Economics Association


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