A bachelor's degree program in economics can prepare students for a variety of careers in a number of industries, including business, government and law. Students can pursue such a wide array of careers because economics principles can be applied to business, government, healthcare and many other career fields. Professionals blend their economics knowledge with skills in critical and analytical thinking, communication and teamwork.
Also through its versatility, a degree in economics offers flexibility when it comes to changing careers. If an economics graduate begins working in sales but then decides to pursue work in government as a Social Security administrator, he or she already has the training needed to make the switch with relative ease.
Sample job titles for economics majors include urban planner, securities analyst, bank officer, IRS agent and economic consultant. As reported by PayScale.com in the 2015-16 College Salary Report, the ten most popular jobs for graduates with a bachelor's degree in economics included:
- Analytics manager
- Strategy manager
- Financial planner
- Stock plan administrator
- Risk analyst
- Operations/data analyst
- Investment banking analyst
- Business analyst
- Financial/investment analyst
- Senior research analyst
Only engineering, computer science and mathematics majors earned more than economics majors. In 2016, PayScale.com reported a salary range of roughly $38,000 to $98,000 for graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. According to PayScale.com's data at the same time, those with a Bachelor of Science earned slightly less, between approximately $39,000 and $89,000.
A degree in economics can pave the way to graduate-level education. An economics degree often serves as good preparation for law school, graduate business school or graduate economics studies. Many see the critical and analytical thinking skills developed in an undergraduate economics program as good preparation for law school. A good portion of a graduate business programs courses have a significant amount of economics content. Also, many graduate business professors are experienced economists.
Additionally, economics majors looking to become economists must enroll in graduate school, since this training is not available at the undergraduate level. The bachelor's degree, however, does provide the coursework needed to transition to a master's degree program. Jobs in academia and research also exist for those with master's or doctoral degrees in economics.