Students interested in earning a degree in economics study mathematics, finance and political science. Graduates might go on to careers that include loan officer, business analyst, researcher, corporate sales manager and college professor.
A high school diploma or GED is required to be admitted into bachelor's programs. From there, degrees must be earned sequentially.
Bachelor's Degrees in Economics
An undergraduate economics education includes a broad number of courses in government, history and general economic principles. A bachelor's degree program in economics typically incorporates a variety of courses in financial regulations, market forecasting and resource allocation. Earning a bachelor's degree in economics might also include classes in history, calculus and macroeconomic theory. Additional courses may include:
- Cost/benefit analysis
- Microeconomic policy
- Health care economics
- Public economics
- Macroeconomic forecasting
Master's Degrees in Economics
A master's degree program in economics introduces students to advanced topics, including game theory, business valuations and real estate. A graduate-level economics education will involve a substantial amount of research into subjects like market conditions and unemployment factors. Earning a master's degree will also require the completion of a thesis or dissertation on an original research topic.
Graduate degrees in economics might include classes in econometrics and public policy. Students can expect to complete coursework in:
- Economics of wine
- Industrial economics
- Developmental microeconomics
- Resource economics
- Governmental economics
Doctoral Degrees in Economics
Doctorate degree programs in economics can incorporate concepts in environmental sustainability and health care costs. Some doctoral degree candidates enroll in courses on the defense industries and international development. Gaining admission into a doctoral degree program in economics will require all applicants posses a bachelor's degree in a related field.
Classes that lead toward a doctoral degree in economics are centered around technical subjects in calculus and statistics. Students can expect to study:
- Labor market economics
- Financial econometrics
- Financial intermediation
- Development planning
- Growth in developing economies
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in economics might pursue careers with regulatory agencies, insurance companies and banking institutions. Some specific job titles include:
- Loan officer
- Investment consultant
- Financial services associate
- Banking operations officer
Loan officers, as an example, earned a median annual income of $63,040 as of May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs for these workers are predicted to increase by 8% from 2018 to 2028.
Graduates with master's degrees in economics can obtain employment in the insurance, finance and banking industries. Common jobs for graduates include:
- Business analyst
- Government researcher
- Financial forecaster
- Payroll specialist
- Branch manager
One such position is that of the market research analyst. These analysts earned a median annual income of $63,120 as of May 2018, states the BLS. The rate of job growth should be much faster than the average, with a 20% employment increase expected from 2018 to 2028.
Jobs in academics, government and research are available to individuals with economics doctorate degrees. Graduates may work as:
- Collateral liaison
- Equity analyst
- College professor
- Corporate sales manager
- Operations director
An economist is one such research-heavy position students may wish to consider. As of May 2018, the BLS states that these professionals bring in a median income of $104,340 per year. The employment outlook is the same as the average for all occupations, with 8% growth expected between 2018 and 2028.
Students of economics may choose to enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree to gain immediate experience, or pursue graduate studies to focus on research. These degrees teach the complex, multilevel content needed to work in economics.