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Economics: Career Education Program Summary

Degrees in economics typically cover industrial labor, microeconomics and macroeconomics topics. Find out about about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for economics graduates.

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A bachelor's degree in economics can lead to many entry-level positions in the finance or marketing sector, with options available in fields such as accounting, auditing, budgetary or financial analysis, purchasing, and market research. In order to advance in many of these positions, a master's degree and work experience are often required. Other job options for an economics degree include careers in financial management or actuarial science.

Essential Information

Economics is an option for students pursuing careers in business or finance. This major may interest students who enjoy math and have strong analytical skills. A bachelor's degree in economics can open numerous career possibilities for graduates, including the following.

Career Titles Accountants and Auditors Actuaries Budget Analysts Financial Analysts Financial Managers Purchasing Agents Market Research Analysts
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)* 11% 18% 3% 12% 7% 2% 19%
Median Annual Salary (May, 2015)* $67,190 $97,070 $71,590 $80,310 $117,990 $62,220 (except agents for retail, wholesale and farm products) $62,150

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Economics is the study of the use of supplies and labor to create goods and services. It covers a wide range of subjects, including industrial, organizational, international, labor and demographic economics as well as microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students who complete their economics degree programs might follow several professional career paths. Opportunities could exist in finance, marketing or other related fields. Students who study this major are not limited to becoming economists. They may combine their interests and choose from careers such as the following.

Accountants and Auditors

Accountants and auditors oversee and review personal and organizational financial records for accuracy. They also ensure that the taxes of individuals and corporations are paid in a timely manner. Employment was expected to grow at a rate of 11% from 2014 through 2024, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Annual median salaries were $67,190 as of May 2015.

Actuaries

Utilizing statistics and mathematics, actuaries analyze data and assess the economic cost of potentially occurring events. They also develop strategies that are designed to minimize risks. It was predicted that employment would rise by 18% during the 2014 - 2024 decade. Median annual salaries for actuaries were $97,070 in May 2015.

Budget Analysts

Budget analysts manage the finances of businesses. They develop organizational budgets in order to prevent over-spending. The BLS indicated that jobs would rise by 3% between 2014 and 2024. In May of 2015, median annual salaries for budget analysts were $71,590, according to the BLS.

Financial Analysts

A financial analyst helps businesses and individuals identify investment opportunities. They provide advice on financial matters such as stocks and bonds. An employment growth rate of 12% was expected from 2014 - 2024. Financial analysts earned median annual salaries of $80,310 as of May 2015.

Financial Managers

By creating financial statements and forecasts, these professionals help companies to achieve their financial goals. They find ways to reduce company spending and make recommendations that are designed to increase profits. Employment levels for financial managers were expected to expand by 7% from 2014 through 2024. Annual median salaries were $117,990 in May of 2015.

Purchasing Agents

Purchasing agents buy various products for organizations, and they strive to get the best deals possible. They evaluate the suitability and reliability of suppliers by studying industry trends and attending trade shows. Job were predicted to increase by 2% between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. Purchasing agents earned median annual wages of $62,220 in 2015.

Market Research Analysts

A market research analyst examines market conditions in order to determine the rate at which the public will purchase a product or service. To achieve this objective, they collect consumer data and forecast trends in marketing. Employment rates were expected to rise significantly by 19% during the 2014 - 2024 decade. Median annual salaries for market research analysts were $62,150 in May of 2015.

Economics Education Program Summary

Many students enter this field with at least a bachelor's degree in economics or a related subject. Students of 4-year economics programs can expect to take courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, business, law and statistics.

While a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for entry-level employment, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that many upper-level positions entail graduate degrees. Master's degrees in economics often qualify students for administrative, advanced-research and government positions. Doctoral degrees may lead to university-level teaching positions or economist careers in the private sector.

Many of the career options available to graduates with an economics degree are expected to experience favorable if not significant growth in employment between 2014-24, according to the BLS. The same source also reported that potential salaries these graduates might earn ranged from just over $62,000 a year to almost $118,000 in 2015. Undergraduate studies involve courses in macro- and microeconomics, business, and statistics, while graduate and doctoral degrees can lead to more advanced positions and even a teaching job at a university.

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