Is a Master's Degree in Economics Worth It?

Jun 26, 2018

A master's in economics can open the door for all sorts of careers depending on your area of focus and can help to improve your financial future immensely. You'll find information about the effect it has on your career as well as the jobs you can expect to take part in.

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Securing a master's degree in economics gives you access to all sorts of careers depending on your area of focus and introduces you to courses which foster a deeper understanding of human behavior and economic markets. You'll find information about the effect it has on your career as well as five jobs those with the degree typically fall into.

Master's in Economics Jobs/Salary

Through obtaining a master's individuals learn how to analyze current data as well as create their own databases to solve financial problems that their companies or organizations face. With this same knowledge they can work with prospective employers to come up with the best risk/reward as it relates to any decision that they embark on, making them ideal candidates in high-end financial positions. To help you determine if a master's is the right choice, the table below lists the median salary of careers that are generally obtained by those who earn such a degree.

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Economists $102,490 6%
Mathematicians and Statisticians $84,760 33%
Financial Analysts $84,300 11%
Actuarys $101,560 22%
Market Research Analysts $63,230 23%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master's in Economics Careers

Economist

Economists work hands on with government and business organizations to advise them on all areas of economics. They research and analyze economical data to give them a better idea of the current financial climate and compare it with data collected in the past to get a better understanding of how to avert a crisis. They often suggest that certain policies be implemented in order to ensure good financial standing. Having gained a deep understanding of how various elements impact finances those with a master's in economics will have the skills necessary to interpret all data and actively pursue solutions to issues that may crop up.

Mathematicians and Statisticians

Mathematicians and statisticians spend their time collecting numerical data in an effort to better understand how to go about solving a problem or answering a question posed to them. They not only develop their own data collection methods, but they also formulate their findings in a way that it is universally understood by those in the general public. They also constantly monitor the collection of such data to ensure that it meets the quality control standards that they have set forth.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts help businesses make sound investment decisions through studying market trends and microeconomics as well as social aspects of a given area. Chiefly, they determine how and why money is being spent throughout an institution to better prepare it for the future and ensure that it meets all financial goals. They collect data and create financial projections which are then presented to company executives during the decision-making process. Through this same data collecting they advise the company on the risk and reward factors associated with any decision that they make. While you can achieve this position with a bachelor's, a master's is necessary for promotion and advancement.

Actuary

Actuaries use their education to assist in the analyzing of all statistical data to aid insurance companies in determining if they should issue an insurance policy and what the premium for such a policy should be. They provide information to the company as it relates to their financial risk associated with any given client and they suggest policy updates that accurately reflect current incident statistics. Actuaries often look at data as it relates to not just weather patterns and crime within a given area, but also how drivers of a particular age group behave in various situations.

Market Research Analysts

Market research analysts collect information and data that allows them to build accurate forecasts as it relates to sales trends within a given area. Additionally, they help companies determine how effective a particular marketing campaign and the strategies that surround it are. They actively make changes to both and work directly with marketing teams to ensure that all sales goals are being met and that the company is maximizing their new customer acquisitions. Oftentimes, companies will encourage those within this position to gain a master's, and there are some companies that will only hire those with such degrees.

Graduate Program Information

Through a master's in economics students will be better prepared for the challenges that higher-level jobs entail. Most major universities require applicants to have a 3.0 GPA and a GRE score that is in the higher end of all test takers, especially as it relates to the quantitative portion. In addition, most universities require letters of recommendation as well as additional coursework before admission. Prospective students can pay as little as $6,800 a year at a public school to as much as $40,000 at a private institution and complete the degree in one to two years depending upon their course load.

Having a master's degree affords individuals the chance to be selective within a job field that is rapidly growing with each passing year. As the demand for such degree holders goes up, so too does their potential earnings, and those who pursue a master's in economics will have the skill set necessary to remain competitive.

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