The individual charged with the duties of keeping businesses profitable and markets functioning belong to those with an economics degree. These individuals understand the profits and losses of an industry. To do this, they gather and analyze financial data. Earning an economics degree may also prepare individuals to work in budget planning. Graduates with degrees in economics are referred to as economists, recognized as valuable members of a business team. There are a number of jobs for those who major in economics. Some of the most popular careers include: financial analyst, financial advisor, and management consultant. The most lucrative jobs for those with an economics degree are usually held by those individuals known as financial advisors. Median salaries for financial advisors are typically over $100,000 annually. Even the lower paying jobs for persons in the field of economics reap annual salaries in excess of $48,000. Other careers for those who have earned an economics degree include banking, academia, and real estate.
Some people fail to understand that economics is a social science. Economists understand how businesses, people, and societies operate. Economics can be defined as the study of how people choose to use their limited resources in an attempt to satisfy unlimited wants. To put it another way, people have unlimited possibilities to accomplish their goals, but are limited by their available resources.
Businesses need those employees with an economics degree because these economists are trained to think analytically and critically to find solutions to complex business problems. The social science part of economics comes into play because economists are trained to deal with behaviors relating to work, production, consumption, and distribution, as well as an understanding of the fundamental operations of most businesses.
Why would someone choose to major in economics? As previously mentioned, economics teaches valuable skills and problem-solving techniques that will help resolve the complexities of life. Most people, however, elect to study economics for a simpler reason. That reason is the likelihood of securing a stable, rewarding job. Economists work in all facets of the business world, including manufacturing, mining, banking, insurance, academia, government, and retailing.
In most industries, economists are not managers. Instead, they analyze data and provide the resulting information. This process allows managers to make well informed decisions that will promote the business. Some large companies hire a staff or department of economists.
Virtually every government agency employs individuals who have earned an economics degree. Many of these jobs require an advanced degree, either at the master’s or doctorate level, but this is not always the case.
Salary ranges for economists vary greatly. As with most other occupations, experience and education contribute to annual salaries. It is not uncommon for employees with an economics degree to earn salaries around $80,000 per year. Many economists have the opportunity to earn secondary income, usually through teaching or consulting.
Unlike engineering or accounting degrees, an economics degree, is considered a general degree intended to teach problem-solving techniques in addition to basic economic principles. The student will typically take a variety of courses, including several math courses such as statistics and calculus. Coursework will also be presented in computer science as well as basic economics classes. It is a good idea to set career goals before enrolling in classes. Students should check with the college they plan to attend to determine pre-requisites. For graduate work, most schools require a minimum of two undergraduate courses in calculus.
Students intent on entering the banking field will want to complete a number of banking courses. Economics classes available at most colleges include studies in industrial economics, labor economics, and international economics. These courses are generally taught at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels.
When having decided upon pursuing an economics degree, there are a number of options for the student to consider. Virtually every college and university in the country offers a program for the study of economics. It may be possible to obtain some of the groundwork for these classes at junior or community colleges. However, most employers will opt to hire those who possess at minimum a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.
A number of online colleges offer programs leading to an economics degree. These online schools provide the same high-quality education as traditional stand-alone colleges. Of primary importance to many students, is that online colleges may offer a measure of flexibility not found at traditional colleges. Online classes are taught by highly qualified personnel, and the curriculum and quality of instruction is identical for students attending face-to-face classes, as for those earning their economics degree online.
Colleges across the country are preparing students to enter the workforce as economists. It is a challenging field, but it offers lucrative salaries and interesting work for the successful graduate. With today’s global economy, the demand for qualified economists is expected to continue.