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Getting Your Degree in Economics

Degree in Economics

Economics Degrees, Jobs and Scholarships

Ever been curious about why some countries are poor yet others are so rich? Ever wondered about what causes a recession? If so, the field of economics could be the right direction as a field of study to go into. 

Economics can help us answer those types of questions and more. The field is the study of how societies and markets distribute resources, including raw materials, land, human labor, as well as capital in order to create goods and services. Macroeconomics is the study of the economy as a whole, and microeconomics is the study of individual decisions. 

Those who pursue a career in economics can be employed by the government, investment firms, banks, non-profits, and large corporations. They will work to collect data, analyze that data, create reports, and more. 

Many jobs in this field do require at least a master’s in economics, but you can still find jobs by pursuing an associate’s in economics, or a bachelor’s. You can also go on to get your Ph.D. in economics. 

Students in this field will need to be strong in math, and analytical skills as well as having strong computer skills, and an eye for technology. 

Associate’s Degree in Economics

Getting your associate’s degree in economics would introduce you to the field of economics. Getting your associate’s degree should take you around two years, depending on if you attend full or part-time. 

You would take courses in subjects such as applied economics and finance. You would also take many of your general education classes. 

Also, you can get your associate’s degree in economics at a community or junior college and can attend in person or online, depending on what would work best for you.

After you earn your associate’s degree, you can go on to get your bachelor’s or find a job as a financial clerk, an insurance account manager, or customer service representative. 

Bachelor’s Degree in Economics

Getting your bachelor’s degree in economics will open up more doors than an associate’s degree would. A bachelor’s degree in economics should take four years and you should be able to attend either online or in-person, depending on what would work best for you. 

Those studying economics at this level would study subjects such as supply and demand, financial markets, economic policy, and international trade. You would take classes such as consumer economics, money and banking, and urban economics. 

For in-person programs, Florida International University, The University of Utah, and Oregon State University all have highly rated programs. For online programs, Washington State University, Pennsylvania State University, and Oregon State University all have highly rated programs. 

Jobs you can get with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics

  • Market Research Analysts, who will use information that is related to the market as well as data trends having to do with the economy, have an average salary of $54,579 according to Payscale as of 2021.
  • Accountants, who manage financial books, prepare taxes, and work with the best financial protocols and best practices, have an average salary of $51,798 according to Payscale, as of 2021. 
  • Management Consultants, who analyze the causes of business problems and work to figure out and present fixes, have an average salary of $88,080, according to Payscale as of 2021.

Master’s Degree in Economics

If you want to go even further in your career in economics, getting your master’s degree would be the next step. Within a master’s program, you would need to decide on a specific concentration such as applied economics, economic history, or health economics. 

Most master’s programs will take around two years to complete depending on if you attend full or part-time and you should be able to attend online or in-person. 

For in-person programs, Stanford University, The University of Texas at Austin, and The Georgia Institute of Technology all have highly rated programs. For online programs, Purdue University, American University, and Georgia Southern University all have highly rated programs. 

Jobs you can get with a Master’s Degree in Economics

Government Economists, who can play a role in different levels of government, and who are policymakers that work on drafting, reviewing, and implementing different policies and programs, have an average salary of $121837, according to FederalPay.org as of 2018.

Data Scientists, who work for private businesses and make predictions that are based on data, have an average salary of $96,491 according to Payscale, as of 2021. 

Actuaries, who work for places such as insurance companies, examine data for specific situations, and help determine financial costs of various risks, have an average salary of $96,542, according to Payscale as of 2021.

Doctorate Degrees in Economics

To go even further in the economics field, you will need to get your Ph.D.in economics. This would allow you to find jobs such as an economist, who will research and interpret trends that are related to goods, services, and resources, or to go into postsecondary education where you would teach on economics, and possibly conduct economic research. 

The University of Arizona, Binghamton University, and The University of California at Davis all have highly rated Ph.D. in economics programs. 

Related Majors

Scholarships for Those Seeking Degrees in Economics

Getting your degree in economics means you can apply for certain scholarships that specialize in economics or similar degrees. Here are a couple of them:

The Mid-Atlantic STA Foundation

This scholarship is for high school seniors who have participated in the Stock Market game in MD or VA or sophomore or juniors who are majoring in business, finance, or economics at a college or university in MD, VA, or Washington DC. There will be two $2,000 scholarships given out to high school students, and two $5,000 for college students. For more info, please go here.

Enid Hall Griswold Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is by the DAR and is for two college juniors or seniors who are enrolled in an accredited college or university in the US. They must be pursuing a major in political science, history, government, or economics. The amount of the award is $5,000. For more info, please go here.

 

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.