Economists are essential in a wide range of businesses because they evaluate a wide range of economic challenges and historical trends to forecast future societal and financial results. They assist people in comprehending how resources might be deployed to maximum efficiency by applying high-level critical thinking, analysis, and communication abilities. If you want to work as an economist, there are a few basic steps you may take to develop foundational skills and launch a successful career. In this post, we define an economist, discuss five steps to becoming one, and offer advice on how to get started in the profession.
What Does it Mean to Be an Economist?
Economists are experts who analyze, research, forecast, and assess trends in a wide range of fields, including healthcare, the environment, education, and business development. Their main job is to teach others how to comprehend and use economics, which is the study of the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth. An economist is a person who analyses the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth and then uses that knowledge to manipulate the levers of modern society. Economic factors influence the physical development of nations, government social reforms, and the establishment and collapse of authoritarian regimes on a political level. On a personal level, economics has the potential to feed hungry people, ignite green energy revolutions, and empower consumers through new microloan products. Economists are essential for both understanding and utilizing economic power. They do economic research, collect data through surveys, analyze economic patterns using statistical and mathematical methods, and offer their findings to firms, governments, and individuals. This study also enables them to make recommendations that take into account the objectives of a firm, government, organization, or individual. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, economist jobs are expected to grow 14 percent nationwide between 2019 and 2029, which is substantially faster than the national average for all professions (BLS 2020). However, as economics has become more sophisticated, competition for economist employment has shifted to favor individuals with a master’s degree or a doctorate.
In today’s society, economics is at the heart of almost everything. Economists may work largely with statistics and data sets, but their findings and recommendations have the potential to bring about significant and lasting change. If you want to learn more about how modern society works, keep reading for a step-by-step tutorial on how to become an economist. Economists conduct research, collect data, and analyze trends as part of their daily responsibilities. They may also track past patterns and do statistical studies to anticipate future economic occurrences, depending on their specific jobs. Economists then consult on the behavior of firms, governments, organizations, and even people based on their conclusions.
Economists have the option of specializing in a particular subject of study. Economists in the private sector frequently assess business practices and revenue trends to provide economic advice to industry professionals. Economists, on the other hand, are responsible for examining the role of economics in government and society in the public and political realms.
* Industrial or organizational economists
* Financial economists
* Public finance economists
* International economists
* Labor economists
* Historical economists are some of the numerous categories of economists.
Transcript of a Video About a Career as an Economist
The word economics was originally used to denote the administration of a person’s household in Greek. While today’s economists may focus on individual behavior or widen their scope to include communities, countries, and even global patterns, the goal of the field is always to enhance people’s lives. Economists look at how resources, goods, and services are produced, distributed, and consumed. They perform surveys, analyze data, and present their findings in reports and charts so that others can understand the information.
Economists operate in a variety of disciplines, including education, health, and the environment. They may research the psychological and social aspects that influence economic decision-making, examine savings, investments, and risk, research international commerce, or concentrate on the role of government in economic decision-making. Economists frequently use previous trends to predict future patterns. Math abilities are necessary. Most economists work full-time in an office, though a deadline may necessitate more than 40 hours per week until it is met.
Many economists interact and work in teams with other economists and statisticians, even though they generally work alone. Most economist positions demand a master’s degree or a doctorate. A bachelor’s degree in economics may qualify applicants for entry-level economist roles, particularly with government agencies, as well as research assistant or analyst positions in business, finance, and consultancy.
In 2020, economists will have roughly 18,600 jobs.
Economists usually work alone in an office setting. Many economists, on the other hand, work in teams alongside other economists and statisticians. Some economists work from home, while others may be compelled to travel or attend conferences as part of their job.
Economists spend a lot of time on computers, analyzing data, reviewing research, and writing reports.
Schedules of Work
The majority of economists work full-time. Some economists consult part-time in addition to working full-time at a business or university. Some employees perform work that necessitates the use of overtime hours.
Economists’ employment is expected to expand by 13% between 2020 and 2030, faster than the national average.
Over the next ten years, over 1,600 job vacancies for economists are expected on average. Many of those positions are likely to arise as a result of the need to replace people who change occupations or leave the workforce for other reasons, such as retirement.
How to Become an Economist in 5 Easy Steps
Your specific path to becoming an economist will be largely influenced by the specialty you’re most interested in and the industry in which you choose to work. However, there are a few basic actions you may do to kickstart your career. In five easy steps, you can become an economist:
Get a Bachelor’s Degree First
A bachelor’s degree is the initial step toward becoming an economist. There are no requirements for what you should major in, however obtaining an economics degree or one related to economics, such as accounting, finance, or mathematics, can be beneficial in the long run. You will most likely learn about economic theory, social sciences, macroeconomics, international economics, and development processes while pursuing your bachelor’s degree. You can also opt to specialize in your undergraduate studies by focusing on economic subjects such as healthcare, politics, finance, policy, and others.
It’s a good idea to study for and take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) near the end of your undergraduate experience, as you’ll need it to apply to graduate school. Taking the exam while still in school, rather than after you’ve graduated, can be advantageous because your critical thinking and analytical skills will be fresh and immediately available.
Look for Opportunities to Intern
You should look for internship opportunities in the field of economics while pursuing your bachelor’s degree. Many future economists prefer to invest one to two years in internships to develop their skills. Internships can help you obtain not only valuable work experience but also provide a strong foundation of abilities. Once you’ve landed an internship, you should take advantage of it. You should take advantage of the opportunity to work alongside full-time, practicing economists who can teach you about the field’s complexity.
Get a Master’s Degree
* Many economists pursue master’s degrees to hone their skills and expand their knowledge base. To become an economist, you can choose from three degrees: a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Arts in Economics (MA), or a Master of Science in Economics (MSc) (MS). Each of these degrees comes with its own set of advantages.
* An MBA can help you develop a wider understanding of business and how financial industries affect economics. In comparison, earning an MA or MS in economics can help you gain a deeper understanding of the subject and enable you to work in more specific areas of the industry.
Look for Job Openings
After earning your master’s degree, you should start looking for job prospects. What field of the economics you’ve chosen to specialize in will determine where you look for a job. If you want to work in the private sector, look for positions with corporations like real estate firms, utility companies, and financial organizations.
In contrast, if you want to work for the public good, look for positions with socially responsible firms, governments, colleges, startups, and organizations. After you’ve found a job, you should try to put in at least a few years of steady employment before making any career changes. It’s critical to focus on honing your talents by getting work experience.
Think About Pursuing a Doctorate
Doctoral degrees are pursued by some economists to seek academic research possibilities and more specialized education. The kinds of coursework and seminars you’ll attend in a Ph.D. program will vary depending on the field you want to work in. Despite this, the most appealing aspect of doctoral programs for most degree seekers is completing a full research project and dissertation in their field of study. While this type of job might be taxing, it can also help you build high-level skills that will be quite useful in the subject of economics. Furthermore, completing a doctorate will qualify you for prestigious job prospects such as university teaching and consulting as an expert economist for high-impact organizations.
Advice For Those Interested in Pursuing a Career in Economics
Many candidates find it difficult to break into the economics profession and locate work opportunities that meet their needs. Here are a few pointers to help you ease into the topic of economics:
Improve Your Abilities
It’s critical to hone the specific and practical abilities you’ll need to succeed in your chosen economics sector. To be successful, you may need to know how to apply your critical thinking and analytical skills in specific ways. When you first start in the profession, you may want to take advantage of relevant internships and other opportunities to hone your skills. When you start applying for jobs, this can help you stand out as a more appealing applicant.
Keep Up With the Times
Economics is a dynamic science, and economists must always strive to stay current with current events. By properly assessing situations and staying current by researching political and international events, you can better predict future trends in your profession. This form of expert projection is highly valuable, and it can be able to assist you in finding the correct opportunity in the field of economics.
Seek Out Possibilities for Professional Advancement
Almost all professionals, especially economists, should seek out opportunities for professional growth. Such opportunities can help you develop abilities that will set you apart from other job seekers. You can also connect with other economists you meet at professional development events. Networking can assist you in developing key ties that will be beneficial to you throughout your career.
It can be difficult to find an opportunity that is a good fit for you at first. Finding an organization or role that meets your requirements can take a long time. As a result, it’s critical to remember to be patient during the job search process—you’ll most likely find an opportunity that you’re excited about eventually.
Working For the Government Is an Option
Because of the great need for economists in the public sector, many wind up working for the government. As a result, if a post in the private sector doesn’t appeal to you, you can consider starting your career with a government institution. Many government institutions hire people with bachelor’s degrees for entry-level roles, but more senior positions need individuals to acquire doctorate degrees.
Look Into Teaching Opportunities
Some economists with advanced degrees work part-time or full-time as part-time or full-time teachers to supplement their income while conducting research and consulting. You might be able to get a teaching position teaching economics at a university, community college, or high school. Teaching opportunities are a terrific way to put your abilities to use while also growing as a professional in the area.