An economics degree can open a wide variety of career doors, from business and finance to government and consulting. The U.S. government, however, reports that the best employment prospects in economics will be for men and women with a master's degree or doctorate in the field. If the time and expense of doctoral studies do not appeal to you, a master's degree in economics offers many career options.
The U.S. government is a large employer of economists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many federal agencies, such as the Commerce and Labor departments, employ men and women with economics degrees to collect and analyze data on national economic activity. Government economists also evaluate economic conditions and produce forecasts about future economic conditions, which guide policy makers in Congress and the White House in planning the federal budget and proposed laws and policies.
The corporate world offers an array of opportunities for individuals with master's degrees in economics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that economists employed by corporations analyze companies' market shares and produce forecasts of consumer demand or product sales. Analysis by corporate economists help corporate leadership develop marketing campaigns and formulate strategies for dealing with competing firms.
Although a tenured faculty position at a four-year college or university usually requires a doctorate, a person with a master's degree can find a job teaching economics at a community college, according to the American Economic Association. Community college instructors in economics generally teach classes in principles of economics, or in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics studies the economic behavior of individuals, households and companies, while macroeconomics studies the economy as a whole, considering such issues as unemployment, inflation, gross domestic product and fiscal and monetary policies.
Public policy analysts research complex policy issues facing decision makers in the federal and state governments and analyze proposed solutions. Because policy analysis involves extensive research and data analysis, men and women with master's degrees in economics, as well as an interest in public issues, can find rewarding careers as policy analysts for policy research firms, also known as think-tanks, or for consulting firms and government agencies.
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