How to Become an Economist

How to Become an Economist

There are many people who are interested in a career in business but also want to explore the various factors that surround the overall health of business markets. If you are curious about the different ways companies run their businesses, you should consider a career as an economist.

What do economists do?
Economists are researchers and scientists who study the production and distribution of goods, services and other resources. They are often hired to observe and analyze economic issues such as local and national debt, health care costs, the changing values of money, energy usage around the world and unemployment rates. Companies often seek out economists to help conduct surveys and collect data. Economists analyze this information using numerous mathematical models and statistical processes. They often rely on written reports, fact sheets, tables, graphs and charts to present their research to create a vivid picture for executives of an organization. If a company wants to know how this information might affect future business, economists interpret the data and project economic trends to help department heads make strategic decisions.

Economists are often brought in as consultants. They design business policies and government recommendations, and help people solve their economic problems on a case by case basis. Economists' written works are usually published in academic journals and various media outlets and are used as a resource for future scholars.

What type of degree should I earn?
Many economists need to have their master's or doctorate degree. In order to apply to most graduate economics programs, you will need a bachelor's degree in business administration or some related field. Courses in an economic program include micro and macroeconomic theory, cultural economics, game theory and economic applications, econometrics, quantitative and statistical methods in economics, poverty and development, capital markets and corporate finance.

Employers often seek out workers who have internship experience analyzing data, researching economic issues and trends, and writing reports.

Why should I pursue a career as an economist?
There are many reasons why you should pursue a career as an economist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for economists are expected to grow 14 percent through 2022. As businesses and organizations evolve, they will need the expertise of people who have a deep understanding of economic trends. The more complex the market becomes, the more companies will need economists.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online bachelor degree programs in business and online MBA programs. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_business.

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