What to Do With an Economics Degree (Guide)

Earning an economics degree opens up a world of possibilities for graduates. With a solid understanding of organizations and financial systems, economics majors have a wide range of career options to explore. Whether you’re interested in finance, consulting, research, or government, your economics degree can pave the way for exciting job opportunities.

What to Do With an Economics Degree

Key Takeaways:

  • With an economics degree, you can pursue careers in finance, consulting, research, and government.
  • Job opportunities for economics majors are diverse and varied, allowing you to apply your skills in different industries.
  • Economics graduates can explore roles such as financial analysts, market researchers, consultants, and more.
  • Transferable skills gained from an economics degree, such as critical thinking and data analysis, make graduates valuable assets in the professional world.
  • By furthering your education or gaining relevant work experience, you can enhance your career prospects as an economics graduate.

Transferable Skills of an Economist

Economics graduates possess a diverse set of transferable skills that are highly sought-after in the professional world. These skills make them adaptable and valuable assets in various industries. Here are some key transferable skills gained from an economics degree:

  • Quantitative Research Methodologies: Economics graduates are skilled in conducting quantitative research, using statistical methods to analyze and interpret data.
  • Analytical Skills: Economics majors develop strong critical thinking and logical reasoning abilities, allowing them to assess complex problems and make informed decisions.
  • Technical Knowledge of Financial Systems: Graduates have a deep understanding of financial operation systems, which enables them to analyze financial data and evaluate economic trends.
  • Data-Backed Problem-Solving: Economics graduates are skilled in using data to identify and solve problems, providing evidence-based solutions.
  • Goal-Oriented Planning and Prioritizing: Due to their training, economists can effectively plan, organize, and prioritize tasks to achieve specific objectives.
  • Verbal and Written Communication: Economics majors are proficient in conveying complex economic concepts through clear and concise verbal and written communication.
  • Attention to Detail and Organization: Graduates possess strong attention to detail and organizational skills, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in their work.

These transferable skills enable economics graduates to excel in various industries such as banking, accounting, government, research, consulting, and financial law. Their ability to analyze data, think critically, and communicate effectively makes them valuable assets in the professional realm.

Career Options for Economics Graduates

Economics graduates have numerous career options available to them. The knowledge and skills gained from an economics degree make individuals well-suited for various industries and roles. Here are some of the best careers for economics majors:

1. Financial Analyst

A financial analyst conducts research, analyzes financial data, and provides insights to guide investment decisions. They work in banks, investment firms, and corporations, ensuring the efficient allocation of resources and assessing the financial health of organizations. Financial analysts need strong analytical skills and a deep understanding of economic principles.

2. Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts study market conditions, consumer behavior, and competitors to help companies make informed business decisions. They collect and analyze data, conduct surveys, and interpret market trends. Market research analysts are essential in industries such as marketing, advertising, and product development.

3. Economist

Economists are responsible for studying economic data, developing models, and providing predictions and insights to organizations and policymakers. They analyze market trends, assess the impact of policies, and make recommendations to improve economic efficiency. Economists work in government agencies, research institutions, and consulting firms.

4. Business Consultant

Business consultants provide expert advice to organizations on various issues, including optimizing operations, developing strategies, and improving overall performance. They utilize economic principles to identify opportunities for growth and help businesses make well-informed decisions. Business consultants can work independently or as part of consulting firms.

Job Title Industry Average Salary
Financial Analyst Finance $85,660
Market Research Analyst Market Research $63,790
Economist Government $105,020
Business Consultant Consulting $87,570

These are just a few examples of the exciting and rewarding career paths available to economics graduates. The choices are diverse, ranging from finance and consulting to government and research. Economics majors can leverage their skills and knowledge to excel in these fields and make a positive impact on organizations and society as a whole.

Advanced Certifications to Enhance Your Economics Degree

Earning an economics degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities, but pursuing advanced certifications can take your credentials to the next level and enhance your job prospects. These certifications provide additional knowledge and skills that make you a competitive candidate in various industries.

One valuable certification worth considering is the Actuarial Certification. This certification equips you with expertise in risk assessment and helps you excel in the fields of insurance, finance, and investments. Actuaries are in high demand and earn lucrative salaries due to their ability to analyze and manage financial risks.

Another certification option is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification. This globally recognized designation demonstrates your proficiency in investment analysis and portfolio management. A CFA certification can open doors to careers in asset management, financial planning, and equity research.

Certification Description
Actuarial Certification Equips you with risk assessment skills for insurance, finance, and investments
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification Globally recognized designation for investment analysis and portfolio management

Market research certifications are also valuable for economics graduates interested in consumer behavior and data analysis. These certifications provide you with the skills to conduct comprehensive market research and assist businesses in making informed decisions based on consumer insights.

Lastly, pursuing a master’s degree in a specialized area of economics can further enhance your knowledge and expertise. Consider programs such as Health Economics, Agricultural Economics, or Managerial Economics to gain in-depth knowledge in specific industries. A master’s degree not only provides you with a competitive edge but also opens doors to higher-level positions and increased earning potential.

Job Prospects and Salaries for Economics Graduates

Economics graduates have promising job prospects with competitive salaries. The average salaries for various jobs in the economics field vary based on industry and level of experience. For example, data scientists and statisticians can earn six-figure incomes, with median salaries ranging from $95,570 to $102,750. Government-employed economists have an average annual salary of $125,950, while market research analysts for think tanks can make up to $128,320. Financial risk specialists and senior financial risk specialists also have high earning potential, with salaries ranging from $79,910 to $171,000.

When it comes to job opportunities, economics graduates have a wide range of options to choose from. They can find employment in sectors such as banking, finance, accounting, government, research, consulting, and more. With their strong analytical and problem-solving skills, economics graduates are sought after by employers for roles such as financial analysts, market researchers, consultants, policy analysts, and data scientists.

Job Opportunities for Economics Graduates

  • Financial analyst
  • Market researcher
  • Consultant
  • Policy analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Financial risk specialist
  • Economic researcher
  • Investment analyst
  • Business analyst

The demand for economics graduates is expected to continue growing in the coming years as organizations value their ability to make data-driven decisions and navigate complex financial systems. With the right skills and experience, economics graduates can build successful and lucrative careers in various industries.

Table: Salaries for Selected Jobs in the Economics Field

Job Title Median Salary
Data Scientist $95,570 – $102,750
Government Economist $125,950
Market Research Analyst (Think Tanks) Up to $128,320
Financial Risk Specialist $79,910 – $171,000

The table above highlights the median salaries for selected jobs in the economics field. These salaries can vary based on factors such as location, experience, and industry. It’s important to note that these figures are average estimates and actual salaries may vary.

The Broad Applications of an Economics Degree

Economics graduates possess a diverse range of skills and knowledge that can be applied to various industries. With their analytical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and data analysis expertise, economics graduates are highly sought after in the professional world. Let’s explore some of the industries where individuals with an economics degree can make a significant impact.

Banking and Financial Institutions

Economics graduates are well-suited for roles within banking and financial institutions. Their ability to analyze market trends, evaluate risks, and make informed financial decisions is invaluable. Whether working as financial analysts, investment bankers, or risk managers, economics graduates play a crucial role in driving financial success for these institutions.

Consulting and Research Firms

Economics graduates can also find opportunities in consulting and research firms. Their expertise in data analysis and economic forecasting allows them to provide valuable insights and recommendations to clients. From market research analysis to economic policy consulting, economics graduates help businesses and organizations make informed decisions.

Government and Public Sector

The government and public sector also offer numerous opportunities for economics graduates. With their understanding of economic systems, graduates can contribute to policy-making, budget analysis, and financial management. Roles within government departments, regulatory bodies, and think tanks are ideal for economics graduates who want to make a positive impact on society.

Business Management Services

Economics graduates are equipped with the skills to excel in business management services. Their ability to analyze data, identify trends, and develop strategic plans makes them valuable assets in roles such as business analysts, project managers, and operations consultants. Economics graduates help businesses optimize their operations and drive growth.

Industry Job Roles
Banking and Financial Institutions Financial Analyst, Investment Banker, Risk Manager
Consulting and Research Firms Market Research Analyst, Economic Policy Consultant
Government and Public Sector Policy Analyst, Budget Analyst, Financial Manager
Business Management Services Business Analyst, Project Manager, Operations Consultant

These are just a few examples of the diverse applications of an economics degree. The versatility of economics graduates allows them to thrive in various industries, utilizing their skills and knowledge to make a meaningful impact. Whether it’s in banking, consulting, government, or business management, economics graduates play a vital role in shaping the economy and driving growth.

Further Study Options for Economics Graduates

For economics graduates who wish to expand their knowledge and skills, there are several higher education options available. Pursuing further study can provide opportunities for specialization and enhance career prospects. Here are some graduate programs and higher education options specifically tailored for economics majors:

Master’s Degree in Specialized Areas of Economics

One popular choice for economics graduates is to pursue a master’s degree in a specialized area of economics. This allows individuals to delve deeper into their specific interests and gain expertise in niche fields. Some specialized master’s programs include health economics, agricultural economics, and managerial economics. These programs offer advanced coursework and research opportunities, providing graduates with valuable knowledge and a competitive edge in their chosen field.

Ph.D. in Economics

For those aspiring to a career in academic research, think tanks, or government agencies, obtaining a Ph.D. in economics is a viable option. A Ph.D. program offers rigorous training in economic theory, research methodologies, and data analysis. It requires a significant commitment of time and effort but can lead to exciting opportunities for research, policy-making, and thought leadership. Graduates with a Ph.D. in economics often contribute to cutting-edge research and advancements in the field.

Certifications and Professional Development

In addition to traditional higher education programs, economics graduates can also consider pursuing advanced certifications and engaging in continuous professional development. Certifications such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Actuarial Certification can provide specialized knowledge and enhance career prospects in finance and insurance industries. Professional development courses and workshops offer opportunities to sharpen skills, stay updated with industry trends, and expand professional networks.


Economics graduates have a range of further study options available to them. Pursuing a master’s degree in a specialized area of economics or obtaining a Ph.D. can open doors to niche industries and research opportunities. Additionally, obtaining certifications and participating in professional development activities can enhance skills and improve employability. Graduates should carefully consider their career goals and interests when choosing a higher education path in order to maximize their potential and achieve success in their chosen field.

Graduate Program Specialization Description
Master’s Degree Health Economics A specialized program focusing on the economics of healthcare systems and policies.
Master’s Degree Agricultural Economics A program that explores the economic aspects of agriculture, food production, and rural development.
Master’s Degree Managerial Economics A program that combines economic theory with business strategy and decision-making.
Ph.D. in Economics N/A A research-intensive program that prepares graduates for careers in academia, research, or policy-making.
Professional Certification Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) A globally recognized certification for finance professionals, demonstrating expertise in investment analysis and portfolio management.

Work Experience and Employability for Economics Graduates

Economics graduates have a wealth of job opportunities available to them, thanks to the versatile skills they possess. One key way to enhance employability is by gaining relevant work experience in areas such as banking, finance, accounting, and government. This allows graduates to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings, making them more attractive candidates to potential employers.

Many government departments, think tanks, and financial institutions offer internships and work experience programs specifically for economics graduates. These opportunities provide valuable insights into the inner workings of various industries and allow graduates to develop their analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Volunteering in organizations that align with an economics graduate’s career interests can also be beneficial. This not only demonstrates dedication and a willingness to contribute to the community, but it also provides an opportunity to apply economic concepts and principles in a practical setting.

Employers highly value the skills that economics graduates possess, including their ability to analyze data, think critically, and communicate effectively. By gaining work experience and showcasing these skills, economics graduates can improve their employability and position themselves for success in a variety of roles within the private and public sectors.


“Work experience is a crucial aspect of employability for economics graduates. It allows them to gain practical insights and develop the skills that employers are seeking. Whether through internships, volunteer work, or part-time jobs, the hands-on experience obtained can make a significant impact on career prospects.”

“In today’s competitive job market, employers are looking for candidates who can hit the ground running. Economics graduates with work experience have a distinct advantage, as they have already proven their ability to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world situations. This makes them highly sought-after by employers across a wide range of industries.”

Table: Job Opportunities for Economics Graduates

Industry Job Opportunities
Banking Financial Analyst, Risk Manager, Investment Banker
Finance Financial Advisor, Portfolio Manager, Credit Analyst
Government Economist, Policy Analyst, Researcher
Consulting Management Consultant, Economic Consultant
Research Market Research Analyst, Data Analyst, Economic Researcher

Table: Job opportunities for economics graduates in various industries.

As shown in the table above, economics graduates can find job opportunities in diverse industries such as banking, finance, government, consulting, and research. These industries offer a range of roles that allow economics graduates to apply their analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and economic knowledge. With the right work experience, economics graduates can position themselves for successful careers in these thriving sectors.

Skills Developed Through an Economics Degree

An economics degree provides graduates with a diverse set of skills that are highly sought after in today’s job market. These skills equip economics graduates with the ability to analyze complex data, think critically, and solve problems. The knowledge gained from an economics degree enables individuals to understand and interpret economic trends, which is invaluable in decision-making processes.

One of the key skills developed through an economics degree is quantitative analysis. Economics graduates are proficient in using statistical software and mathematical models to analyze data and extract meaningful insights. This skill is essential in fields such as market research, financial analysis, and strategic planning.

Additionally, economics graduates are skilled communicators, both orally and in writing. They can effectively convey complex economic concepts to various stakeholders, making them valuable assets in fields such as consulting, public policy, and business management. The ability to communicate ideas clearly and persuasively is crucial in today’s interconnected and globalized world.

Skill Description
Data Analysis Proficiency in analyzing complex data sets using statistical software and mathematical models.
Critical Thinking Ability to evaluate and assess information objectively, making logical and informed decisions.
Problem-Solving Capability to identify, analyze, and develop effective solutions to complex economic problems.
Communication Strong verbal and written skills to communicate economic concepts to a wide range of audiences.

“An economics degree equips graduates with a diverse range of skills that are highly transferable and in demand across various industries.”

In conclusion, an economics degree offers graduates comprehensive skills that are applicable in diverse industries and roles. The ability to analyze data, think critically, problem-solve, and communicate effectively are highly sought after by employers. With the skills gained from an economics degree, graduates are well-equipped to thrive in a range of professional environments.


Utilizing an economics degree can lead to a wide range of career opportunities in diverse industries. The skills acquired through an economics degree, including analytical thinking, critical reasoning, and data analysis, make economics graduates highly valuable in the professional world.

To make the most of an economics degree, consider exploring various career paths. The field offers options such as financial analysis, market research, and consulting, among others. By leveraging their transferable skills, economics graduates can excel in these roles and contribute to the success of their organizations.

Additionally, pursuing advanced certifications can enhance the value of an economics degree. Certifications such as actuarial certification, market research certification, and chartered financial analyst certification provide specialized knowledge and skills that can make graduates stand out in competitive industries like finance, insurance, and wealth management.

Finally, gaining relevant work experience is essential for maximizing career prospects. Internships, volunteer opportunities, and part-time roles in sectors such as banking, finance, and government can provide invaluable skills and firsthand industry knowledge. Employers value the strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills possessed by economics graduates, making them highly sought-after candidates in both the private and public sectors.


What career options are available for economics graduates?

Economics graduates have a wide range of career options, including financial analysts, market researchers, consultants, and more. They can also pursue careers in computer science, public policy, human resources, and financial management.

Are there any certifications or advanced programs that can enhance an economics degree?

Yes, there are several certifications worth considering, such as actuarial certification, market research certification, and chartered financial analyst certification. Pursuing a master’s degree in a specialized area of economics can also enhance career opportunities.

What are the job prospects and salaries for economics graduates?

Job prospects for economics graduates are promising, with career opportunities in banking, finance, accounting, government, research, and consulting. Salaries vary based on industry and experience, but some of the highest paying jobs include financial risk analysis and senior financial risk positions.

What industries can an economics degree be applied to?

An economics degree can be applied to various industries, including banking, finance, accounting, government, research, consulting, and tax and financial law firms. The versatile skills gained from the degree make graduates valuable assets in these industries.

What further study options are available for economics graduates?

Economics graduates can choose to pursue a master’s degree in a specialized area of economics, such as health economics or agricultural economics. Some may also consider pursuing a Ph.D. in economics for careers in academic research, think tanks, and government agencies.

How can work experience enhance the employability of economics graduates?

Work experience in areas such as banking, finance, accounting, and government can provide valuable skills and industry knowledge. Internships and volunteer opportunities in government departments, think tanks, and financial institutions can help economics graduates stand out to employers.

What skills are developed through an economics degree?

Economics graduates develop a range of transferable skills, including data analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication (both verbal and written), numeracy, computing, time management, and analytical skills.

How can I utilize my economics degree?

You can utilize your economics degree by exploring various career paths, pursuing advanced certifications, gaining relevant work experience, and applying your skills to industries such as finance, consulting, research, and government.

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