How to Become an Economist

What To Do Now? Economist Career Training

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Are you good with numbers? Are you interested in the connection between what people want to buy, prices of goods, and how products sell? If so, you may want to consider retraining to enter the field as an economist. Economists study, predict, and communicate financial patterns at the individual level as well as on a grander scale.

As you look to improve your skills, think about studying economics through online economist training courses--one way to gain the education necessary to become an economist.

Career Skills: Economists

Economists typically engage in research, compiling and analyzing data, making forecasts and communicating results. They should be good with details and numbers, as well as finding patterns in order to make predictions. If you decide to retrain as an economist, it can be helpful to gain career skills in computers, statistics, as well as creating reports, tables, and graphs.

Finally, economists should be able to communicate clearly to their audiences--be it the general public or a company.

Career Advice for Economists

This career field could be a good match for someone who chooses to specialize in a specific area of economics. Depending on your career goals, you may want to consider becoming either a macro- or micro-economist. Macro-economists study larger trends, while micro-economists focus on individuals and small groups. Macro-economists also help forecast what might be happening in our economy over time. Other specializations include industrial economist, monetary economist, labor economist, and international economist.

Today, the basic educational requirement to become an economist is typically a bachelor's degree. However, many employers are now looking for job candidates who possess a master's or even a doctorate degree. As you look to improve your skills and retrain as an economist, you can use online economist training courses to get started. Classes such as econometrics, microeconomics, mathematics, statistics, and computer science can all be beneficial to the aspiring economist.

Career Outlook

  • Economists employed by the government in 2012: 45 percent (federal: 28 percent, state and local: 17 percent)
  • Projected job increase between 2012 and 2022: 14 percent
  • Economist specializations: Following a basic undergraduate education, specializations can include industrial or organizational economics; macroeconomics; and labor, monetary, or public finance economics.
  • Classroom skills most sought by potential employers: Data collection by interviews and surveys, analysis of data, formal reporting on findings, and economic modeling and forecasting.
  • Top degrees for best employment prospects: Master's or Ph.D. degree in economics.
  • Top employers for graduates of economists: Scientific, management, and technical consulting service firms.
  • Entry-level education for economist jobs with the Federal Government: Bachelor's degree with 21 semester hours in the major and three additional hours in accounting, calculus, or statistics.
  • Three important student economist skills: Solving problems with logical thinking, observing and inferring from data, and presenting ideas in compelling speech and writing.
  • Median Salary: In May 2013, Economists earned a median salary of $101,450 with top 10% making more than $158,090.
  • Top Paying States: Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, New York, District of Columbia.
  • States With Highest Employment: District of Columbia, California, Virginia, Massachusetts, Texas.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economists
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economists, May 2013 Wages