Economists, as defined by the Labor Department, study how society distributes scarce resources such as land, labor, raw materials, and machinery to produce goods and services. They conduct research, collect and analyze data, monitor economic trends, and develop forecasts.
Economists conduct research and prepare data for analysis. They research issues such as inflation, interest rates, and employment levels to come up with data that can be processed to forecast economic change in the future. They prepare their reports by using charts and graphs or tables to illustrate the results of their research. There are many specific areas for work as an economist such as being an organizational economist, industrial economist, labor economist or monetary economist to name a few.
To become and economist, you will need to earn at least a bachelors degree in economics. Many private sector companies require a master’s degree or Ph. D. in economics from their employees however. A bachelor’s degree in economics will cover topics such as macro and microeconomics as well as statistics and math. Finance, accounting, public relations, public policy and information technology will also be covered in your degree program. To become and economist, you will need to skills in organization, pay keen attention to details, and have patience and persistence. Those with a graduate degree in economics will generally specialize in a specific area of the industry.
An economics degree can provide you an opportunity to work in a variety of professional organizations. A number of economists work in the public sector and help government simplify their operations. Up to 58 % of economists work in this capacity. Depending on your field, expertise, and industry, salaries can vary greatly. Economists in major metropolitan areas average a salary of $78,000 annually, but they can earn significantly more with years of experience.
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