01Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts tap the knowledge of industry trends to assess how products or services might fare under various economic conditions. Like economics majors, they are trained to design studies, and gather and analyze data. They must be able to quantify results and represent this information to clients.
Market research analysts apply many of the skills that economics majors develop such as the use of presentation software and graphical representation, as well as writing and statistical skills. They must think critically about products and services and solve problems involved with their marketing.
Economic consultants use analytical and research skills to carry out studies regarding economic scenarios. They analyze industry trends to help organizations improve their performance. They might work for organizations in a variety of industries, including business, finance, health care, education, the government, and more.
Economic consultants can also act as expert witnesses in legal cases to assess economic damages, analyze intellectual property and antitrust violations, and address regulatory violations.
03Compensation and Benefits Manager
Just like economics majors, compensation and benefits managers must be able to think in numbers, since they evaluate options for pay and benefits. They study trends in the labor market and assess supply and demand for various classes of jobs.
Compensation and benefits managers research pay and benefits in similar organizations within their industry to establish a competitive structure for their company’s pay and benefits.
They create reports and represent their findings to senior management, and might also work with their company's human resources department.
Actuaries apply advanced mathematical and statistical skills to determine the likelihood of insurable events like fires, deaths, illnesses, and business failures. Like economics majors, they need to consider a great number of variables when analyzing risk profiles to establish a profitable structure for insurance policies.
Actuaries often use computer software to help with their analyses. They devise graphs and charts to convey their decisions to other members of the management team.
Credit analysts conduct microeconomic analyses of prospective clients to assess the risks involved with loaning funds to those people or businesses. They take into account economic trends and factors impacting the region, industries, and competitors of prospective clients.
Credit analysts prepare reports summarizing their findings and suggest interest rates that are appropriate given the risk profile of clients.
Financial analysts research companies, industries, stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles for finance departments. Their analyses often require the advanced quantitative skills possessed by many economics majors.
Financial analysts often use computer software and models to aid in their analyses. They write reports and prepare presentations for colleagues and clients who make the final decisions about investments, stock/bond offerings, and mergers/acquisitions.
Policy analysts research and analyze issues that impact the public and recommend legislation and governmental intervention to address the problems. Economic knowledge is critical to understanding many of the issues and for creating affordable solutions.
Economics majors often have the skills needed to analyze issues like healthcare, taxes, energy, the environment, and international trade policy.
Policy analysts rely on strong writing skills to represent the findings of their research and convince legislators and the public of the viability of their recommendations.
Lawyers use critical thinking and analytical skills to prepare and try their cases. Many areas of law such as corporate law, tax law, antitrust law, personal injury, and medical malpractice involve the application of micro- and macroeconomic analysis.
Lawyers draw on research and writing skills to carry out their work. They must gather facts and evidence to support a position. Lawyers must present their findings in a compelling manner to convince a judge, jury, or opposing attorney of their position.
Management consultants analyze business problems and research possible solutions to present to clients. New college graduates often start out in positions like research analyst, research assistant, or junior consultant where they support the work of more senior staff. They can then move up to positions like management consultant.
The economics major provides an excellent background in the financial and quantitative modeling that consultants use to conduct their analyses. Writing and public speaking skills are also necessary when writing reports and presenting recommendations to clients.
Business reporters research, write, and broadcast stories about business leaders, companies, industry trends, economic developments, and financial markets. In essence, they are ongoing students of the modern economic world while also acting as journalists.
The curiosity that economics majors often possess about how the economic world functions is essential for success in this field. The ability to write about economic issues in plain language that the average viewer or reader can comprehend is also vital.
11Economics Majors Skills
Here's a list of the skills that employers seek when hiring economics majors. Skills vary by job, so also review these skills lists for a variety of different occupations.
Highlight the skills you acquired during your studies, internships and jobs held during college in your cover letters, resume and job applications.
If you are not sure what career you want, look at this list and highlight the skills you possess. Then look back at the list of economics careers, and see which ones require the skills you have.
Economics Major Skills
A - C
- Abstracting general principles from example
- Advanced numeracy
- Advanced quantitative
- Analyzing aggregate demand and aggregate supply
- Analyzing consumer behavior
- Analyzing economic dimensions of public policy issues
- Analyzing industry trends
- Applying economic analysis to everyday problems
- Conducting qualitative research
- Conducting quantitative research
- Constructing valid arguments
- Creating charts and graphs
- Critical thinking
D - I
- Describing economic impact of environmental remedies
- Describing the circular flow of income through the economy
- Designing qualitative research models
- Detail oriented
- Devising quantitative research models
- Evaluating economic arguments based on empirical evidence
- Evaluating economic events
- Evaluating the status of individual businesses within the marketplace
- Examining the profitability of various enterprises
- Explaining complex economic information in a clear way to non-experts
- Explaining economic fluctuations based on macroeconomic factors like interest rates, inflation, unemployment
- Explaining the current account and foreign exchange market
- Interpreting charts and graphs
- Interpreting statistical results
J - P
- Logical reasoning
- Managing stress
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Note taking
- Performing descriptive statistical tests such as mean, median and mode
- Performing multiple linear regression analyses
- Performing two-way correlations
- Predicting outcomes
- Presenting an economic argument orally
- Proposing solutions to complex problems
Q - Z
- Quantifying a set of data
- Reading complex material
- Solving multivariable equations
- Testing hypotheses
- Time management
- Using precise language in written documents
- Utilizing databases such as Econ Lit or Global Insight
- Verbal communication
- Writing concisely
- Writing essays
- Writing research reports
Jobs for Economics Majors
If you're the analytical type, fascinated by the world around you, then an economics major might be a good choice for you. A degree in economics can be used in many areas, including public policy and finance. You can use an economics degree to study industry trends, labor markets, the prospects for individual companies, and the forces that drive the economy.
Economics majors learn to gather, organize, and interpret data, using mathematical formulas and statistics to make calculations. They also create models to predict the impact of investments, policy decisions, industry trends, demographics, climate change, and much more.
Although economics majors must be able to analyze problems and propose solutions, success in the field also requires solid communication skills. Individuals working in economics must be able to translate their complex findings into a format that business leaders, legislators, and everyday people can understand.
Since economics majors are masters of the chart and graph as tools for summarizing trends and results, the ability to write clear descriptions and present complicated information to others are also vital skills for the economics major.
Given the breadth of the major, there are many possible career choices for people with a degree in economics. To choose the right career, you will need to consider your other skills, interests, and values.
Read below for the top ten jobs for economics majors. Also see below for a detailed list of skills that many economic majors have.