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How to Become an Economist

Master's degree

Economists typically have their master's degree or a Ph.D., although, many entry-level jobs within the government are available for individuals who have a bachelor's degree. Economists commonly work with others in a team atmosphere.

Education & Training

A Ph.D. or master's degree is necessary for the majority of economist jobs. Positions in international organizations, research or in business typically require on a combination of relevant work experience and graduate education.

Students may wish to pursue an advanced degree in economics and a bachelor's degree in a variety of fields. It is essential for an economist to have a strong mathematical background. A Ph.D. in economics takes a variety of years of study once a bachelor's degree is earned. This time frame includes finishing detailed research in a specialized field.

Candidates who have a bachelor's degree often qualify for entry-level jobs within the federal government. In order to advance to higher level positions, an advanced degree is often required. The majority of people who finish a bachelor's degree in economics often find jobs as market research analysts, financial analysts or research assistants. They may take on similar positions in the areas of consulting, finance and business.

Skills and Qualities that will Help

Analytical Skills: It is vital that economists can observe patterns, review data and come up with logical conclusions. Certain economists for example, make future job projections by analyzing historical employment trends.

Communication Skills: Economists need to be able to clearly communicate their work to other individuals. They may also advise clients on economic issues, explain reports and give presentations. It is often necessary to collaborate with numerous colleagues in other specialties; therefore, it is imperative that they can communicate economic concepts to individuals who do not have an economics background.

Critical-Thinking Skills: Economists often have to rely on logic and reasoning skills to solve complex problems. They may have to identify how certain economic trends can directly influence an organization.

Detail Oriented: Economists thrive on details. In order to ensure their findings are accurate, particular data analysis is necessary.

Math Skills: Economists commonly rely on the principals of statistics, calculus and advanced mathematics to provide and discuss their economic analyses.

Writing Skills: Economists are required to present their findings clearly. Preparing specific reports for colleagues and clients is often a large component of the work scope. Economists have to clearly present their case to others. They may additionally write for news media or for journal publication.