Economist Educational Requirements

This article describes the educational requirements, experience required and the key skills needed to become qualified as an economist.

Updated by Rakshitha N on 28th May 2020

Economics is the heart of the modern world where the numbers and data brings in massive and innovative changes. The collection of data helps in studying, predicting, researching and evaluating the trends of industries. Economics can also change the way one can do business.

Economists conduct research and scrutinize the information to study and forest the future data. Also they play major roles and responsibilities to study the demand, supply, availability of goods, resources, distribution and have proper control of the operations.

With a vivid array of duties they also experience a spectrum of earning. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary offered is $89,265 and it varies between $75,283 and $104,967. The job growth is also rapid which is about 8% by the end of 2028.

If you are a student willing to become an economist, here is a guide which gives an overview on the necessary education requirement and skills to land on a challenging career.

Educational requirement

Economists are highly skilled individuals who analyse and interpret the information collected to predict the future. Education plays an important role in inducing the necessary skills to stand out in the profession. The minimum education required for this profession is a Master’s degree and a Ph.D-Doctor of Philosophy  is also necessary for few jobs. Taking a closer look on the educational requirements,

  • A bachelor’s degree in economics is a four year program which offers 120 credits to complete the coursework. The courses include microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and economic thought.

  • A master's degree in economics is a 2 years program which emphasises on areas such as international economics or economic development. It also includes research work and thesis writing,however some programs have non-thesis options. 

  • Doctoral degree in economics is an in-depth learning from the master's degree which also covers advanced topics such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, econometrics, and quantitative analysis. Other areas such as econometrics, income distribution, industrial organization, and international economics also come under this program. 

Most employers have a master’s degree for an economic job, however students who want to apply for a doctoral degree can skip the master’s degree and continue  Ph.D after their bachelor's degree. 

Another important point is, students must have good knowledge in mathematics to pursue this career. Potential candidates can also land on an entry level job after completion of bachelor's degree. But a higher degree gives you a higher position and an advanced career with opportunities to learn.


Experience for Economists

Every profession calls for prior field experience before landing on a job. The practical knowledge gained by the students during the education is valuable and prepares you for further employment.  Experience can be gained by getting trained at a company, attending an internship or landing on a part time job while studying. 

These programs help in gaining knowledge on interpreting the modern world trends to economic issues data by analyzing, researching and collecting. Students can also gain exposure to the various statistical analysis software and also prepare reports.

Attending seminars, conferences and other intellectual programs are advantages for students who want to increase their potential for a higher position. 


Skills for Economist

Now you know that to become an economist you must have strong mathematics, analytical skills and strong technical skills. To land on this job you must be organized and technically sound. With a combination of all the skills, you can increase your capabilities and stand out of the crowd. The skills are,

  • Pay attention to details

  • Conduct survey and collect data

  • Be organized and prioritize tasks

  • Research on economic issues

  • Represent the details in reports, tables, and charts

  • Advise businesses, governments, and individuals on economic topics

  • Interpret and forecast market trends

  • Critical-thinking skills


Conclusion

Getting the right education for the right career path is important. Hence you must conduct sufficient research on the career to determine if it meets with your career goals. Meet the necessary requirements such as earning the right degree, gaining experience under professionals and acquiring the right skills. Look at all perspectives before you make your decision.