A Master’s Degree in Economics has the potential to open so many different career doors. Whether your career aspiration is to work in finance or banking, or to help create policy changes or help businesses, the options are seemingly limitless.
Below we will break down what an MA in Economics entails, what careers you can get with your master’s degree, what salary to expect, and which are the best master’s programs to check out.
What Is Economics?
Economics is the study of economic resources, how and why they are created, produced, and used. In economics, you will usually learn how to solve problems related to unemployment, the environment, inflation, inequality, market failures, and national wealth distribution.
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Generally, the way these problems are solved is by identifying the economic decisions made in a company or society, and then informing the organizations and governments how they can improve their decision-making.
Master’s in Economics Jobs and Salaries
So what can graduate students with a Master’s Degree in Economics look forward to in the United States? Firstly, the job outlook for economists has a growth rate of 14 percent over the next 10 years, which is amazing compared to other jobs. Secondly, with information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics median salaries, below are just some of the careers and salaries you could go secure.
An economist does economic research and collects and analyzies data. This can be done by utilizing surveys, mathematical models, and computer software. This data research is then presented and used to advise businesses, governments, and individuals on economic solutions.
Market Research Analyst
Market researchers help their clients determine who their target audience is. The role is important in finding out sales trends, demographics, needs, and customer buying habits. A great market researcher has strong math, research, and analytical skills.
Data scientists use computer science, modeling, and various mathematical skills to make sense of data. Using coding skills, statistical skills, and knowledge of the organization you work for, you’ll implement strategies to better the organization.
A policy analyst advises ministers and senior management in the government. With the use of research and consultation with stakeholders, policy analysts can help inform government officials on the best way to go about existing or new policies.
$100,000 – $305,000
Working in the fast-paced Capital Markets, an investment banker can help raise money for their clients, and they can also aid with company mergers and acquisition activities. The skills you will need are math, analysis of the markets, and the ability to cope under immense pressure. The reason the median wage is so varied is due to how many years of experience you have and which bank you work for.
In order to secure any of the above jobs, you will need to mastersome of the following skills.
Essential Skills to Land Economics Jobs
Evidence-based Approach to Problems
In most career options for someone with an economics MA, you will be helping an organization with their specific problems. You need to be a problem solver using the evidence you will have been collecting for them. You will be using mathematical proof and data evidence to help organizations grow.
Data research is the center point for a lot of the roles mentioned above. Whether it is surveys, the capital market, statistics, or software acquired data, you will need to study it, collect it, and use it to create a plan for your organization. Put simply, great skills in math, computer software and analysis will take you far.
Communication skills will also come in extremely handy in all of these roles. You will be working alongside clients, and you will need to be able to explain complicated data to them in a way that they understand. Presentation skills are important for once you have collected the data, you will need to present your findings to organizations.
Best Master’s in Economics Programs
A master’s degree program will not only help set you apart, but it will also help you gain the crucial skills needed for most economics careers. You can choose to go from an MBA with an economic concentration or either an Master of Arts or Master of Science in Economics.
MBA programs can offer classes in the economics of healthcare, financial markets, econometrics, growth of the global economy, energy, or the environment. Generally, an MA or MS will be more focused on knowledge of macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics. Also, if you wish to do further study and go into a PhD program then an MA or MS might be the way to go.
Starting from your undergraduate degree to the end of your master’s degree, it will take six to eight years to enter the industry. The majority of master’s programs take between one and four years of full-time study to complete.
Below is a list of great Master’s Degree in Economics programs to help you on your journey.
MS: Data, Economics and Development Policy
The Department of Economics at MIT now offers a Master of Applied Science in Data, Economics and Development Policy, which allows students to do their coursework both online or on campus.
Stanford offers students a Master of Arts in Economics, with its primary focus in educating students to become research economists. Some of the graduate fields include economic history, public finance, international economics, microeconomic theory, political economy, and more.
Columbia University offers a Master of Arts in Advance Applied Economics. It teaches students the analysis of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and mathematical methods for economists.
Georgia Tech offers a flexible curriculum where students can learn on their own time. A few examples of coursework they offer are business economics, money and capital markets, econometrics, and data analytics.
MS: Econometrics and Quantitative Economics
The University of Arizona offers either an MA in Economics or an MS in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics. The first features a broad range of topics and the second focuses on mathematical and scientific analysis of economies.
Should I Get a Master’s in Economics?
If economic theory, data analysis, financial economics, and helping businesses with their strategies, and/or advising policymakers sounds exciting to you, then go for a program in economics. Careers in economics are expected to grow. No matter what sector of economics you go for, you are bound to have an interesting and fulfilling career.
Master’s in Economics FAQ
Are there scholarships available for a Master’s Degree in Economics?
Some schools do provide scholarships. Usually, you will need to demonstrate academic excellence to apply for one. Check their individual websites to find out more.
Can I email to find out if I am eligible for a particular master’s program?
Usually not. Colleges typically receive a lot of applications and find it may cause some bias in the application process. However, always check the individual college website to be sure.
Should I do an MS or MA in Economics?
This depends on your interests and future career. It’s most typical to go into an MA, however, an MS has a more scientific approach. The decision should be based on your own personal research.
What is the GMAT or GRE exam?
Some Master’s Degree in Economics programs will require you to complete the GMAT or GRE exam to enter, along with a written description of what economics courses or work you may have done previously.
The GMAT is the Graduate Management Admission Test and is focused on verbal, mathematical, and analytical skills. The GRE exam is the Graduate Record Examination and is focused on a particular field, but assesses much of the same skills.
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