Career Overview

Economists use mathematical models and statistics to analyze data so they can predict trends and evaluate economic issues related to resources, goods, and services.


A master's or doctoral degree in economics or a related field is usually required to obtain this position. A master's degree typically takes about two-three years of work after earning a four-year bachelor's degree. A doctorate may take an additional two-three years of work after the master's degree is earned, depending on the specific program.

Future Outlook

Employment of economists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 2,900 new jobs over the decade.

Work Environment

Economists are typically employed by the government, consulting firms, and scientific research firms. Some work individually, while others may work with other economists or statisticians. Most economists work full time, and some may need to work long hours to meet strict deadlines.

Recommended High School Courses

  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Political Science
  • Writing
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • History
  • Computer Applications
  • Statistics

  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Forecast economic, political, or social trends.
  • Supervise trainees.
  • Instruct college students in social sciences or humanities disciplines.
  • Conduct research on social issues.
  • Advise others on matters of public policy.
  • Explain regulations, policies, or procedures.
  • Present information to the public.
  • Advise others on business or operational matters.
  • Establish standards for products, processes, or procedures.
  • Testify at legal or legislative proceedings.


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Potential Scholarships

5 Strong Scholarship
Agnes M. Lindsay Scholars...
- Traditional Fulbright P...

Approx Salary Expectation

Low End:
$59,450.00 /yr
$105,020.00 /yr
High End:
$185,020.00 /yr


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook,
Trend Analysis - Explorer the Market, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada
O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development,