What You Can Do With A Degree In Economics

A relatively modern discipline, Economics has grown significantly as a field and today it incorporates several other subjects like geography, law and sociology. It's a study of the various ways society allocates scarce resources among alternative uses, along with the consequences of those decisions. It involves labor market analysis, domestic and international financial systems, international trade and the study of less developed economies. While enrolled in an Economics degree program, you will study market trends, forecasting techniques and economic issues.

Having a bachelor's, master’s, or doctorate degree in Economics can open the door to careers in business, law, medicine, international relations, nonprofits, academia and government. In fact, President Ronald Reagan wasn't just an actor, his dual major in Sociology and Economics is likely to have helped him in his political career.

While an Economics degree won't necessarily put you in the White House, there are many things you can do with it.

Data Scientist

One of the fastest-growing careers, a job as a data scientist has been ranked among the top spots on Glassdoor's Best Jobs in America for several years now, coming in at No. 3 out of 50 in 2020. In our modern world, all of that data has created a significant need for those who know how to make sense of it. In this role, information is collected, organized and analyzed. They translate it to others so it can be used to make the best policy and business decisions. It requires exceptional communication skills and industry-specific knowledge to explain highly technical results to those who aren't so tech-savvy. In addition to Economics, it's a good idea for aspiring data scientists to learn about probability and statistics. Being a data scientist is a lucrative career, with a median base salary of nearly $108,000 a year. 

Economic Consultant

Economic Consultants can earn a median base salary of over $105,000 with a master's degree in Economics. Jobs are available in many different industries, including government, finance, education, healthcare and business. You'll use those research and analytical skills to carry out studies that involve economic scenarios and analyze businesses' economic conditions. Economic consultants often work for consulting firms, hired by private businesses to help maximize economic outcomes, and may also be called upon as experts in legal settlements for multiple reasons, such as assessing economic damages as a critical component of deciding whether to litigate or settle a case. 


An undergraduate degree in economics is also a good starting point for a career in law and government service, but you'll most likely need to go beyond a bachelor's, with the highest-paying jobs for economics majors going to those who have advanced degrees in finance, business or law, along with several years of experience. If you earn your bachelor's in economics and get a passing grade on the Law School Admissions Test, you'll qualify to attend law school, although you will still need to complete three more years of study as well as pass your state's bar exam to become a lawyer. 

If you become a lawyer, you'll earn a median salary of nearly $123,000 a year advising and representing individuals, businesses, and/or government agencies on legal disputes and issues.