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What is Economics?
Economics is the study of production and consumption of goods and services. A degree in economics will ask students to evaluate market systems, understand economic principles and evaluate models of production, distribution and consumption through deductive reasoning. Economics relies on a foundation of mathematics and social understanding, and attempts to understand the behavior of people in on a small on large scale. Studying economic growth and interaction is the primary focus of an economist, and requires several skill sets in order to accomplish.
Economics degrees are available from the associate level onward, though a minimum of a bachelor's is usually necessary for most entry level work, and a doctorate for the highest level positions. Students participating in an economics curriculum will learn the basics of economics through macroeconomic and microeconomic courses, which cover market analyses principles at the international and personal levels. Students will be exposed to various economic principles, such as supply and demand, cost-benefit analyses, and diminishing returns, as well as a study of economic systems and how they affect economic principles in their implementation and execution. Students will also study cases and participate in the construction and analyses of models of increasing complexity in order to better comprehend the practical application of economic theory in a real world setting.
Courses in an economics program may include:
- Microeconomic Theory
- Principles of Macroeconomics
- Economics and Psychology
- Government Regulation of Industry
- Economic History
Pursuit of employment opportunities as an economist is difficult due to the limited number of positions available and the high level of education required. More typically, students who have pursued a degree in economics will use that education to pursue employment and job opportunities in related fields. Some may choose to augment their education with additional courses in business, finance, marketing or find ways to apply economic theory to other fields.. Since economics primarily deals with the analyses of systems, specifically in regard to money, jobs in analyses are often considered a good alternative. Other fields an economics degree holder may pursue are:
- Investment Banking Analyst
- Investment Banking
- Financial Analyst
- Market Research Analyst
- Sales Analyst
- Data Analyst
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Job growth for economists is expected to be lower than average compared to the growth of all jobs. This is due to the limited demand for economists in a typical work setting or environment. Economists tend to occupy research long term research positions for various foundations and universities, as well as government sectors. Individuals seeking a position in economics research and application will find that they must typically pursue higher levels of education and demonstrate and extensive understanding of economic theory and principle necessary to propose and complete projects. Individuals may work under more notable economists for several year prior to pursuing individual projects as part of their overall career development. The average wage for an economist is $89,500 per year.
For additional information about Economics, read our Complete Career Guide in Economics on our blog.