According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for economists are expected to increase by 14% over the next eight years. That’s much faster than the average for other occupations. Those professionals with advanced degrees in the field, such as a master’s in economics credential, will have the most promising job prospects. If that’s not enough incentive for potential graduate students to take up the study of economics, there are plenty of other related positions for those with a master’s in economics.
A Master’s in Economics degree opens up the doors for many types of economics jobs. An MA or MS in Economics provides students with the applied, analytical and quantitative skills needed to understand economic data, create informative statistics and assist decision-makers. Here are fifteen excellent jobs for students who graduate with a Master’s in Economics.
Perhaps the most obvious career for someone with a master’s in economics degree is that of an economist. The role of an economist can vary significantly, though, depending on where they work. Economists frequently work for local and federal government agencies, though many also work for private corporations—both global and domestic.
Generally speaking, it is the job of an economist to research and analyze how goods and services are bought and sold within an economy. They study market trends and fluctuations over time and make predictions regarding future economic activity. In addition, economists may be called upon to make presentations based on their research and advise executives on the best course of action to ensure profitability or economic stability.
Jobs for economists are currently on the rise and growing much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Economists who specialize in research and consulting will have the best job prospects.
The average economist enjoys a six-figure salary, too. The BLS indicates the mean annual wage for these professionals to be over $108,000.
Individuals with a master’s in economics credential may qualify to take on roles as specific types of economists—state economists. Economists employed by the state will respond to requests and inquiries from executive management and other government agencies. They will independently identify economic projects that will enhance state-level decision-making. They may be responsible for planning and reviewing policy proposals, economic data, and technical analysis. They may also produce revenue forecasts, cost allocation studies, benefit-cost analysis, and fiscal impact statements. State economists will conduct regular economic analyses to support specific policies and programs. They may serve as the statewide economic advisor for executive staff and administrators. Their original economic analysis may involve policy issues, planning documents, investment decisions, strategic direction, and legislative discussions.
According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), economists employed by the state government make approximately $73,500 per year on average.
Another promising job prospect for a professional with a master’s of economics degree is that of a reporting analyst. Reporting analysts are responsible for the creation, modification, and dissemination of economic reports. They maintain and deliver daily, weekly, and monthly economic reports to internal stakeholders and management. Their economic reports involve fund analytics, account performance, production time, business intelligence, and performance dashboards. For example, they may collaborate with sales, marketing, and client service teams to identify top assets, minimize financial risks and provide direction for account performance. Reporting analysts often work for banks, finance corporations, stockbrokers, and investment firms. Reporting analysts will handle data management, client reporting requests, and cross-functional areas. According to PayScale.com, these types of analysts make nearly $60,000 per year on average.
Graduates of master’s in economics degree programs may also qualify for certain occupations in statistics, including jobs as bank statisticians. Bank statisticians analyze data extracts to identify trends, data points, key indicators, and ideal solutions. They often independently work with management and business staff. They are responsible for coaching managers in the proper and efficient use of analytical tools and reporting dashboards. They create reports to improve cost, quality, operations, and customer satisfaction levels. Bank statisticians may liaison with finance and accounting teams to resolve problems, strengthen internal controls and make process recommendations. They use various databases and information systems to research vulnerability and improvement opportunities. They also facilitate projects that ensure accurate data identification and categorization.
Jobs for statisticians are currently experiencing a boon; the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts a 33% increase between 2019 and 2029. The bureau also indicates a handsome salary of over $93,000 for these professionals, on average.
Strategic Financial Planner
Finance and economics are closely related fields, so it should come as no surprise that master’s in economics graduates are well-prepared for careers as financial planners. Strategic financial planners work for corporations in different sectors. They create strategic visions and tactical analytics through dashboard data, market summaries and key indicators. They maintain a detailed knowledge of departmental functions, financial operations, workflow areas and data management systems. Strategic financial planners may partner with financial analysts and external vendors to develop new solutions and advanced reporting capabilities. They rely on timely and accurate reports, databases and applications to collect and process data. Strategic financial planners focus on administering procedures, analyses, reports and deliverables.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs in the financial planning sector are growing about as fast as average. Pay for these positions can vary by geographical area and employer, but PayScale reports the average wage for financial planners with strategic planning skills to be nearly $70,000 per year.
Another job in finance that is especially suitable for professionals with a master of economics degree is that of a finance consultant. Finance consultants help their clients manage relationships, exceed financial goals, and maintain creditworthiness. They provide expert financial counsel to clients regarding private banking, personal trust, and personal investments. They may call on potential clients to develop new business, retain relationships and problem solve. Finance consultants give proper risk ratings, maintain client satisfaction, and understand economic and industry market trends. They may identify potential high-risk situations, re-underwrite proposals, and analyze current activities to ensure conformity with contractual terms. They must always detect and control the development of unfavorable financial trends.
Jobs for financial consultants are associated with average salaries of just under $70,000, according to PayScale.com.
Economic Development Director
Economic development directors have the significant burden of managing a city’s economic health. These professionals are responsible for attracting businesses to the local area, supporting established businesses, and managing the city’s tax policies. They must have a big-picture perspective on the town’s fiscal vitality, researching market fluctuations, and responding accordingly.
While the minimum academic qualification for an economic development director is a bachelor’s degree in economics, most of these professionals hold a master’s degree in the field. The role of an economic development director is not an entry-level position, and it is necessary to have some prior experience in a related role.
Economic development directors make very respectable salaries. According to PayScale, these types of economists make nearly $70,000 per year on average. Positions for economic development directors are limited, though, so employment for these roles is highly competitive.
Digital Marketing Manager
Marketing and economics are closely related fields, so it’s not all that surprising that some individuals with a master’s degree in economics become digital marketing managers. Like traditional marketing managers, these professionals create and manage marketing campaigns for businesses big and small. The only difference is that a digital marketing manager handles a company’s online marketing efforts. Their duties may encompass corporate email campaigns, social media strategies, website optimization, and more. Many digital marketing managers oversee other members of a digital marketing team, meaning they must have proficient management and leadership expertise.
Though a bachelor’s in economics, marketing, or closely related field is all that’s required for a position as a digital marketing manager, many of these professionals hold advanced credentials, including master’s degrees. Some prior experience working in a digital marketing sub-field is almost always preferred as well.
PayScale.com reports that the average annual wage for digital marketing directors is nearly $100,000, making it one of the most lucrative positions available for those with a master’s degree in economics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these positions are plentiful as well; jobs for marketing managers are currently on the rise, growing faster than the average occupation.
Customer Relationship Manager
An important member of a company’s sales team, a customer relationship manager acts as a liaison between the company and its customers or clients. In this role, these types of managers must work to satisfy the customers’ wants and needs while also representing the company’s best interests. Their precise duties may include negotiating costs of goods and services, providing customer service and technical support, planning and executive customer incentive and retention plans, and more.
While some customer relationship managers may hold just a bachelor’s degree in economics, business, or a related field, a growing number have graduate degrees such as a master’s in economics.
Salaries for relationship managers can vary depending on employment factors such as location, years of experience in the field, and job description. Still, PayScale reports that these sales professionals make nearly $60,000 per year on average.
Positions for economics professors are currently growing faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These economics positions require not only a strong understanding of economic principles, but also a grasp of effective instructional techniques. In addition to teaching economics classes, economics professors are tasked with designing curricula, grading assignments, and even contributing to scholarly research in their disciplines.
While positions for university professors require a doctorate in economics, a master’s will suffice for positions at community colleges. Some economics professors maintain jobs in the industry while teaching part-time.
According to the BLS, economic professors make approximately $107,000 per year on average. They may make more or less depending on their specific terms of employment, including location, employer, and schedule.
Individuals with skills in both mathematics and technology may find careers as data scientists. These professionals crunch numbers and analyze data on behalf of a company, looking for insights that may positively impact their profit margins and overall success. In addition to collecting data and performing complex calculations, data scientists may also be responsible for preparing reports and delivering presentations to company stakeholders.
The vast majority of data scientists hold at least a master’s degree. These advanced credentials may be in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or of course, economics.
In the age of big data, positions for data scientists are in demand. Jobs in this sector are currently growing much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs in data science are some of the most lucrative available for professionals with a master’s in economics. On average, data scientists make over $96,000 annually, as reported by PayScale.
Another popular position for professionals with a master’s in economics credential is that of a budget analyst. These types of analysts use their knowledge of mathematics, economics, and finance to help companies set and maintain an optimal budget. Related tasks may include evaluating budget proposals from company stakeholders, preparing financial reports, and forecasting the company’s future fiscal needs.
While a bachelor’s degree in economics or business is usually enough to secure a position as a budget analyst, more companies are hiring applicants with a master’s degree. Applicants may be required to demonstrate some related experience before being hired on as a budget analyst.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the employment of budget analysts is currently growing about as fast as average. These positions are fairly well-paid, too. The average salary for these professionals is just under $79,000, according to the BLS.
One of the fastest-growing occupations for individuals with a master’s degree in economics is an actuary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that jobs for actuaries will grow by 18% between 2019 and 2029—that’s much faster than average compared to all occupations.
Actuaries usually work in the insurance industry. They are responsible for creating and implementing complex statistical models that evaluate the threat of catastrophic events such as fires and natural disasters and the risk of death or sickness. By predicting the probability of such events, actuaries can help ensure that insurance companies can pay out claims as necessary.
Actuaries are well-compensated for their work. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for these professionals was over $111,000.
A master’s in economics may give candidates a competitive advantage when looking for work as an actuary, but this advanced credential isn’t required. Many companies hire actuaries with only a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, statistics, economics, or a related field.
Though traditionally associated with a business degree, the occupation of management analyst is also one suited for those professionals with a master’s degree in economics. Management analysts oversee high-level operations of an organization and advise managers on how to increase efficiency and profit. Some of the duties of a management analyst may include gathering information and data, preparing reports and presentations, and creating alternative procedures and processes for organizations.
Job projections for management analysts are promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment opportunities for these types of analysts will grow by 11% over the next decade. Management analysts with expertise in healthcare will be among the most sought-after candidates.
Pay for management analysts will vary by industry as well as individual employment terms. Still, the BLS reports the median annual wage for these professionals is over $87,000 per year.
The fields of economics and statistics are not so dissimilar, so a career as a statistician is certainly a prospect for individuals with a master’s degree in economics. A statistician’s exact role will depend on the industry they work in. In general, though, these mathematically inclined professionals are responsible for analyzing data and performing calculations to solve problems on behalf of a company or other organization. Statisticians must also be tech-savvy as many of their duties rely on specialized software.
Government agencies and corporations are becoming more reliant on statistical analysis to drive their strategic decisions. Thus, jobs for statisticians are in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), positions in this occupation are expected to increase by a whopping 33% over the next eight years.
Those who secure positions as statisticians may enjoy a six-figure salary as well; the average annual wage for statisticians (as reported by the BLS) is more than $110,000.
- PayScale: Salary Data & Career Research Center
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): Occupational Outlook Handbook