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how to become an Economist

How to Become An Economist

An economist is a financial researcher, analyst, and also forecaster. With a keen understanding of financial markets, they gather information, look for trends, and predict what will happen in the future when it comes to resources, money, and finance. Economists have great skills in logic, as well as mathematics. They are problems solvers, have a keen attention to detail, and are apt in academics. If you enjoy working with research, statistics, and find financial markets intriguing, then you might consider a career as an economist.

Education Requirements to Become an Economist

To become an economist, you'll need to have a four year Bachelor Degree with a focus on business and economics. Take subjects like business, marketing , finance, accounting and economics. Having an understanding of politics and industry can also be helpful, as these sectors are closely linked with the economy, both locally and globally.

Most successful economist have an MBA or PhD in economics, or a similar field within business. The pathway many people take is to first complete their four year undergraduate degree, and find a job somewhere within business. While they are gaining experience and earning money, they take on postgraduate study part time.

While you're studying, it's advisable to take on internship programs and any other work experience you can get. Even if you are making coffee in a strong company, you are still learning as well as meeting people in the industry. Networking is going to be an important part of your career, and it's never too early to start.

Learning as much as you can about areas other than finance is also important to become an economist. You will need to have strong communication skills as an economist, especially written, so taking subjects in English or Writing is a good idea. Knowledge of state, federal, and international law can also be of help.

You can find more useful information from the American Economic Association, or the National Association of Business Economists.

Economist Job Description

An economist will spend most of their time looking at data and predicting trends. There are many different kinds of market they might work within. Some work with currency and interest rates, others in inflation, some look at the pricing of consumer goods, some analyze tax, and others consider wages and unemployment. There are many different areas you could pursue as an economist, depending on your strengths and interests. Here are some of the duties of an economist:

  • Collecting raw data

  • Conducting research studies

  • Analyzing Data

  • Predicting Trends

  • Preparing Reports

Economist Salary and Career Path

Most economists start their career working in other parts of the business sector. For instance, you might work as a financial researcher, an accountant, or as an assistant to an economist. Working as an economist takes more than just study, you also need to build experience in the industry and earn the respect of your peers.

After you have done this, you can expect to start work as an economist. While some economists spend most of their time researching, others have more high profile jobs and earn media presence. You may find yourself writing a column, or even giving public speeches.

Some economists may work in government roles, for financial planning firms, for political parties, banks and lenders, in academia, or in many other sectors. Some may become self-employed and run a consulting business.

The job prospects for an economist are good, with better than average growth predicted in this industry. It's important to also point out, that while there is job opportunity for experienced economists, getting a start can be difficult. Many spend years working in sales, accountancy, or research before they get a job as an economist.

The median wage for an economist is $80,000. Earlier on in your career you can expect to earn close to $60,000. The top economists demand more than $150,000 a year.

The path to become an economist is demanding, there is a good deal of education needed, as well as experience in the business world. However, if you find statistics and finance intriguing, then it's likely that you will find working as an economist rewarding. Gaining a position may be difficult, but for those that do there are excellent benefits and salary available.

*Salary Information provided by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics
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