I am looking to further my education with a master's degree and have been considering the field of economics. I have always enjoyed reading about economics, especially behavioral economics and am very curious about this field. I would enjoy the in-depth study but am not quite sure what one would do with a degree in econ. Are there industries/corporations where a background in economics is highly valued? Does any one have any insights or ideas of where I can find more information about choosing a program and opportunities after graduation?
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Education was my first thought. I have a good friend with a master's in econ and she teaches as an associate professor at our state university. If you did choose this route, you would probably have to pick up some education course/certification as well....but if you love economics...you could use this avenue to pass that love on to others.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government employs more than half of all the economists in the United States. There are also private research firms and large companies that employ them. Economists work at analysis and forecasting; since both the government and private industry are generally working from budgets that were planned a years or more previously, accurate forecasting is important, and economists who can forecast well are highly valued.
The National Association for Business Economics has some good information on career paths, salaries, and employment outlook that you may find useful.
I recommend contacting various universities that you may be interested in attending yourself and then speaking with the members of the economics department. Ask them where their graduates go to work. Ask what drew them into the education field. Ask them what kinds of opportunities a degree in economics will garner. You would also benefit from speaking with people in a university's career placement and counseling center because those are the people who are directly helping those graduates find employment.
I would agree that speaking with other people who hold economic degrees would be the best place to start. They, most likely, have already sorted through the unknowns and will have very specific information for you. If they have been in the field for a while, they will also be able to tell you the pros and cons of the field as well.
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