Economics Degree Jobs for Econ Majors

Economics degree jobs are usually a matter of specialization because the degree itself has a limitless application. Economics graduates may find themselves with far too many choices, particularly when trying to map career goals and employment options. These are industries which employ most economics undergraduates and some graduates:

  1. Banking
  2. Finance
  3. Government
  4. Non-government organizations
  5. Insurance
  6. Academic (lower grade positions)

Economists advance from entry level through a combination of qualifications and experience in these sectors. These jobs may have comparatively limited scope in actual economics work. There are "niche" economist positions within organizations and industries. In finance, for example, the economist may be an in-house expert and spokesperson, or a finance industry specialist within a specific field of economics.

Economists and the employment market

Higher level graduate and postdoctoral economist jobs are quite different in terms of employment patterns. These jobs involve the major fields of economics, and have much wider professional scope. These are the broad spectrum career economist roles, as distinct from the "niche" economics roles.

  • Economic research and studies:
      1. Government
      2. Marketing
      3. Non-government organizations
      4. Economic study groups
      5. Academic institutions
      6. Consultancies
      7. Political groups
      8. Unions
  • Economic policy and advisory:
      1. Government
      2. Non government organizations
      3. Industry groups
      4. Social services
      5. Unions
      6. Environmental and other major community groups
      7. Academic institutions
      8. Welfare organizations
      9. Consultancies
      10. Political groups

At the higher levels, however, economists are now also commonly employed as outsourced project consultants, either as part of an organizational contract or as independent contractors commissioned on the basis of expertise in the area.

An example

An economist specializing in social welfare may work on several major projects in the field for different parties. These studies may include:

  • Income studies to evaluate needs for social support and allocation of government funds.
  • Education level studies to identify employment and other issues related to lower income social groups.
  • Analysis of identified macroeconomic issues in community poverty.
  • Child-related economic issues in poor areas.

Project work isn't like the stable employment scenario, but it can be extremely rewarding in terms of providing exceptional professional opportunities.  Major project work is excellent for obtaining professional credentials to support career goals and "portfolio" materials for further projects. 

Finding the right jobs

When first looking for a job as an economics major, it's advisable to start with the best match to your major goals. The different employment streams do give options for effective job mobility and career planning:

  • Research the economist positions and roles in your area of specific interest.
  • Consult with academic and professional counselors about your career goals and employment options. 
  • Use lateral thinking, to see how a particular economics job fits in your career plans.
  • Ask professional economists in your preferred areas of interest for information about employment issues.