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Use Your Mathematical and Analytical Skills in an Economics-Related Career Path
If you earned a bachelor's degree in economics, you're ready to take on a career that uses the analytical, mathematical and critical-thinking skills you developed during your undergrad years. You might be returning to the workforce after raising a family or simply looking for a career change, but your economics degree will serve you well in the job hunt.
1. Budget Analyst
A budget analyst works in a public or private institution to manage finances by preparing budget reports and monitoring spending. These professionals analyze data that compares the price and benefits of an organization's programs to come to a recommendation as to how to fund these programs. Along with a bachelor's degree in a related field—such as economics—a government budget analyst can earn the Certified Government Financial Manager credential from the Association of Government Accountants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, budget analysts earned a median wage of $73,840 as of May 2016, with the highest 10 percent earning $111,460 annually.
2. Management Analyst
Also known as management consultants, management analysts review an organization's processes and propose ways to reduce costs and increase profit. A management consultant might work on-staff for a company, but she can also be a contractor—a benefit for a working mom who needs a flexible schedule. Management analysts often earn a Certified Management Consultant credential from the Institute of Management Consultants USA, though it's not mandatory. Professionals in this career path earned a median annual salary of $81,330, as of May 2016.
Put your analytical skills to work as an actuary, a position in which you will use math, stats and financial theory to determine the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They mostly work in the insurance industry and use statistics and modeling software to project the probability of an event occurring and the potential costs if it does occur. Actuaries sometimes specialize in a certain insurance field, such as health insurance, life insurance, or property and casualty insurance, or they may work in pension and retirement benefits or enterprise risk.
Use your economics degree as an accountant, a career in which you examine financial statements to not only ensure they are correct, but also that they comply with all laws and regulations. This career requires an in-depth knowledge of the tax code, as accounts typically compute owed taxes and prepare tax returns. A common career path is to become a certified public accountant, in which you typically need to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. CPAs earn around $68,150 annually, according to the BLS.
Of course, an economics degree is a stepping stone to becoming an economist. These professionals analyze data, research trends, and evaluate economic issues in the study of the production and distribution of goods, resources and services. They often recommend solutions to economic problems and advise companies, governments or individuals on related topics. However, most economist jobs require a master's degree or Ph.D., so a bachelor's degree may only be the first rung on the career ladder. Economists earned a median annual salary of $101,050 as of May 2016.
Kelsey Casselbury has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park. She has a long career in print and web media, including serving as a managing editor for a monthly nutrition magazine and food editor for a Maryland lifestyle publication. She also owns an Etsy shop selling custom invitations and prints.