Successful completion of a postsecondary degree in economics provides a broad educational background. Students who master this field of study have honed their financial analysis and research skills, as well as their ability to forecast currency values and growth cycles. Armed with this knowledge, graduates with a master’s degree in economics have a variety of career choices.
Economists research and analyze economic issues and interpret and forecast market trends. They conduct surveys, collect data, and then prepare reports and other data to present the results of their research. Some economists work for businesses to try to help these companies understand how the economy will affect their organization. Economists also work for the government. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that economists earned a median annual salary of $89,450 in 2010.
Financial managers oversee the monetary matters of an organization. They manage a team of employees who perform budgeting and financial activities, and they also prepare financial statements and forecasts. In addition, they ensure the legality of the company’s financial transactions, and seek ways to reduce costs. Financial managers work in the finance and insurance industries, or they may be employed by professional, scientific, manufacturing and technical firms, or the government. In 2010, the median annual salary for financial managers was $103,910.
Postsecondary Economics Teacher
Postsecondary economics teachers develop curricula, lessons and assignments for college students. They teach economic theories and instruct their students how to use mathematical models and statistical techniques to analyze data and forecast market trends. While many colleges require their teachers to have a Ph.D., the BLS states that some schools hire applicants with a master’s degree, especially for part-time positions. In addition, junior and community colleges also accept teachers with a master’s degree. The median annual salary for postsecondary teachers was $62,050 in 2010.
Policy analysts, also known as researchers, scholars and fellows, shape political and social decisions by raising awareness of public issues. Economic policy analysts collect and compile economic information, analyze and recommend potential policies and evaluate the results of these policies. They also analyze the principles behind policies and recommend the types of values or morals that they believe should shape policies. Some analysts write books, briefs and fact sheets; others write electronic newsletters that they send to members of Congress and they also contribute to websites and blogs. The BLS does not keep specific salary data on policy analysts, but states that those who work for the federal government can earn between $93,000 to $145,000 a year, depending on their level of experience.