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25 Best Jobs for Economic Majors

03.01.2023 • 7 min read

Sarah Thomas

Subject Matter Expert

Great jobs for economics majors are out there! Learn the different opportunities available, what you can do with your degree, plus useful job search tips.

In This Article

  1. What Is an Economics Degree?

  2. Top Jobs for Economics Majors

  3. 7 Job Search Tips for Economics Majors

  4. Must-Take Courses To Start Your Economics Studies

What Is an Economics Degree?

An economics degree is a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree where your main focus of study will be the economy. If you pursue an economics degree, roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of your college courses will be economics courses.

What Skills You'll Learn

As an economics major, you can learn about the following:

  • Decision-making under conditions of scarcity

  • Investment and financial markets

  • Fiscal and monetary policy

  • Welfare economics, poverty, and inequality

  • Economics of the environment, healthcare, or education

  • Unemployment and labor markets

As you pursue a degree in economics, you’ll learn these valuable analytical skills:

  • Data analysis

  • Market analysis

  • Critical thinking

  • Applied mathematics and quantitative reasoning

  • Problem-solving through modeling

  • Cost-benefit analysis

Top Jobs for Economics Majors

An economics degree is a versatile degree that will prepare you for a wide range of careers.

Most of the information for each job listed came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Handbook.

Entry-Level Economics Jobs

Here are some of the most common careers you can dive into with an economics undergraduate degree. According to the BLS Handbook, the opportunities in these careers are expected to grow up to four times faster than the average occupation.


As an accountant, you’ll prepare and review financial records, such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets. If you’re interested in being an accountant, take some accounting and finance courses as part of your major.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2021 (BLS)Minimum Education


As an actuary, you’ll use statistics, mathematics, and financial theory to help clients assess the economic costs of risk and uncertainty. Many actuaries work for insurance companies in an office setting. In some cases, your work might require traveling and meeting with clients.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2021 (BLS)Minimum Education

Research Analyst (or Research Associate)

As a research analyst, you’ll work in the research department of a financial firm, such as an investment bank or asset management firm. Your primary duties will involve researching economic trends affecting particular markets, industries, companies, or investment decisions.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2021 (BLS)Minimum Education

Financial Analyst

As a financial analyst, you’ll provide investment advice to individuals or businesses.

You can work for the “buy-side” of the market for companies like:

  • Hedge funds

  • Insurance companies

  • Pension funds

  • Large non-profits

  • Private equity firms

You can also work on the “sell-side” of the market at an investment bank or any other financial advisory firm.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2021 (BLS)Minimum Education

Policy Analyst

As a policy analyst or economist, you’ll develop policies to address existing or expected economic issues, such as:

  • National defense

  • Recessions

  • Financial instability

  • Climate change

  • Immigration

  • Inequality

Many policy analysts work in various departments of the government at the local, state, or federal level.

Other places hiring policy analysts are:

  • Think tanks

  • Lobbying groups

  • Special interest groups

  • Businesses

  • Non-profits

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2023 Minimum Education

Source: glassdoor.com

Note: Average starting salary: Wages vary significantly based on field and employer

Highest Paid Economics Jobs

On average, economics graduates earn more than the average college graduate.

Below are some of the highest paying jobs for economics majors:

Financial Manager

As a financial manager, you’ll be responsible for directing your company's or clients' finances. This means overseeing accounting and financial reports, cash-flow statements, and profit outlooks. You’ll need to communicate well as you will be responsible for summarizing complex financial reports for executives and other employees.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2021 (BLS)Minimum Education


As an economist, you’ll research and report on economic issues, trends, and projections. You may also be asked to develop plans and policies to address particular problems.

To be a professional economist, you will likely need a graduate degree, such as a master’s degree or Ph.D. in economics.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2021 (BLS)Minimum Education

Data Scientist

You can transfer many of the quantitative skills you learn in economics into data science. As a data scientist, you’ll use statistics and other mathematical modeling tools to draw insights from data.

While pursuing your economics degree, you should consider a career in data science, particularly if you are excelling in courses such as statistics and econometrics. You may also want to take some additional data science or computer science courses.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2021 (BLS)Minimum Education
$90K - $110$100,910Bachelor's

Portfolio Manager

As a portfolio manager, you’ll be responsible for managing the investments of your company and/or your clients. Unlike a financial manager who helps clients or companies create and execute general financial strategies, a portfolio manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of specific investment accounts.

To become a portfolio manager, you typically need a bachelor’s degree and 5+ years of experience in a related business or financial occupation.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2023Minimum Education
$116K - $160$137,599Bachelor's + 5yr experience

Source: salary.com

Management Consultant

As a management consultant, you’ll advise the leaders of companies or other organizations. Your goal will be to help executives improve their organizations' overall performance and efficiency. Management consultants work for consulting firms and often travel to visit with their clients.

Average SalaryMedian Annual Wage 2021 (BLS)Minimum Education
$90K - $110$93,000Bachelor’s + 2-5 yrs experience

Government Jobs for Economics Majors

With an economics degree, you don’t have to pursue a job in finance or business. Many economics majors pursue careers in the public sector as well.

Federal Government

With an economics degree, you can apply for jobs in several different departments in the federal government. Most of these jobs, however, are only open to U.S. citizens and may require a background check.

If you are a recent graduate interested in employment and unemployment issues, consider applying for an entry-level or part-time job at the Department of Labor, which also runs the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you want to work as an economist for the federal government, you will likely need a graduate degree in economics.

Federal Reserve Bank

The Federal Reserve is the central banking system of the United States. It has 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks in cities across the country. If you are interested in monetary policy, consider a career at one of these banks.

State and Local Governments

In addition to the federal government, state and local governments have plenty of research and policy positions you can apply to. If you’re interested in public policy, look for jobs where you live or in a city/state where you would like to relocate.

International Agencies

International agencies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and United Nations have several job offerings for economics majors and economists. These agencies have positions for applicants with only an undergraduate degree and senior research and analyst positions for applicants with advanced degrees in economics.

Non-Finance Jobs for Economics Majors

If neither a job in finance nor a job working in the public sector is for you, consider these options:

  • Apply to law school and work as a corporate lawyer

  • Become an entrepreneur by starting your own business

  • Work in the healthcare industry on the business or research side of a hospital or insurance company

  • Work as an environmental economist at a think tank, in the government, or at an international agency

  • Work at a think tank or non-profit as a research analyst or program director

Fun Jobs for Economics Majors

Finally, economics influences everyone’s lives, and yet, most people have a limited understanding of what economics is and how the economy works.

Here are some creative career options if you have an economics degree and are interested in informing others about economic-related issues:

  • Business reporter or journalist

  • News anchor

  • Sports economist

  • Management consultant for a professional sports team

  • Podcaster

  • YouTuber

7 Job Search Tips for Economic Majors

If you’re an economics graduate and looking for advice on how to find and land a job, try out these tips:

1. Visit Your Career Counselor

Visit your school’s career counseling office and seek information about jobs related to your major. If you need to, ask for help preparing a resume or CV. This way, you’ll have one ready when you start applying for jobs.

2. Use Your Alumni Network

If your school has an alumni network, reach out to professionals ‌currently working in an industry or company you are interested in. Be professional and courteous when you contact them, and be respectful of their time and other commitments.

3. Look Into Your Inner Circle

If you have friends or family members working in industries you’re interested in, ask them for career advice and how they got to where they are.

4. Speak With Professors

Get to know your professors. Ask them for career advice and if a job or a graduate school application requires it. Request politely if they would consider writing you a recommendation letter.

5. Find an Internship

In your second and third year of college, start looking for internships in industries and companies you might be interested in working for after graduation. Get a head start. Some internships start interviewing applicants as much as a year in advance.

6. Create an Online Professional Profile

Create a profile on professional networking and employment sites like Linkedin, Indeed, and Zip Recruiter. Even if you are still in your first year of college, it’s never too early to browse job listings to understand what career opportunities exist.

7. Research Jobs

If you find an interesting job or a career, research and learn as much as possible about it. What qualifications and skills will you need to be a successful candidate for the job? If you need certain skills or knowledge to be qualified for the job, take time now to develop them.

Must-Take Courses To Start Your Economics Studies

If you are still in high school and want to get a head start on your economics degree, you should take courses in:

Not only will a background in these courses give you a leg up once you get to college, but these courses are almost always required for economics majors.

Many colleges accept transfer credits for them. Or, if you pass the Advanced Placement (AP) exams, many colleges will accept the exam results instead of requiring you to take the courses in your first or second year of college.

If you’re enrolled in a community college and interested in transferring to a four-year college to study economics, you should take these same courses. You can transfer these credits from community colleges to four-year colleges.

Maybe you’re ready to start taking college courses, but you’re not enrolled anywhere.

If you’re considering online programs, Golden Gate University’s Degrees+ powered by Outlier.org could be a good fit. At a fraction of the cost of normal tuition, you can take high quality courses featuring lecturers from top universities, including several Ivy League schools.

You’ll find all 3 of these economics-related courses in the Degrees+ Business Administration program.

If you’ve graduated already with an economics degree, congrats! Don’t forget to weigh all factors in your job search like location, salary, and what interests you most.

If you’re on the college path, be strategic in the courses you select. You’ll gain skills from studying economics, no matter what major you choose.

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