Regardless of why you’re considering going to graduate school, it’s important to note that not all graduate degrees are created equal. Some will grant you more debt than job offers, while others — even though nothing, of course, is guaranteed — represent a more sound financial investment. A master’s in economics is a degree that falls squarely in the latter camp.
If you’re hoping to get work in government, academia, or the private sector, a master’s in economics is a degree that can go toe to toe with a business degree in many settings, while simultaneously preparing you for a teaching path or government work. It’s a degree with a flexibility most other graduate degrees are lacking, as is evidenced by the wide range of career options available.
Whether you want to conduct research for a think tank or work for a financial firm, here are seven jobs you can get with a master’s in economics.
1. Professor or Instructor
While tenure track jobs at a major university will probably only go to economists with a Ph.D. and an impressive publishing record, you can still get a job as a professor or instructor once you’ve completed a master’s in economics.
From staying on top of new trends and thinking within the field to interacting and helping guide the next generation, if you’ve always liked the rigor and energy that accompanies being on a college campus, a master’s in economics can help you find work there.
2. Economic Analyst
Economic analysts look at a variety of economic data that may include everything from tax revenue and unemployment statistics to shifts in the labor market and GDP. Their assessments are then used to assist and advise businesses, governmental agencies, investment companies, and the general public.
If the thought of collecting, examining, verifying, and interpreting economic data to create economic forecasts at the local, regional, national, or global level sounds appealing to you, a job as an economic analyst might be a good fit.
If you work as an economist in almost any capacity, the odds are good that you’ll be undertaking a fair amount of research. That being said, some economists spend all their time researching in order to publish, or otherwise apply at a theoretical level, the findings of their research.
From agriculture and trade to labor conditions and transportation, a researcher is looking for the ways in which the economics of a situation affect it and are in turn affected by it.
4. Financial Manager
Financial managers can do a wide variety of tasks in their day to day work, but every one of them is concerned with helping the company or organization for which they work meet certain financial goals.
Some financial managers function as risk managers who develop plans of action that will see business through trying financial times. Others function as controllers, who basically oversee budgets, accounting, and any necessary auditing. Some function as treasurers, managing a company’s money and financial investments and assisting with overall fund allocation.
5. Health Services Manager
Health services managers work in health care environments like hospitals, insurance companies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and clinics. They oversee large departments within a facility or the entire facility itself, creating staff work schedules, improving care, and keeping track of and managing their department’s or facility’s finances.
While you’ll probably also need some work experience within health care to become a health services manager, a master’s in economics will at least get your foot in the door.
To stay close to your mathematical roots, you may want to consider finding work as a statistician. Statisticians utilize formulas, equations, and other mathematical techniques to collect and analyze data and draw conclusions.
Because of the vast amounts of data that can be gathered and studied, most statisticians specialize within a particular field or industry, including healthcare, politics, manufacturing, and government.
Similar to a statistician, an econometrician makes use of statistics, data, and equations to analyze and predict economic situations such as employment, inflation, a company’s profits, elements of supply and demand, and more.
Whether they work in real estate, consulting, finance, or government, econometricians create predictive and explanatory models based on complex data sets. As variables within those models shift, they adapt models to reflect those changes so that the conclusions being drawn remain up-to-date and in context.
A master’s in economics can open a bevy of job opportunity doors for you, whether you want to work for a government agency, a non-profit, or a for-profit business. From statistics to management, it’s a degree that will get you results.