What Can I do with a Degree in Economics?

The following is a list of job title and job descriptions for entry level positionsthat graduates with a B.A or B.S. in economics might be hired. The list is grouped underthree headings: Direct, Less Direct, and Indirect. The "directness" has to dowith the fit between academic training and job requirements.

DIRECT Job Opportunities 

The skills required for the jobs listed here are so similar to the skills acquired instudying economics that a B.A. or B.S. in economics will usually serve as a credential forgetting the job.

LESS DIRECT Job Opportunities 

Under this heading, the fit is still very close. The skills of an economics major largelycoincide with those required to do these jobs. However knowledge of economics may be lesspertinent to these positions, and a degree in economics alone may or may not serve as acredential for employment.

INDIRECT Job Opportunities 

At first glance, the jobs cited here might not appear to have much to do with the study ofeconomics. Yet there is a connection. The primary skills required in these jobs overlapsubstantially with some of the skills an economics major normally acquires. Purchasingagents, for instance, are constantly involved in financial analysis, and Product MarketingSpecialists use knowledge of economics in assessing and comparing prospective markets.

 


Direct Job Opportunities

ACTUARY
Assembles and analyzes statistics, calculates risk probabilities, and determines premiumrates for policies and pension plans within the three basic areas of insurance: life,health, and property and casualty. Works for insurance companies and their regulators.

BANK RESEARCH ANALYST
Researches, analyzes, and assesses prospective banking projects. Typically works for thebank involved.

COMPENSATION/BENEFITS COORDINATOR
Assists Compensations/Benefits Analyst in examining compensation packages, includingwages, salaries, and benefits, and in comparing them with those in the same field todetermine competitiveness and fairness. Employers in many diverse fields, includingcompensation consulting firms.

FINANCIAL ANALYST
Assesses the feasibility and profitability of specific financial operations, programs, andtransactions. Works for corporations, government agencies, investment banks, and brokeragefirms. Usually requires relevant course work.

FINANCIAL RESEARCHER
Compiles statistical reviews and forecasts. Maintains and reviews financial literature andrecords regarding departments, industries, and possible transactions. Works forcorporations, financial institutions. Usually requires relevant course work.

INVESTMENT BANKING ANALYST TRAINEE
Completes basic research required for investment banking transactions between institutionswith long term capital needs and major investors. Researches both broad industries and thespecific financial status of particular institutions, prepares documents and reports forstaff and clients.

LABOR RELATIONS RESEARCHER
Assists labor relations specialists with detailed research required for contractnegotiations. Prepares advisory reports on union management agreements. Works for unions,unionized employers, and government arbitrators.

LOBBYING RESEARCHER
Identifies information that can be used to support the positions and the efforts oflobbyists. Involves library research, attendance at conferences and committee meetings,and writing of reports. Employers include a diversity of special and public interestgroups as well as professional lobbyists.

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT RESEARCHER
Explores the real estate needs of particular communities, gathers information aboutavailable parcels of land, and explores the market feasibility of proposed projects. Worksfor real estate developers.

UNDERWRITER TRAINEE
Assists in determining whether an insurance company will take on a particular risk.Analyzes actuarial studies and other pertinent information, prices policies in an attemptto balance risk and the need for profit, and answers in inquires from agents and clients.Works for insurance companies and reinsurance companies (which underwrote other insurancecompanies in cases of very high risk).

URBAN PLANNING RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Under the supervision of a city or regional planner, conducts research into the economic,environmental, and social consequences of development in order to support strategies forappropriate growth and renovation of rural, suburban, or urban areas. Typically works fora government agency. May work for a consulting or architectural firm.

Less Direct Job Opportunities

ACCOUNTANT
This is much more than a bookkeeper. Jobs can be found in financial analysis, financialconsultation, and financial management for individuals, small businesses, corporations,and government. Three areas of specialization: tax, audit, and management consulting.There are domestic and foreign opportunities. Requires prior accounting course work orexperience.

ADVERTISING MEDIA PLANNER
Determines the most cost effective means of reaching a target market via print andbroadcast media. Researches demographics of different media outlets, and analyzesdemographic and budgetary aspects of advertising proposals.

BANK EXAMINER
Reviews records and procedures to determine whether banks are in compliance with federaland state regulations as well as internal bank policy. Works for federal reserve banks oras internal auditor for commercial banks.

BANK TRUST OFFICER
Administers private, corporate, and probate trusts, and advises individual and corporatecustomers regarding investment risks and opportunities.

BANKING OPERATIONS MANAGER
Coordinates working of staff and systems, operates internal control procedures, and meetscustomer needs on a daily basis.

ENERGY RESEARCHER
Researches a variety of issues involved in working with six major types of energy: oil andgas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear, solar, and "alternatives" such as wind, tide,and geothermal. Works for producers, government agencies, consulting firms, and lobbyinggroups.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCHER
Researches, develops, and presents information regarding environmental issues in fieldssuch as: earth, marine, and atmospheric sciences; mining; forestry; public works; andparks, wildlife, and water management. Works for government agencies, consulting firms,citizens’ groups, research laboratories, scientific associations, and industry.

INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCHER/HISTORIAN
Writes institutional and policy histories; researches and reports on current issues, longrange trends; edits public records, manages archives. Works for executive, legislative,and judicial agencies, international institutions, military services, cultural agencies,planning agencies, public archives and libraries, private industries and corporations.

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER
Researches and analyzes a diversity of geopolitical issues on behalf of the government.Employed by intelligence services such as the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency,and military intelligence agencies. Work requires testing and security clearance.

INTERNAL BANK AUDITOR
Going from department to department, reviews banking transactions and procedures, analyzesthem, and reports recommendations to department heads. Works for the same banks she/heaudits.

LEGISLATIVE AIDE
Performs research, writing, and liaison functions for a state or U.S. senator orcongressional representative or for a municipal officeholder. Positions typically securedthrough direct contact with officeholder.

LOAN OFFICER
Acts as a liaison between a bank and its loan customers. Analyzes potential loan markets,evaluates credit-worthiness of prospective customers, recommends approval or denial ofloans, administers active loan accounts.

MARKET RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Undertakes the preliminary research for a market study, gathering data concerningcompetitors’ products, organizing existing sales records, etc. Also assists inwriting final project reports. Works for market research firms, advertising agencies,manufacturers, and retailers.

MARKET RESEARCH STATISTICIAN
Provides guidance in a market study ensuring that the results obtained are valid andworthy of interpretation. Positions exist in market research firms, advertising agencies,manufacturers, and retailers.

MONEY MARKET AND SECURITIES TRADER
Manages stock, bond, and other financial paper transactions for commercial banks,investment banks, and special trading firms in order to make a profit from bank operatingfunds.

POLITICAL CAMPAIGN WORKER
Assists in planning, fundraising, research, writing issue statements, canvassing, andassessing voter attitudes. Works for candidates or interest groups during politicalelection campaigns. Frequently leads to permanent positions with political organizationsor office holders.

SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Does sociological analysis; studies policy issues; prepares analytical reports;coordinates interdisciplinary studies. Works for "think tanks", universities,public research agencies.

STOCKBROKER
Deals with stock, bond, and commodity transactions. Analyzes the financial status ofclients, sets investment goals with clients, proposes particular investments, buys andsells the investments that clients select. Training typically offered by the employingfirm. Paid on commission.

SURVEY ASSISTANT
Assists in the design of survey interviews and questionnaires, the interviewing ofsubjects, the management of interviewers, Collection and analysis of data, anddocumentation and presentation of findings. Works for government agencies and privatesurveying and market research organizations.

TRADER
Buys and sells commodities, bonds, money, or other "financial paper" on behalfof her/himself or his/her employer, rather than on behalf of clients. Works for commercialbanks and brokerage firms.

Indirect Job Opportunities

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION REPRESENTATIVE
Researches, analyzes, and monitors staffing policies in order to achieve affirmativeaction goals. Conducts outreach activities in order to identify and attract qualifiedwomen and minority applicants for company openings.

BIOMEDICAL/MEDICAL RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Follows detailed instructions and prescribed procedures to assist in laboratory research.Keeps records, writes reports, often conducts library research. Works in hospitals,clinics, colleges and universities, research institutes, and private industry.

CARTOGRAPHER
Prepares and uses maps of all types, including topographic, geologic, hydrographic,aeronautic, recreational, oceanographic, and a variety of thematic maps. Employers includegovernment agencies, map making firms, corporations that mine and drill for naturalresources, and universities.

COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID OFFICER
Helps students secure financial aid by providing appropriate information and processing awide variety of applications.

COMPUTER MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
Writes brochures, data sheets, and other marketing materials to promote a computerproduct. May include video scripting. Works for manufacturers of computer hardware andsoftware. Typically requires some technical knowledge.

CONSULTING OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATOR
Furnishes support services for consultants. Coordinates travel arrangements, proofreadsand edits reports, develops charts and graphs to illustrate findings, maintains andoperates audiovisual equipment for presentations, organizes resource libraries. Works forconsulting firms.

CORRESPONDENT/STRINGER
Writes freelance reports for one or more publications. Usually has special knowledge ofthe subject or geographic area covered. Works as an independent contractor.

FILM RESEARCHER/COPYWRITER
Reviews scripts, checks for factual and technical accuracy, rewrites copy, assists increating story board representations of scenes. Relevant course work or prior experiencepreferred. Works for entertainment, documentary, educational, and industrial filmproducers.

HOUSING AND STUDENT LIFE COORDINATOR
Administers housing services and produces special programs to promote positive interactionon campus. Works for universities and colleges.

LOBBYING ORGANIZER
Distributes materials and disseminates information about a particular issue ororganization, recruits, volunteers, solicits funds, and organizes such efforts as allies,letter writing campaigns, and voter registration drives. Employers include special andpublic interest groups as well as professional lobbyists.

MANUFACTURERS SALESPERSON
Within a given geographic, product specific, or customer specific territory, visitspotential customers, analyzes their needs, promotes products, and takes orders. Works forone manufacturer on commission. Entry level hires may work for base salary pluscommission.

PARALEGAL
Performs preparatory work required to research a case, and develops documentation requiredto write a brief. May interview prospective witnesses. Works for private law offices, lawfirms, prosecutors, and public defenders.

PUBLICATIONS RESEARCHER
Researches story and script ideas; maintains research files on topics and people; checksstories for accuracy. Works for newspaper, magazine, or book publishers.

RADIO/TELEVISION RESEARCHER
Researches story and script Ideas for broadcast media. Maintains research files on topicsand people and checks stories for accuracy. Works for radio and television producers.

RESEARCH ASSISTANT
Assists researchers in collecting and analyzing data, observing and interviewing people,surveying appropriate literature, and writing reports in order to advise or inform aclient. Works for research and consulting firms.

SPECIAL PROGRAM TEACHERS
Instructs students enrolled in special education programs. Settings (e.g., churches,social service agencies) and topics (e.g., Vocational training, preschool Head Start, drugabuse prevention) vary widely.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ANALYST
Maintains existing telecommunications systems and researches, plans, and implements newones. Acts as a liaison between the employer, systems vendors, and consultants. Assessesthe employees telecommunications needs, analyzes system use, supervises and trains usersand maintenance staff. Works for organizations with complex telecommunications needs.

TRADE SHOW COORDINATOR
Directs the display of exhibits in trade shows, promoting specialized sales within anindustry. Employers include trade show service companies and high-tech manufacturers.


Web Linksfor Jobs 

  • Occupational Outlook Handbook: The 1996-1997 handbook describes occupations in detail and provides occupational outlook information prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    http://stats.bls.gov/ocohome.htm 
  • America's job Bank: A network linking the 1,800 state Employment Services offices.  Job seekers need to take the job number to a state employment agency in order to apply for positions.
    http://www.ajb.dni.us/ 
     
  • Career City Jobs: Let Career City's search engine put several thousand job listings at your fingertips.  This site includes Adams Job Bank Online.
    http://www.careercity.com/ 
  • Career Magazine: An online career magazine with employer profiles, job listings, career links, resume bank, and a career forum.
    http://www.careermag.com/ 
     
  • The Monster Board: Free access to over 50,000 jobs; upgraded technology to help you find the right job; meet Jobba-The-Hunt, your personal job search agent; site includes employer profiles.
    http://www.monster.com/ 
  • Cool Works: Check out the "cool" places to work.  This site includes Cruise jobs,
    Ski jobs, Resort jobs, jobs in National Parks and much more.
    http://www.coolworks.com/showme/ 
  • Job Source: Search for internships and part time jobs; find employer profiles, or link to colleges and universities home pages.
    http://www.jobsource.com/ 
  • Career Mosaic: An excellent site to link into employer profiles, Online Job Fairs, Health Care opportunities, International job opportunities, and job search tips.
    http://www.careermosaic.com/ 
  • Career Web: Save your resume and receive a resume number for quick and easy responses to advertised job listings.  Search the jobs database by location, job classification or keyword.  Hundreds of new jobs are added daily.
    http://www.cweb.com/