Econ has piqued your interest, but you have some questions. You've come to the right place.

Copyright © 2018 Marginal Revolution University. All rights reserved.

Watch More "Women in Economics"
#WomenInEcon

Thinking of Becoming an Economist?

# More Resources

# Most Commonly Asked Questions

Sounds pretty good! What type of degree do I need?

An undergraduate degree in economics can lead to a career in finance, government
consultingnonprofittechnology, and health care. An MA is often used to qualify for better jobs within these same fields. An undergraduate degree can also pave the way towards a graduate degree — whether an MBA, PhD, or law degree

If you want to be a professor or scholar, you’ll likely need a PhD. The AEA has published a great set of career resources for students — here’s their page on pursuing a PhD. If you're pondering what type of research you might pursue, check out the nifty poster we did with the St. Louis Fed for some ideas. 

We’d also recommend the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) resources for more information on this question. 


The Women in Economics video series highlights the groundbreaking and inspiring work of female economists — not only to recognize the important work they’ve done but also to share their inspirational journeys.

MRU's Women in Economics Video SeriesThe St. Louis Fed's Women in Economics Podcast Series

The Women in Economics podcast series interviews women who have become prominent economists in a variety of fields — academia, government, finance, and more.

What is the pay?

The good news is that because of robust demand and limited supply (hello econ!), the market for economists is a lucrative one. 

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for an economist was $102,490 in May 2017. The lowest 10% earned $56,400 and the highest 10% earned more than $172,000. 

The BLS has a nice summary page and, if you want to get into the nitty gritty, check out their detailed report. The AEA has a great guide to what economists should expect to earn in different fields


Tell me more about what careers are available. How available are these jobs?

Where do we start? While there are a lot of economists at universities and within the government at places like the Federal Reserve, they are rapidly spreading into unexpected fields — journalism, podcasting, technology, marketing, and on and on. 

Any career that needs analytical or data skills will typically value training in economics. The AEA’s site is a good spot to peruse the many career options. High tech companies are also snapping up economists like crazy.  

Job opportunities for economists are plentiful. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) rates the career prospects “good”.

The market for tenure-track academic jobs, particularly at small liberal arts institutions, grows increasingly competitive as these types of institutions face financial challenges. 

And I'll be living where?

Jobs for economists are everywhere around the globe, including large, medium, and small cities. However, as seen on these employment maps from the BLS, there are a lot of them in the DC area! Technology firms, like those in Silicon Valley, are also hiring small armies of economists

What will I be learning when studying econ?

Typically you'll start with Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics. Take a look at our Econ's Greatest Hits playlist for a sampling of some fun applications of those concepts. 

You'll also likely take Econometrics to beef up your data skills. Then you'll step up to Intermediate Micro and Macro. After that, who knows — Development Economics? Game Theory? Behavioral Economics? Trade, Labor, Sports, Experimental, Health, Monetary? Crypto? 

Students often ask about the math requirement. Undergraduate programs in economics may not require calculus or algebra, but it is useful to have a basic grasp of these concepts before the intermediate courses. Statistics is used in econometrics. Some undergraduate programs have different tracks where one is more mathematically focused than the other.

What do economists do? Stocks? Bonds?

This is a common misconception! Most economists won't give you a good stock tip — but they will help you see the world in a different way. 

Economists tackle some of the world's most pressing questions: Why are some countries poor while others grow wealthy? How can we reduce the shortage of vital organs needed for transplant? How can we most efficiently fight global warming?

Economists deploy a variety of tools to answer these. Sometimes it's as simple as thinking about incentives and costs vs. benefits. Sometimes we get out the big guns — fancy econometrics and mathematical models.

The American Economic Association (AEA) has a lot more to say on this 
topic - check it out!

Sounds cool. So what are some current female economists up to?

We’re glad you asked. The field is chock full of awesome women doing interesting work in development economics, labor, journalism, etc. We created a twitter list of a handful of them to get you started, but I’m sure we’ve missed some. Let us know whom we should add!

That said, women and minorities are underrepresented in the economics profession. If you want to learn more about how the profession has struggled in this area and where it's headed, check out some recent news from the Washington PostNew York Times, and Planet Money

The AEA has a ton of content for students considering economics as a career. 

American Economic Association Student ResourcesBureau of Labor Statistics

The BLS's Occupational Outlook Handbook gathers up data on pay, numbers of jobs, and where you might live and work. 

Econ has piqued your interest, but you have some questions. You've come to the right place.

Watch More "Women in Economics"
#WomenInEcon

Thinking of Becoming an Economist?

# Most Commonly 
Asked Questions

Sounds pretty good! What type of degree do I need?

An undergraduate degree in economics can lead to a career in finance, government
consultingnonprofittechnology, and health care.
 An MA is often used to qualify for better jobs within these same fields. An undergraduate degree can also pave the way towards a graduate degree — whether an MBA, PhD, or law degree

If you want to be a professor or scholar, you’ll likely need a PhD. The AEA has published a great set of career resources for students — here’s their page on pursuing a PhD. If you're pondering what type of research you might pursue, check out the nifty poster we did with the St. Louis Fed for some ideas. 

We’d also recommend the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) resources for more information on this question. 


What is the pay?

The good news is that because of robust demand and limited supply (hello econ!), the market for economists is a lucrative one. 

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for an economist was $102,490 in May 2017. The lowest 10% earned $56,400 and the highest 10% earned more than $172,000. 

The BLS has a nice summary page and, if you want to get into the nitty gritty, check out their detailed report. The AEA has a great guide to what economists should expect to earn in different fields


Tell me more about what careers are available. How available are these jobs?

Where do we start? While there are a lot of economists at universities and within the government at places like the Federal Reserve, they are rapidly spreading into unexpected fields — journalism, podcasting, technology, marketing, and on and on. 

Any career that needs analytical or data skills will typically value training in economics. The AEA’s site is a good spot to peruse the many career options. High tech companies are also snapping up economists like crazy.  

Job opportunities for economists are plentiful. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) rates the career prospects “good”.

The market for tenure-track academic jobs, particularly at small liberal arts institutions, grows increasingly competitive as these types of institutions face financial challenges. 

And I'll be living where?

Jobs for economists are everywhere around the globe, including large, medium, and small cities. However, as seen on these 
employment maps from the BLS, there are a lot of them in the DC area! Technology firms, like those in Silicon Valley, are also hiring small armies of economists

What will I be learning when studying econ?

Typically you'll start with Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics. Take a look at our Econ's Greatest Hits playlist for a sampling of some fun applications of those concepts. 

You'll also likely take Econometrics to beef up your data skills. Then you'll step up to Intermediate Micro and Macro. After that, who knows — Development Economics? Game Theory? Behavioral Economics? Trade, Labor, Sports, Experimental, Health, Monetary? Crypto? 

Students often ask about the math requirement. Undergraduate programs in economics may not require calculus or algebra, but it is useful to have a basic grasp of these concepts before the intermediate courses. Statistics is used in econometrics. Some undergraduate programs have different tracks where one is more mathematically focused than the other.

What do economists do? Stocks? Bonds?

This is a common misconception! Most economists won't give you a good stock tip — but they will help you see the world in a different way. 

Economists tackle some of the world's most pressing questions: Why are some countries poor while others grow wealthy? How can we reduce the shortage of vital organs needed for transplant? How can we most efficiently fight global warming?

Economists deploy a variety of tools to answer these. Sometimes it's as simple as thinking about incentives and costs vs. benefits. Sometimes we get out the big guns — fancy econometrics and mathematical models.

The American Economic Association (AEA) has a lot more to say on this 
topic — check it out!

Sounds cool. So what are some current female economists up to?

We’re glad you asked. The field is chock full of awesome women doing interesting work in development economics, labor, journalism, etc. We created a twitter list of a handful of them to get you started, but I’m sure we’ve missed some. Let us know whom we should add!

That said, women and minorities are underrepresented in the economics profession. If you want to learn more about how the profession has struggled in this area and where it's headed, check out some recent news from the Washington PostNew York Times, and Planet Money

# More Resources

The Women in Economics video series highlights the groundbreaking and inspiring work of female economists — not only to recognize the important work they’ve done but also to share their inspirational journeys.

MRU's Women in Economics Video SeriesThe St. Louis Fed's Women in Economics Podcast Series

The Women in Economics podcast series interviews women who have become prominent economists in a variety of fields — academia, government, finance, and more.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The BLS's Occupational Outlook Handbook gathers up data on pay, numbers of jobs, and where you might live and work. 

Copyright © 2018 Marginal Revolution University. All rights reserved.

American Economic Association Student Resources

The AEA has a ton of content for students considering economics as a career. 

Who Are Your Inspiring #WomenInEcon?

Watch More Inspiring #WomenInEcon

We've been overwhelmed by the positive response from professors, students, and others who are eager to thank those who have inspired them. Check out their contributions below. 

Who Are Your Inspiring #WomenInEcon?

Watch More Inspiring #WomenInEcon

We've been overwhelmed by the positive response from professors, students, and others who are eager to thank those who have inspired them. Check out their contributions below.