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Career Opportunities in Economics

A Master’s Degree in Economics Opens Doors

In an era of Big Data, job opportunities are on the rise and the employment of economists is predicted to grow 14 percent by 2020. Organizations across many industries are increasingly relying on economic analysis and quantitative methods to understand and forecast performance.*

An Advanced Economics Degree is Prerequisite for Your Future

In the past, economist candidates with a bachelor’s degree could expect to find entry-level positions, but that is changing. According to the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) 2012 Survey, economist roles increasingly require a master’s degree to be considered for entry-level economics jobs and advanced economist roles alike.

Expand Your Earning Potential

For careers in economics, salary levels increase with your level of education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual economist salary in 2012 was $91,860, and a 2007 survey by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology found that professional economists with an MA in Economics earn $11,000 to $15,000 more than peers with a BS in Economics.*

What Industries Hire Economists?

Taking these advanced courses in economics prepare you with the necessary credentials to help obtain a leadership position within the following types of organizations:

  • Economic Consulting/Private Industry: A wide variety of private consulting firms, banks, and other private firms hire analysts or economists to help maximize profits.
  • Government Agencies: Almost all federal government agencies, and many local governments, staff economists. Leading employers include: Department of Treasury, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Not-for-Profits/International Agencies: Credentialed economists help improve the economic conditions of others as well as manage the financial affairs of these organizations.

American University Grads Become Active Economists

American University graduates have a high rate of employment. Nearly all (97 percent) of American University’s alumni with an MA in Economics are actively working, pursuing an advanced degree or doing both at the same time. Of those students:

  • 48% are working in government roles
  • 30% are working at for-profit firms
  • 22% are working at nonprofit organizations
  • 10% are attending graduate school
  • 19% are working and attending graduate school simultaneously

Where Do American University Economics Graduates Work?

Employers include:

  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • AARP
  • Deloitte
  • Federal Reserve
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • The Corporate Executive Board

Additional Resources on Careers in Economics

Careers in Economics

Careers in Economics Webinar with Dr. Kara Reynolds

A Career as an Economist

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Economists, on the Internet at

Quantify your career potential with the online MA in Economics: Call us at 855-725-7614 or request more information here.