If you watch the cable news networks you have probably heard mention of studies about the United States economy, or lack thereof. The economic state of our nation is studied and analyzed by the top economist of our day, usually graduates of Harvard, Stanford, Princeton or Yale. Economics is a study of the social sciences and an Economist is someone who will study theory and data to be able to write economic policies for our country, among other things.
In days of yore someone who graduated with a degree in economics could be counted on to become a professor at some prestigious university or accept a position within the government to help drive economic policy. In today’s world that is not always the case, with more and more graduates being lured into positions with the technology giants such as Google or Facebook, and it’s certainly not hard to see why. Besides the fact that an individual, even one who has just graduated can make substantially more money working for a tech giant than in academia or for the government there is also the lure of excitement. For some the day to day work of academia is just what they love, spending years on end studying a particular model or problem. For others however, the fast pace world of a “live in the now” type company like Facebook presents different types of challenges every day and is a much more stimulating environment for a young graduate, or an established economist who is looking for a change of pace.
That being said, if you want to start working as an economist you need to start with education. Other than the government, there are not too many places that will hire an economist without an advanced or Masters Degree. In many cases the government will hire an individual into an entry level position with a Bachelors Degree. There are also different levels of education for whichever field of economy a person might want to specialize in such as transportation, communication, or investment.
With our society being driven more every day by technology and the need to predict what the next hot trend will be those graduating with a degree in economy will find their job prospects better than ever, with even more pathways being opened every day. This will be unfortunate for both the government and academia as they find the best graduates being lured away with exciting projects and lucrative contracts.