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Economic Program - Career Facts

Who Would Enjoy a Career in Economics:

Those who enjoy regular work hours at a desk working either alone or with a team would most enjoy these positions. Those who have the ability to think logically and methodically, pay attention to detail, and have good communication skills, will be attracted to this field. Economists constantly seek new information; therefore, intellectual curiosity, creativity, patience and persistence are fundamental personal traits of the successful economist. Objectivity, open-mindedness, and systematic work habits would also benefit the economist.

Related Occupations:

Other occupations in this area include auditors, actuaries, budget analysts, financial advisors and managers, loan officers, purchasing mangers, government agencies, social service organizations, marketing, research and consulting firms, businesses, bankers, statisticians, stockbrokers, equity research analysts, college professors, reporters, correspondents and natural resources.

What They Earn:

According to Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual earnings of economists were $72,780 in May, 2004. Depending on position and education, beginning salaries ranged from $24,667 to $30,567. Those with a Ph.D. could begin at $45,239 to $54,221. The average annual salary for economists employed by Federal Government in 2005 was $89,441.

How Many Jobs Available:

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, job seekers with a background in economics should have good opportunities, although some opportunities will be in related occupations. Projection is based on the need to replace workers as they retire or change occupations. Employment for economists is typically located in large metropolitan cities and with international operations like World Bank and United Nations. The employment growth rate is high in the private sphere through economic consulting firms and research groups. Universities traditionally remain high employers and economic faculty may have more flexible schedules which include teaching, research, consulting or administration.

How Much Training:

Entry-level positions with government offices involve tasks of collection, assimilation and preparation of data and require a Bachelor's degree in economics. Teaching, business and more advanced government positions typically require a Master's degree. In order to achieve higher levels of top economist positions whether in business, education or government, a Ph.D. is necessary. At any career level, computer proficiency is necessary as well as advanced training in statistics, mathematics and quantitative research. As with most professional positions, good communication skills and team work are important as well.

What To Study at LCC:

Follow the Curriculum Guide for Associate in Arts Degree with Economic Concentration

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Lucrative Degrees - CNN Report

Economics Roundtable

Economists View

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Business Department at Lansing Community College

Business and Economics Department
Gannon Bldg, Room 1222
Phone: (517) 483-1522
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