Economic analysts are becoming more and more important to businesses and organisations for market and economic trend analysis. Here are some tips on how to position yourself to succeed in this well-paying, fast-growing business, where demand for workers is predicted to increase over the coming years.
Career Building Advice for Economists
1. Create Critical Skills
For the straightforward reason that a graduate education in economics imbues significant attributes, the same Occupational Outlook Handbook quoted above says that the majority of economist professions require applicants to have either a Master’s degree or a PhD. In order to be successful, an economist must be able to apply economic theory to formulate forecasts and hypotheses, analyse data to statistically answer questions, and effectively convey findings to a broad (non-economist) audience. The MA in Economics programme at American University (AU) has been created to ensure that all of these competencies are mastered by its graduates. Our students use economic theory to assess the effects of market shocks or new policies on economic outcomes beginning with their first semester course in economic theory. Students learn everything from basic statistical tests to complex econometric models in our two-semester Econometrics programme, and are required to execute their analysis using well-known software tools. Students get practise creating ideas, examining data, and presenting their findings in practical, topical papers.
2. Create a Unique Brand
Start developing your brand in that business or profession while you are still in graduate school, especially if you are familiar with it. Consider your desired career, like as working for a development organisation, when selecting themes for your optional course papers or your capstone project. One of our AU graduates elected to focus her capstone project on the effects of the WTO’s dispute resolution process on American agricultural farmers while working at a state agricultural trade and development office. Such research knowledge and experience might be emphasised in your curriculum vitae or resume and covered in interviews. Think about whether you want to devote the time and effort necessary to produce a capstone paper of the calibre required for publication in a scholarly journal. Faculty who are interested in a project may offer to collaborate with students after completion of the original draught in order to co-author a paper, even though this would probably take longer than the single semester allotted to the project during the programme.
3. Stay Up To Date In Your Field
A successful economist will keep up with the most recent journal publications or working paper lists to stay current with the academic literature in the discipline. An announcement service, like New Economics Papers, which provides e-mail subscriptions to reports on new working papers in a range of economics sub-fields, is one simple approach to stay up to date with the literature. It is equally crucial to stay current with economic news in the media, whether it be through newspapers, blogs, or podcasts. These pieces from the mainstream media might serve as both debate starters and inspiration for new studies. Planet Money and Freakonomics on NPR are two of my favourite economics podcasts.
4. Create a Network
Professionals’ success is a result of both their knowledge and their network. Create a LinkedIn profile and join the group we manage for our current AU students and Economics Department graduates to begin expanding your professional network right away. Join a professional organisation with reasonable student rates, such the National Association of Business Economists (NABE). Many of these businesses run their own job banks and host neighbourhood networking functions. While attending AU, you might wish to consider interning to expand your network. You can meet with career advisors in the American University Career Center to explore where and how to find employers, internships, and jobs, as well as to practise for interviews as you get ready for your internship. An advisor is available by phone, email, Skype, and in-person meetings.
5. Promote Yourself
Career Center can help you refine your professional marketing materials by providing online tools and one-on-one guidance. The Career Center can assist you in creating a resume that is customised to your industry and cover letters that are particular to the employer and job description. The advisors will also check your LinkedIn profile to make sure it represents your brand and is professional.
6. Specify a Search Area
Successful job seekers don’t sit around and wait for openings to present themselves. They investigate possible employers using a range of techniques. The Career Center can assist you in developing successful job search techniques through one-on-one counselling, workshops, and online tools. For instance, start with tools like LinkedIn’s “Companies” section, do informational interviews, and use specific web tools that are looking for economists, like NABE.