Economists study how society distributes resources, such as land, labor, raw materials, and machinery, to produce goods and services. They may conduct research, collect and analyze data, monitor economic trends, or develop forecasts. Economists research a wide variety of issues including energy costs, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, business cycles, taxes, and employment levels, among others. A masters or Ph.D. degree in economics is required for many private sector economist jobs and for advancement to more responsible positions. In the Federal Government, candidates for entry-level economist positions must have a bachelors degree with a minimum of 21 semester hours of economics and 3 hours of statistics, accounting, or calculus.
Publish date: June 20, 2009