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Duke University
Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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12 Well-Paying Jobs for Economics Majors

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What’s Covered:


Wondering how history impacts economies or why some countries have more resources than others? Curious about how the current state of affairs influences the perceived value or materials and goods? Interested in why some people earn more than others, all other factors being equal? Then economics could be the major for you.


Economics is one of the most popular majors in the United States. A broad discipline, it is the study of how people perceive value, use resources, make predictions, and spend and share money. 


A degree in economics can be applied to jobs in many different sectors and can lead to a high-paying career. We’ve rounded up some of the best jobs you can secure with a major in this important discipline.


What Skills Do Economics Majors Learn?


Economics majors will take many courses in macroeconomics and microeconomics — both theory and practice. They will also complete coursework in computing, data analysis, finance, econometrics, history, international trade, public policy, research, supply and demand, statistics, theoretical modeling, and more.


Among others, economics majors learn skills in:


  • Abstract thinking
  • Analysis
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Management
  • Problem-solving
  • Research
  • Technology


Earning Potential for Economics Majors


People who majored in economics earn an annual median salary of $75,908, according to ZipRecruiter, with a 25th-75th percentile range of $40,500-$100,500. (Keep in mind that salaries vary widely due to factors like experience, education, location, and many others.)


Top High-Paying Jobs for Economics Majors


1. Financial manager

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 15%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $129,890 (<$68,370/>$208,000)


In this highly lucrative role, you’ll advise businesses and organizations on how to make their organizations financially successful. A degree in economics will prove useful in managing the financial health of organizations.


2. Attorney

Education Required: JD

Projected Growth: 4%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $122,960 (<$59,670/> $208,000)


Many attorneys major in economics as undergraduates, which provides a foundation for law school (there are no set requirements for admission to law school). In fact, once they pass the bar, attorneys can specialize in areas like economic development, although a knowledge of economics will be relevant to all specialties.


3. Political scientist

Education Required: Master’s degree

Projected Growth: 6%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $122,220 (<$60,960/>$164,210)


Your research skills and knowledge of policy will be useful in your role as a political scientist. This job involves analyzing political systems and helping institutions craft policies.

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Other Jobs for Economics Majors


4. Actuary

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 18%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $108,350 (<$64,860/>$193,600)


Using math and analytical skills — and, of course, your knowledge of the economy — you’ll assess and predict risk, helping businesses and individuals make critical decisions in areas like healthcare, insurance, and more.


5. Data scientist

Education Required: Master’s degree (bachelor’s degree will suffice in some cases)

Projected Growth: N/A

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $94,280 (<$52,720/>$158,060)


In this profession, you’ll gather, mine, interpret, and derive insights from data to help solve problems in businesses and organizations. Economics majors are great at analytical thinking and working with data, so this would be a good fit for them.


6. Economist

Education Required: Master’s degree

Projected Growth: 14%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $105,020 (<$59,450/>$185,020)


Economists wear many hats. Their job varies by position and sector, but you’ll commonly see them collecting data, performing research, monitoring and evaluating trends in the economy, writing articles and reports, and more. They often specialize in certain areas, such as education or the government.


7. Financial analyst

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 5%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $81,590 (<$47,230/>$156,150)


A strong knowledge of the economy and economic behavior and trends will serve financial analysts well as they advise clients, including business and individuals, on investment strategies.


8. Management analyst

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 11%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $85,260 (<$49,700/>$154,310)


Sometimes called management consultants, management analysts are usually brought in to solve problems within an organization, such as efficiency. The skills you build as an economics major, particularly problem-solving and critical thinking, will be invaluable in this role.


9. Market research analyst

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 18%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $63,790 (<$34,350/>$122,630)


Using your knowledge of market trends and research skills, as a market research analyst, you’ll help businesses determine what consumers want and how they can create services and products that meet those needs.


10. Operations research analyst

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: 25%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $84,810 (<$48,670/>$140,790)


In this critical role, you’ll use your research, analytical, and problem-solving skills to assist organizations and managers with solving gaps and issues in their operations. Your economics background will prove crucial in devising strategies to address these problems.


11. Project manager

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree

Projected Growth: N/A

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $73,570 (<$39,930/>$128,420)


If you’re a natural leader and have excellent organizational skills, you’ll thrive as a project manager. In the role, you’ll be tasked with a range of responsibilities, including planning out and monitoring projects and timelines, budgeting, and keeping other team members on track.


12. Statistician

Education Required: Master’s degree

Projected Growth: 33%

Median Salary (bottom 10%/top 10%): $92,030 (<$58,100/>$162,060)


Do you want to be instrumental in solving real-world issues and problems? While you will likely need to earn a master’s or doctorate after your economics degree, this education will give you the opportunity to help a variety of organizations tackle challenges based on mathematical modeling and data.


What Colleges Are Best for Economics Majors?


There are many colleges and universities that provide an excellent foundation for a career in economics and related disciplines. According to CollegeVine’s research, the top ones in the United States are:


  1. University of Chicago
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Harvard University
  4. Stanford University
  5. Princeton University
  6. Yale University
  7. California Institute of Technology
  8. University of California-Berkeley
  9. Dartmouth College
  10. Williams College


Bear in mind that the colleges and universities on this list are some of the most selective institutions in the world and will be reaches for most, if not all, students. Use our free chancing engine to find out how your profile (GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other factors) compare to those of admitted students at these and other schools, and get tips for improving chances of acceptance.


At CollegeVine, we recommend applying to 8-12 colleges, including 25% safety schools, 40% target schools, and 35% reach schools. To help build your list, check out our school search tool. You can filter colleges based on factors like economics and other majors, location, acceptance rate, and more.


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.