Masters in Economics- Branches, Programs, Scope, Salary

Considering studying a master’s in Economics? Are you uninformed about the top universities in countries like the US and UK? Improve your chances of getting into a top university with the help of this comprehensive guide on the requirements, cost, top programs, salary, and the job outlook for masters in Economics.

Economics has an enormous effect on our daily lives and choices like work, leisure, consumption, and how much to save. Economics is a social science that deals with production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It also studies how individuals and businesses make choices on allocating resources to satisfy their needs while trying to achieve maximum output.

Economics can be broken into two:

  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics

While macroeconomics focuses on the behavior of aggravated economics, microeconomics focuses on individual consumers. Some of the vital topics in microeconomics are markets, efficiency, supply and demand, opportunity cost, game theory, and market failure.

Macroeconomics includes topics like inflation, GDP, pricing, savings, and investment, market growth, development, unemployment, and competition.

Apart from microeconomics and macroeconomics, there are a number of other branches of economics:

  • Behavioral economics
  • Business economics
  • Constitutional economics
  • Cultural economics
  • Development economics
  • Ecological economics
  • Economic geography
  • Environmental economics
  • Energy economics
  • Financial economics
  • Industrial economics
  • Information economics
  • International economics
  • Labor economics
  • Managerial economics
  • Mathematical economics or econometrics
  • Resource economics
  • Urban economics
  • Public economics
  • Descriptive, theoretical and policy economics
  • Monetary economics

Why study economics?

We have discussed the importance of economics in our daily lives, and now let’s address some of the most compelling reasons to study economics:

  • Economics has excellent graduate prospects as economics students have a good hit in gaining professional employment within six months of graduation.
  • Economics graduates earn more than other non-professional graduates.
  • Economics has a significant impact on our daily lives, and studying the subject will help you gain a better understanding of the world.
  • Another advantage of studying economics is that many universities offer dual honors degree, which allows you to combine your economics degree with another passion.
  • From public policy to environmental economics, an economics degree offers a large variety of modules.
    Economics degree helps you understand how the theory has a real-life application.

Economics Degree vs. Business Degree

It is well known that economics and business are two closely related fields. But let’s discuss the differences between these two degrees.

  1. Economics is the social science that focuses on goods and services like production, distribution, and consumption whereas business degree focuses on how a business is run, by studying various aspects such as accounting, human resource, marketing, and operations.
  2. The study of economics is broad and theory based while business students specialize in specific areas within the business school.
  3. You will learn how to create and manage an organization in business studies, whereas economic studies will give you a better understanding of past and present economic processes.
  4. The salary for a graduate in economics is around $45,000 per year, and the salary of a business graduate is about $40,000 per year.

Let’s discuss the career options for business and economics graduates.

Economics

Accountant
Economist
Financial Risk Analyst
Investment Analyst
Statistician

Business

Business Manager
Sales Manager
Business Analyst
Project Manager
Supply Chain Analyst

Masters in Economics

Masters in economics is a 2-year program which offers an in-depth understanding of the subject. Other than microeconomics and macroeconomics, some of the core concepts are:

  • Economic Growth
  • Econometrics
  • Economics Forecasting
  • Numerical Computation

Some of the common specializations in Economics include computation economics, financial economics, applied economics, and microeconomics.

Prerequisites

All masters programs in Economics require you to have a bachelor’s degree, but it doesn’t have to be in Economics. Some universities offer courses in Mathematics and Statistics for students who do not have a strong background in Mathematics.

You need to prove your proficiency in English with IELTS/TOEFL certificates. Also, you will have to submit your transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, resume, and you have to take the GRE test for almost all the programs.

Some of the top universities to pursue your masters in Economics are:

UK

  • The University of Oxford
  • The University of Cambridge
  • Imperial College London
  • UCL
  • London School of Economics and Political Science

US

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California–Berkeley
  • Yale University

Canada

  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • Western University

Some of the other top universities across the world are:

  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany)
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (Germany)
  • Universität Mannheim (Germany)
  • Freie Universitaet Berlin (Germany)
  • La Trobe University (Australia)
  • The University of Sydney (Australia)
  • The University of Adelaide (Australia)
  • Curtin University (Australia)
  • Stockholm University (Sweden)
  • University of Gothenburg (Sweden)
  • Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • The University of Otago (New Zealand)
  • University of Auckland (New Zealand)
  • Massey University (New Zealand)
  • University College of Dublin (Ireland)
  • Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
  • University of Limerick (Ireland)
  • National University of Ireland (Ireland)

A masters in Economics is a flexible degree as it can be applied to several different fields. Some of the types of careers in economics are:

  • Economist
  • Consultant
  • Professor
  • Policy Analyst
  • Budget Analyst
  • Market Researcher
  • Data Scientist
  • Statistician
  • Survey Researchers

Economists can find employment as consultants, public policy analysts, financial managers, and health insurance analysts.

Skills

Some of the skills that are highly valued in the job market are:

  • The knowledge in different fields off economics.
  • Strong background in microeconomics and macroeconomics.
  • Problem-solving using analytical tools.
  • Expertise in analysis of data.
  • Mathematical and statistical knowledge.

We have already discussed that economists study a variety of fields such as education, health, environment, and development while some study cost of products, healthcare, or energy. Now let us discuss some of their duties:

  • One of the most significant duties of an economist is to research and analyze economic issues.
  • Economists also have to conduct surveys and collect data for research.
  • You will need to analyze the data you collected using mathematical and statistical techniques.
  • Interpreting and forecasting the market trends by preparing reports, tables, and charts that present research results.
  • An economist also has to design policies for solving economic problems.
  • Writing articles for academic journals.

Are economics majors in demand?

Most of the students would look for government jobs after studying economics, but if you’re willing to look outside the box, there are plenty of options for you. Here are the four in-demand jobs for economics majors:

  • Tax Accountant

It is not a surprise that tax accountants are in demand, and the problem learning skills you learn in your economics degree is helpful for the job.

  • Auditor

An auditor checks the accuracy of a company’s financial statements, which is crucial to the company’s success. The median salary for an auditor is around $62,000.

  • Forensic Accountant

A forensic accountant audits, verifies, evaluating, and preparing evidence for civil or criminal cases. Your strong background in finance as an economics major will come in handy for this profession, and the median salary is between $65,000 to $110,000.

  • Managerial Accountant

A managerial accountant analyzes the accounting data and then uses the information to help make financial decisions. The median salary for a managerial accountant is around $63,500.

Salary and Job Outlook

The starting salary of an economist is around $48,000, and the employment of economists is expected to grow by 6% between 2016 to 2026. The average salary of an economist is approximately $101,050 per year while an economics professor earns between $61,100 to $114,800. The top employers for economists are:

  • Universities
  • Research Institutes
  • Banks or Finance Sector
  • Private Companies
  • NGOs
  • Think Tanks
  • Government
  • Environmental Sector
  • Healthcare
  • Internet or Communications