Students enjoying an Economics lecture

Economics is a complex blend of business strategy, mathematics, research and analysis, and social science.

You need to be able to analyze how an international trade agreement will have ripples across the globe for decades. But you need to be able to predict just how much John and Jane Doe are willing to pay for a specific product and what it will cost to sell it them. And all the many financial, governmental, and sociological gears that work together between these two extremes.

Skills You’ll Learn

Understanding the many intricacies of our increasingly globalized economy all the way down to an emerging niche market requires a combination of skills and insights that employers are demanding more every day.

With an economics degree, you’ll develop skills in:

  • data analysis
  • mathematics
  • reasoning and critical thinking
  • general business operations and trends
  • writing and communication

How Much Can You Make?

According to Payscale’s “College Salary Report,” two economics majors ranked in the 2019 list for “Highest Paying Jobs With a Bachelor’s Degree”:

Applied Economics and Management (No. 3)

  • early-career pay – $58,900
  • mid-career pay – $140,000

Economics and Mathematics (No. 17)

  • early-career pay – $64,300
  • mid-career pay – $127,700

What Kind of Jobs Do You Get?

An economics degree has wide application across industries, with job opportunities around the country.

Economists are responsible for collecting and analyzing data in order to research and predict trends.

Many economists work in the public sector, helping identify and address economic issues. But many private businesses and nonprofits need economists for their analytical skills to help them better understand their own markets or service areas.

Working as an economist generally requires an advanced degree, but there are entry-level jobs available for those with bachelor’s degrees, especially in government.


  • projected job growth – 8%
  • median salary – $104,340
  • degree typically required – master’s

Keep reading about this profession.

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records for their employers or their clients. This requires thoroughly examining budgets and other documentation to ensure bills, taxes, and all other expenses are paid on time, ultimately making sure their organizations run efficiently.

Companies and agencies across all sectors need accountants, often hiring them to work in accounting, payroll, or budget offices. There are also many consultancies that hire accountants to provide these services to clients.

Accountants and auditors usually need at least a bachelor’s degree to work in the field. Many also pursue professional certification, such as the certified public accountant (CPA) credential.


  • projected job growth – +6%
  • median salary – $70,500
  • degree typically required – bachelor’s

Keep reading about this profession.

Actuaries specialize in using math, statistics, and financial theory to determine risk and uncertainty. This helps businesses and clients minimize the ultimate costs of those risks.

The insurance industry predominantly employs people in this profession. But other sectors, such as professional services and government, are hiring more actuaries as the demand for these skills continues to grow rapidly.

An actuary needs a bachelor’s degree related to business, math, statistics, or another highly analytical field. They also need to know how to work closely with managers, accountants, and financial experts. Employers often require additional certifications or licenses.


  • projected job growth – +20%
  • median salary – $102,880
  • degree typically required – bachelor’s

Keep reading about this profession.

Many organizations rely on compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists to help form job descriptions, determine appropriate salaries, and provide other guidance on compensation and benefits programs.

Professionals in this field will often work in companies’ human resources or payroll departments. They work both with management, providing recommendations on their decisions, as well as with members of the staff, helping them understand and manage their own benefits.

Most of these professionals need to have both a bachelor’s degree and related work experience, usually in compensation analysis, benefits administration, or general human resources.


  • projected job growth – +6%
  • median salary – $63,000
  • degree typically required – bachelor’s

Keep reading about this profession.

A financial analyst advises businesses and individuals on investments and money-management decisions.

Most financial analysts work directly in the financial sector—securities, commodities, investment banks, and other businesses generally associated with Wall Street—as well as credit agencies and insurers. But there are plenty of opportunities across industries because of the need for all organizations, public or private, to make sound financial decisions supported by data and research.

Finding work as a financial analyst typically requires a business degree in economics or another financially or mathematically related field.


  • projected job growth – 6%
  • median salary – $85,660
  • degree typically required – bachelor’s

Keep reading about this profession.

Often working as consultants, management analysts help improve efficiency by advising managers on how to reduce costs and increase their revenue.

Whether independently or for a large consultancy, management analysts work closely with other analysts and researchers, as well as their client’s managers.

A bachelor’s degree is typically required for this field, and many in it also receive a Certified Management Consultant credential. These professionals need a blend of skills in business, research and analysis, communication, and client service.


  • projected job growth – +14%
  • median salary – $83,610
  • degree typically required – bachelor’s

Keep reading about this profession.

A market research analyst helps companies identify products or services that people want, who those potential customers are, and what prices they’re willing to pay.

Market research is a wide-reaching field in its application because most industries require this service in order for those businesses to grow. This demand has also given rise to independent consulting agencies, which are one of the largest areas of employment for this profession.

A bachelor’s degree is often enough to find work in the field, but some require a master’s. Along with a solid background in business education, market research consultants also need strong skills in math and analysis. Also, these professionals need to know how to work closely with graphic designers and artists who produce many of the materials needed for reports and presentations.


  • projected job growth – +20%
  • median salary – $63,120
  • degree typically required – bachelor’s

Keep reading about this profession.

Investments, mortgages, retirement, college savings—these are all areas where personal financial advisors help their clients make sound decisions.

Most personal financial advisors work for financial institutions or as independent consultants. Because their profession is more consumer-oriented, many in this field also spend time providing seminars or workshops on top of meeting directly with their clients.

A bachelor’s degree is usually required to find work in this field, but many professionals also pursue a master’s or additional certification to improve their chances for advancement.


  • projected job growth – +7%
  • median salary – $88,890
  • degree typically required – bachelor’s

Keep reading about this profession.

Economics Careers at a Glance

Outlook for careers in economics
Profession Job Outlook
Median Salary
Degree Typically Required Additional Info
Economist +8% $104,340 Master's Read more.
Accountant or Auditor +6% $70,500 Bachelor's Read more.
Actuary +20% $102,880 Bachelor's Read more.
Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialist +6% $63,000 Bachelor's Read more.
Financial Analyst +6% $85,660 Bachelor' Read more.
Management Analyst +14% $83,610 Bachelor's Read more.
Market Research Analyst +20% $63,120 Bachelor's Read more.
Personal Financial Advisors +7% $88,890 Bachelor's Read more.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook

Thinking about Studying Economics?

Our economics programs at Ball State University offer innovative, immersive approaches that will prepare you for a successful career. Our Department of Economics offers three bachelor’s degrees—economics, mathematical economics, and social studies teaching with a concentration in economics. Or if you’re thinking about graduate school, our MBA program has an economics concentration.

Explore Our Programs