According to its Greek origins, the word “economics” described the management of a person’s household. While today’s economists may study individual behavior, or broaden their focus to communities, countries, and even global patterns, the field still pursues the improvement of conditions for people’s lives. Economists study the patterns of production, distribution, and consumption of resources, goods, and services. They conduct surveys, analyze data, and communicate their findings in reports and charts to make the data understandable to others. Economists work in fields from education to health and the environment. They may study the psychological and social factors of economic decision making, analyze savings, investments and risk, study international trade, or focus on the economic role of government It’s common for economists to study historical trends to forecast future patterns. Math skills are essential. Most economists work in an office, generally full time, although a deadline can require more than 40 hours per week until it’s met. While they mostly work independently, many economists collaborate and work in teams with other economists and statisticians. A master’s degree or Ph.D. is required for most economist positions. A bachelor’s degree in economics may qualify candidates for some entry-level economist positions, especially with government offices, or for jobs as research assistants or analysts in business, finance, and consulting.
What they do:
Conduct economic analysis related to environmental protection and use of the natural environment, such as water, air, land, and renewable energy resources. Evaluate and quantify benefits, costs, incentives, and impacts of alternative options using economic principles and statistical techniques.
On the job, you would:
Write technical documents or academic articles to communicate study results or economic forecasts.
Conduct research on economic and environmental topics, such as alternative fuel use, public and private land use, soil conservation, air and water pollution control, and endangered species protection.
Collect and analyze data to compare the environmental implications of economic policy or practice alternatives.
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
accounting and economics
Arts and Humanities
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
writing things for co-workers or customers
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
read and understand what is written
communicate by speaking
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
remember words, numbers, pictures, or steps
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
General algebraic modeling system GAMS
The MathWorks MATLAB
Development environment software
Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
Microsoft Visual Basic
Data base user interface and query software
doctoral degree or master's degree usually needed
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
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