While choosing a major that you're interested in is one way to decide, there are a lot of other factors to consider including your prospective career, the kinds of jobs you can do, and how much you can expect to earn for them.
As econometrics includes college-level skills and a college-level education, there are many skilled jobs and careers that anyone majoring in econometrics could consider doing.
Here, we'll look at some specific jobs that econometricians can do, the industries looking for econometrics specialists, and how much you can expect to earn as an econometrician.
Jobs for Econometricians
A lot of the jobs available to econometricians overlap with the jobs for economists. After all, econometrics is a branch of economics (though there are some key differences), which means econometricians are technically economists, too, albeit with a deeper understanding of mathematical and statistical approaches and methods than your average economist.
Due to their expertise in data, statistics, and math, don't be surprised if a lot of these jobs have you knee-deep in data, conducting analyses, or forecasting and making predictions.
Whether you're working for a business, an individual, the government, or even an organization or charity, accountants are necessary anywhere money is involved. An accountant's main role is to keep all the paperwork in order, especially for taxes and any other legal obligations.
Accountancy is a line of work that both economists and econometricians could look into, but it should be noted that the requirements for being an accountant can vary from place to place and some further training and qualifications may be necessary beyond your college degree.
As an accountant, you won't be as involved with as much of the mathematics and statistics you used for your econometrics major, which may come as a relief to some graduates.
With an average salary much lower than a lot of the other jobs out there, this might only be worth considering if you really did hate the econometrics side of your degree.
This is a job that leans more toward econometrics than pure economics as there's more data involved. Your role would be to collect and analyze data for businesses, organizations, or even government departments to make better decisions.
If you love data and didn't get enough of it during your degree and your econometrics classes, this could be a really interesting line of work.
Analytics consultants tend to earn more than accountants and auditors, too.
While an accountant puts together tax records and accounting, auditors are the ones who check that everything is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Auditors can either check compliance for clients to make sure that everything's above board or work for the authorities and check for non-compliance and fraud.
Much like with accountancy, this is a line of work that's rather light on the side of math and statistics and the expected salary is similar to that of your average accountant.
Now here's a job that will get the most out of your expertise in math and statistics: data analyst. As the name suggests, you'll be responsible for analyzing data.
As a data analyst, you mightn't even be involved in economics anymore. Of course, you can be if you want to, but your math and statistics skills will be useful for analyzing all kinds of data and not just those about the creation, consumption, and transfer of wealth.
Data analysts tend to earn more than accountants and auditors, too.
This is another job that uses your skills as an econometrician without confining you to the world of economics. However, data scientists working for businesses or with financial data will look to establish patterns, trends, and relationships between phenomena to report their findings to the decision-makers at a company, department, or organization.
Your findings and analyses can be used to make some of the biggest and most important decisions with little room for error. This increased risk and level of expertise are remunerated of course, and data scientists are among the highest paid on our list.
Economic Policy Associate
The skills to make decisions based on sound data-driven reasoning can go a long way in businesses.
An economic policy associate is, as the name suggests, responsible for policies. In this case, economic policies. Their remit includes the creation, implementation, and carrying out of economic policy.
Their expected salary is a bit above that of the analyst roles in our list.
Senior economists are at the top of the financial departments at bigger businesses, corporations, or organizations.
They can work with some of the other jobs on our list like policy associates and data analysts. They'll often report to management on the economics of where they work and advise on policy and decisions.
As a senior role in most companies, their earnings are naturally greater than the employees who report to them, and one of the highest earning roles that we've listed here.
A quantitative analyst is one of the higher-earning analysts on our list and, on average, earn close to that of senior economists.
As quantitative analysis relies heavily on the mathematical and statistical approaches that econometricians are taught, making these roles perfect for econometric majors.
A quantitative analyst will look to develop analytical models to be used by companies in their financial decision-making.
Don't forget that there are academic options open to econometrics graduates, too. Some roles are only accessible to those with a master's degree or beyond. The good thing is that further study also tends to come with higher salary expectations.
So whether you feel like you're not done learning about econometrics, want to earn more in the future, or maybe even contribute to research in the field, you could always put off entering the job market to focus on your studies.
Industries Where Econometricians can Work
While there are specific jobs that econometricians are really well suited to, there are also plenty of industries in need of people that understand economics and data.
The world is becoming more data-driven every day so your skills as an econometrician are valued across many different industries.
Agriculture mightn't have been the first industry you thought of when you decided to major in economics or econometrics, but the entire agricultural industry is far smarter and data-driven than a lot of people think.
In both terms of finance and production, agriculture looks to data and analysis to optimize every aspect of getting food onto tables.
This field is an obvious one for econometricians. In your search for suitable work, you'll find that the world of finance is where you'll find most econometricians and economists plying their trade.
Even if you'd rather look elsewhere, it's always good to keep one foot in the industry as it's where you'll find the most of the demand for people with your skills.
Businesses aren't the only ones whose economic needs can be met by people with a mastery of math, statistics, and economics. The government regularly needs data analysis, forecasting, and consultancy on a broad range of issues, topics, and policies that econometricians are perfectly suited to.
Medicine and healthcare are fields with a lot of the two things that econometricians are interested in: money and data. As a result, this is an industry you can always look towards for work as they're in regular need of experts with your skill set.
Finally, the tech industry is a great place for econometricians. However, this is far more forwards-facing than some of the other industries so you'll likely be using more of what you learned in applied econometrics, one of the main branches of econometrics.
As econometricians can work in plenty of different fields and do lots of different jobs, it can be difficult to put an exact amount on how much somebody majoring in econometrics can expect to earn.
The salary ranges can go from around $50k a year to nearly $300k, but the average is closer to $85k per year.
On the lower end of this scale ($50k-$60k), we find accountants and auditors. Financial analysts and data analysts tend to earn between $60k and $70k.
The higher salaries go to data scientists (around $120k) and senior economists ($125k), which reflect the difficulty inherent in econometrics and these jobs.
Within these jobs, it's not always easy to ascertain a reflective average as there are different backgrounds, qualifications, and levels of experience to consider. Highly-qualified employees with years of experience at larger companies or organizations tend to earn more than their junior counterparts.
The good thing is that demand for econometricians is only going to increase so finding jobs will become easier and experience and specialization will be highly valued by corporations and organizations alike.
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