Economists study the intricate workings of economies. An "economy" can be broadly defined as a collection of individuals, groups, and organizations who each wish to achieve some desired end, and who each have only scarce resources to work with. Economists study the myriad ways in which this process takes place, the many factors which influence it, and the problems that may arise along the way. They have expert knowledge of such economic concepts as tariffs, interest rates, trade, exchange rates, labor, and macroeconomics. Economists are employed by government agencies, banks, brokerage firms, nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, and many other organizations. Economists often work as purchasing managers, consultants, and financial and market analysts.
Entry-level research, consulting, government, and sales positions can often be obtained with a bachelor's degree in economics. Individuals interested in university-level research and teaching positions, however, must hold a doctorate degree. Expert economists (such as those analyzing economic issues on television) typically hold doctorate degrees. Economists with more specialized knowledge usually enjoy better job opportunities.
A bachelor's degree in economics typically takes 4 years to complete. A master's degree in economics requires an additional 2 years of full-time study following the completion of a bachelor's degree. Many degree programs offers economics specializations such as applied economics, microeconomics, computational economics and financial economics.
Economics Degrees and Programs