What Skills Can You Learn From An Applied Economics Degree?

What Skills Can You Learn From An Applied Economics Degree?
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    While those with an applied economics qualification are in demand across various industries, it can be difficult to put your finger on which skills these individuals possess ...

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… or even how applied economics is any different from economics.

What is applied economics?

Applied economics is used as a problem-solving tool in finding solutions to environmental, behavioral, legal, marketing and healthcare problems. In practical terms, it is used to make decisions at both corporate and governmental levels and affects many aspects of our daily lives.

This discipline differs from economics in that economics (including the study of micro and macroeconomics) is more theoretical, and applied economics are those theories used in real-life situations. It may be inaccurate to believe that applied economics is merely a part of economics, and perhaps more accurate to consider it more as a parallel disciple.

What skills does an applied economics graduate possess?

As you would expect, those with an applied economics degree will have a very different skill set to those who have an economics qualification.

Whereas ‘core’ economics students will study general theories around micro and macroeconomics, those with a master’s in applied economics will not only have a comprehensive understanding of key economic concepts and theories, they will also understand several other principles.

They will also have developed core skills in economic modeling and data analysis, which can then be used to inform and influence decisions (usually but not always financially based) within the wide range of industries that employ them.

Advanced in technology and ‘big data’

Applied Economists have learned to analyze and interpret economic data and critically evaluate existing research to check it’s validity in the modern era. Due to advances in technology, it is possible to collect and examine huge amounts of data more accurately and at faster speeds than ever before.

This ability to work with ‘big data’ has improved the accuracy of of the predictive models created and increased the influence those models have over decisions made at both corporate and government levels.

The relevance of applied economics skills in business and government

This, in turn, has meant the relevance of applied economics in business and government has grown in recent years. As a consequence, the demand for qualified professionals in these roles has also increased, as have the financial rewards involved.

All of these factors point towards the job outlook of Applied Economics being incredibly positive both currently and in the near future.

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Careers in applied economics

One of the main reasons for this positive outlook is the more widespread use of applied economics in real-world situations. Those with an applied economics degree are not just limited to seeking employment within financial institutions, there are roles within retail corporations, manufacturing, consulting, research, and non-profit organizations, not just within the US but also worldwide.

This is reflected in corporate wage structures, where salaries sit at just over $60K for a Market Research Analyst to just over $161K for a Corporate Strategy Director.

Image Credit: applied economics degree by twenty20.com

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Categories: Academics