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How do I Become a Business Economist?

By Andy Josiah
Updated May 17, 2024
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The way to become a business economist is to attend school, either at the undergraduate or graduate level, to learn how to apply concepts of economics to the operation and management of workplaces, from small businesses and non-profit institutions to large corporations and government agencies. Business economists are concerned with the provision of goods and services, as well as with their production. The synthesis of the two disciplines is what requires a business economist to become formally trained.

Academic programs to become a business economist are usually a collaboration between schools or departments of business and economics at a four-year college or university. If you are fine with an entry-level position in business economist, a bachelor of science in business economics is sufficient. In undergraduate programs, students take courses in subjects such as banking, statistics, econometrics, economic development and growth, business forecasting and global economics. More philosophical courses are also part of the program, with economics of law and the history of economic thought being prime examples.

To become a business economist with elevated marketability, however, it is advisable to go for a master's or doctoral degree in business economics. Employers are particularly attracted to applicants that have achieved a graduate level of study because the degree earned usually comprises a specialization. For instance, at Harvard University in the U.S., Ph.D. students can choose from concentrations such as business strategy and industrial organization, capital markets and financial institutions, corporate finance, corporate governance, and international business. Additionally, a master's degree or Ph.D. indicates a higher level of education in the business economics field.

With the Ph.D. in particular, students are trained to become the leading thinkers and scholars of business economics. They can also seek tenure as full-time professors at four-year colleges and universities. Master's degree holders can teach in community colleges or technical schools.

Upon graduation, some aspiring business economists may decide to pursue related occupations such as stock or bond trading for experience first. Within these fields, graduates can apply what they have learned in an academic environment, such as analyzing data, conducting surveys and market forecasting. Such work can be advantageous in gaining entrance to the field of business economy.

To become a business economist means gaining access to a variety of labor sectors, not just government, business or academia. Business economists can also be found in the writing/editing and technical consulting fields. Additionally, business economists work for international organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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