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How do I Become a Financial Economist?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

In order to become a financial economist, you will first need to decide on a path for education. This means that you should find out which educational degrees and experience you will need in order to achieve your goal. It is also important to determine which kind of work you will want to do once you become a financial economist. This decision could have some bearing on the kind of education and experience you choose to pursue.

A financial economist is an economist who analyzes financial markets. Financial economists will often predict the behaviors of markets. In some cases, these professionals will even design the financial markets themselves. While financial economists and macroeconomists are not the same, there can be many similarities between their areas of focus. A macroeconomicst is an economist who studies the larger workings of a national economy.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

In many environments, a graduate degree is required in order to pursue the career of financial economist. In some cases, only a secondary education is required, though a thorough understanding of the elements of a financial market is necessary. A financial economist must understand the behaviors of banks and interest rates.

It can be helpful to consider the career you would like to pursue before you choose an educational path. One option is to become a financial economist employed by a government. This kind of professional collects data relevant to the country's levels of production and consumption. A professional in this position also makes economic forecasts that predict rising and falling interest rates and how public policy will impact the economy. If you would like to pursue a government job, it could be beneficial to learn what kinds of credentials current government economists hold. Many have decades of experience.

A financial economist may also work in the private sector. This means that the economist advises a corporation on how to spend and where to invest. The ability of the financial economist to predict behaviors of the financial market makes him or her a useful member of a corporate team. The level of education required to become a corporate economist will depend on the employer's preferences, though experience and a graduate degree is required in many instances.

Finally, many financial economists become professors or teachers. A PhD is often required in order to teach at the college or graduate level, though this will differ among schools and locations. Many financial economists who work in the private and public sectors may also teach, either in university programs for students pursuing professional degrees or in mentoring or management programs sponsored by companies.

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