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The level of education necessary to become a macroeconomist can depend on where someone wants to work, though typically at least a four year degree is required. Professors of macroeconomics, for example, often need postgraduate degrees. People can spend between four and ten years in training. Continuing education can also be important, as theories in economics periodically change and it is necessary to keep pace with the field.
High school students with an interest in macroeconomics may want to consider taking extra math classes as well as advanced economics, if it is available. This can help them prepare for college or university. Many educational institutions offer macroeconomics degrees and students may want to research their reputations and visit if possible before applying. Research can help students choose the best programs for their needs.
For an undergraduate macroeconomics degree, students need to complete a series of classes set by the economics department. Some schools require an undergraduate thesis or research project. It may be possible to become a macroeconomist with an undergraduate degree; financial institutions, for example, use people with such qualifications as analysts. In other cases, students need to pursue postgraduate education like a master's or doctorate to become a macroeconomist.
Advanced degrees can be helpful for someone who wants to become a macroeconomist. They may provide opportunities for more interesting jobs with potentially higher pay, and can be required for some positions. Lecturers, along with analysts for prestigious institutions and agencies, typically need evidence of a postgraduate degree. The process includes a research thesis into a topic of interest, making it important to choose a school with advisers who have training and expertise in the same subject area.
After graduating, macroeconomists can apply for jobs in the field. Listings are available through a number of sources, including trade publications and professional organizations. Subscribing to organizations that promote macroeconomics topics can help with career development and continuing education opportunities and may provide access to job listings not available to the general public. Employment may be conditional on continuing professional education and, for professors, ongoing research and publications in academic journals.
Once someone has become a macroeconomist, a job can allow opportunities to build up skills and areas of expertise. This can be helpful in applications for other positions in the future, as people may not want to stay in the entry-level positions they take immediately after graduate. More experience can also be useful in pay and benefits negotiations with employers.