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How do I Become a Microeconomist?

Jessica F. Black
Jessica F. Black

There are several steps to successfully become a microeconomist, and the process involves many years of schooling. Most microeconomists have three degrees, although some positions require less education. This career is based on mathematics, and students should begin excelling in various forms of math as early as high school. Advanced mathematics will prepare him or her for a four year college program in economics. Finding a university with a well-developed economic departments is essential to become a microeconomist, and potential candidates would benefit from an extensive Internet search on local colleges.

Microeconomists works with economics of family units, individuals, or corporations on a small scale. He or she analyzes and organizes plans to maximize profits through the use of limited resources. There are also government agencies that need a microeconomist to assess and improve specific economic issues, including taxation and public finance.

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First year college students will often enroll in general coursework, and should choose mathematics or sciences as electives. After completion of first year classes, most students begin working on introductory economic subjects to prepare him or herself for advanced coursework in a specialized field. Undergraduate coursework may include principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, microeconomic theory and public policy, intermediate microeconomic theory I, II, & III, and several reading seminars in economics. All of this preparation will lead to a bachelor's of science (B.S.) degree in economics or a related field, which is the minimal degree required to become a microeconomist.

It usually takes at least two years to receive a master's degree in a graduate school program. Some students continue degree work at his or her university if graduate programs are available. Graduate classes usually include advanced microeconomics, microeconomic theory and industrial organization, international trade and development, and quantitative methods. A master's degree in mircoeconomics or economics will improve the graduate's opportunities to become a microeconomist. The primary reason to obtain a higher degree is to increase job selection and allow room for advancement.

Throughout school, students should seek internships or employment with financial firms or government agencies to gain experience in the microeconomics field. Most students find it beneficial to continue employment with related firms while furthering his or her education. A doctorate degree in economics is often preferred in the field of microeconomics and greatly enhances career advancement opportunities. Many government jobs require economists to have a doctorate degree because of the level of security and types of problems that may occur nationally.

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