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What do Economists do?

Economists hold jobs in business, government and academia.  Why do businesses need economists? First, economists are trained to think analytically and critically to solve complex problems. Second, economics is a social science, and as such economists are trained to recognize human behavior in relation to work, production, distribution, consumption, and the fundamental operations of most businesses.

Economists are also hired by state, local and federal government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The duties of a government economist are diverse and in large part depend on the particular government agency. For example, if you worked for the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) you would respond to complaints of discrimination, analyze data and help lawyers with the interpretation of data; or if you worked for the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), you could formulate strategies for reducing pollution.

What Have Merrimack Graduates Done with their Economics Degree?

Our former students hold positions in all sectors of the economy, business, finance, government agencies, and nonprofits. Some students go on to earn graduate degrees in Economics, MBAs, MAs and Law Degrees. Others immediately enter the labor force, and some begin successful firms of their own. Here are some examples of positions held by former students in the Economics Department: Senior Project Financial Analyst, Strategic Programs Specialist, CEO, CFO, Data Analyst, Bank Manager, Vice President of Marketing, Bank Examiner, High School Economics Teacher, Attorney, Statistician, Professor of Economics, and Peace Corp Volunteer.

What do students with Bachelor Degrees in Economics earn?

The American Economics Association reports the following:

A “Wall Street Journal” article estimated average starting salaries by discipline for 2008. (Anjali Athavaley, “For Class of ’08, A Scramble of Jobs,” Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2008, D1, 3.) Economics came in fourth among 16 majors at $43,419. Ahead of economics were computer programming and mathematics with engineering at the top with $49,707. Accounting was just below economics at $42,104. Management Science was seventh at $40,592, followed by finance and marketing. reports somewhat different average starting salaries by college major for 2008. A survey by the “National Association of Colleges and Employers” puts the mean starting salary for economics majors in 2008 at $52,926, compared with computer science at $56,921 and marketing at $43,459.