What do non-academic economists do?
February 28, 2012 10:05 AM Subscribe
What is economics? What do non-academic economists do?
posted by jb to Work & Money (15 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am exploring a career change, and I would like to learn more about what economics specifically is like as a field, and what non-academic economists do.
I am currently working in public health research support, and I have a great deal of interest in the socio-economic side of the research I have been helping with (occupational structure, social and economic inequality) as well as in economic development in general. I have done research into economic development, but I do not have a background in economics at all.
I was wondering whether I would enjoy applied economic research (non-theoretical, non-academic), and I realize that I would have to do some serious re-training if I wanted to move into that field (about 8 semester-long courses, for a minimum, before applying for a masters). But I before I get seriously exploring that and wondering whether I can revive my calculus (had a A-, but it was 15 years ago) and master statistics, I wanted to find out whether there were any people here who might be able to tell me more about the work-world of non-academic economics.
(I keep saying non-academic, because I would be looking at only a masters at most, and because I am interested in working in analysis and policy research, but not theoretical research).
What kinds of organizations hire people with Masters in Economics?
What is the job market like - tight, normal, open?
What kinds of work do professional economists do - what kinds of questions do they look at? What kinds of skills do they tend to use most? Do they work closely with other people? Is there a place in professional economics to marry qualitative methods with the quantitative?
My interest would be in working for the government or a non-profit organization, and my particular interests are in economic development, occupational and social structure, relations between labour and capital, resource and agricultural development. These are issues I have studied before through historical methods of research.