Economics + X = your dream job!

Economics careers

Whether you’re a maths wiz who loves numbers, a thrillseeker who thrives in a high-pressure environment or someone who wants to change the world, economics has a career to match your passion.

Economics affects us all, from the policies our governments adopt to the choices we make at home. And it’s not just about money. Economics can help us understand the news, explore important human behaviour and social issues, and see the world in a new way. As an economics graduate, being able to uncover or forecast economic trends means you will always be in demand, while the broader maths, stats and data skills you learn will make you highly sought after in a wide range of sectors. Here are just a few fields and economics careers for you to consider…

#1 Economics + Psychology= Behavioural Economics

Your passion: Understanding human behaviour

Careers and earning potential:
• Market research analyst ($47K–$70K)
• Behavioural economic consultant ($57K–$76K)
• Policy advisor ($58K–$113K)

The lowdown: Working collaboratively, you’ll investigate what factors influence our everyday decisions – from where we go to what we eat – based on psychology and market research, transforming these insights into practical solutions.

Employers: Australian Government (BETA), Frontier Economics, PwC Australia

#2 Economics + Altruism = Development Economics

Your passion: Helping economic growth and structural change in low-income countries

Careers and earning potential:
• Development economist ($58K–$128K)
• Urban planner ($53K-$110K)
• Policy advisor ($58K–$113K)

The lowdown: Working for government, a charity, NGO or global organisation, you’ll focus on understanding the core causes of poverty, economic development, growth and other factors affecting a population’s welfare in low-income countries. You will then use these
insights to inform specific interventions, as well as broader policy design.

Employers: Australian Government (DFAT), United Nations, The World Bank

#3 Economics + Conservation = Environmental Economics

Your passion: Improving the relationship between the economy and the environment.

Careers and earning potential:
• Environmental consultant ($53K–$97K)
• Environmental project manager ($54K–$145K)
• Policy analyst ($57K–$109K)

The lowdown: You will study the economics of natural resources from both sides: their extraction and use, and the waste products returned to the environment. You’ll also study how economic incentives hurt or help the environment, and how they can be used to create sustainable policies and environmental solutions.

Employers: Australian Government (DAWE), Edge Environment, BMT

#4 Economics + Health= Health Economist

Your passion: Enabling quality and cost-effective healthcare

Careers and earning potential:
• Health economist ($90K–$135K)
• Healthcare consultant ($55K–$126K)
• Market access manager ($100K–$163K)

The lowdown: Working in private industry (think: health insurance
corporations, pharmaceutical companies), the research sector or government, you will investigate how our resources are used in healthcare. By analysing statistics and using data
models, you will influence health policy to help improve patient care.

Employers: ANZ, Marathon Health, CSIRO

Salaries according to payscale.com

Find out more about economics careers from two RBA analysts…

Meet two RBA economists – Jessica Dunphy and Zan Fairweather – who chose their careers inspired by a passion for social justice issues. Read more about them here.

This article originally appeared in Careers with STEM: Economics 2022.

Ben Skuse

Author: Ben Skuse

Ben Skuse is a UK-based former mathematician turned professional science writer, who has written for the Careers with STEM magazines for over 5 years. You can follow him on Twitter @BenSkuseSciComm.

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