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Career prospects for economists?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hey there.

Now that I'm out of engineering, I might possibly switch over to economics. I really want to do econometrics, but I know the job opportunities are pretty limited, what more in Malaysia. I'm open to suggestions though - what field of study in economics should/could I pursue, and how are the job prospects like?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 31
If you need to ask, probably not your right field.

Are you passionate about setting capital market expectations, building econometric models, have a broad view and mind and see linkages easily, a good communicator...

you can end up anywhere from a large buy side firm, to front office investment bank, to government
post #3 of 31
First, with your engineering background .. if you have a decent GPA, you could get into a decent MA program. UAlberta would require you to do a "qualifying" year first, where you take Honour's level Micro/Macro/Metrics. The thing about economics .. is it's a very broad skillset. So depending on what your interests are, any half decent MA will offer at least a few classes you'd like. What are the job prospects like? go to www.workopolis.ca and search "economics". I've been searching for about 3 months, and in Alberta alone there has been consistently 3+ new job postings a day. I've probably applied for 20 jobs in Alberta, with one interview - I'm blaming the lack of interviews on still being in school. Brand new grad prospects are pretty shitty, but a tonne of very interesting sounding jobs for someone with 2-3 years experience. So I'm thinking once you've got your foot in the door, the sky's the limit. And for what it's worth .. econometrics is a skill, not really a field (unless you're doing econometric theory). So when you think about it, think about what you want to use econometrics to do.
post #4 of 31
I have my BS in mechanical engineering and an MA in economics. FWIW, I'm still working in engineering. Most of the people I went to grad school with ended up in government. The benefits and security are nice, but they were accepting positions that started at maybe a 1/3rd to half of what I make as an engineer. Granted I'm in petroleum, which pays better than most other engineering fields. And you can find more lucrative econ positions in the private sector, but those tend to be difficult to get into right out of school. Edit: I don't want to discourage you of it's something you're really interested in. It's a fascinating field, and I enjoyed learning about it. I certainly don't regret doing it. Just know that it might not enhance your earnings potential much more than you already have with an engineering degree. One thing I did that you might consider is find an engineering job that will help out with continuing your education. Mine covered about 60% of all my costs.
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by itchyeyes View Post
I have my BS in mechanical engineering and an MA in economics. FWIW, I'm still working in engineering. Most of the people I went to grad school with ended up in government. The benefits and security are nice, but they were accepting positions that started at maybe a 1/3rd to half of what I make as an engineer.

Granted I'm in petroleum, which pays better than most other engineering fields. And you can find more lucrative econ positions in the private sector, but those tend to be difficult to get into right out of school.
Most people who go into Econ want to go into government.

And this is what I'm beginning to find out. There are some very awesome private sector jobs, but it seems you need 2+ years experience to get them.

I've seen a tonne of engineer/econ jobs .. doing project valuation type stuff, that require an engineering background.
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by imschatz View Post
I've seen a tonne of engineer/econ jobs .. doing project valuation type stuff, that require an engineering background.
This is actually part of what got me interested in Econ. I was doing a lot of project and acquisition economics in my engineering job and wanted to learn more about it. In hindsight though, econ programs tend to be much more academically focussed than what I was expecting. A finance degree is probably a lot more relevant to those types of jobs.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by itchyeyes View Post
This is actually part of what got me interested in Econ. I was doing a lot of project and acquisition economics in my engineering job and wanted to learn more about it. In hindsight though, econ programs tend to be much more academically focussed than what I was expecting. A finance degree is probably a lot more relevant to those types of jobs.
Ya, if you play your cards right - and pick your electives carefully - Finance/Economics are fairly interchangable. Finance course material may be more "applied", but I find the theory taught in Economics more interesting. With a solid understanding of the theory - the applied stuff is pretty easy to pick up.
post #8 of 31
Imschatz, like that workpolis site but nothing gives a salary indication!
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
Imschatz, like that workpolis site but nothing gives a salary indication!
lol .. do people really advertise salaries anymore? But ya, really annoying - I've yet to see anyone advertise salary expectations.
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by imschatz View Post
lol .. do people really advertise salaries anymore? But ya, really annoying - I've yet to see anyone advertise salary expectations.

We just used an industry website to advertise for a specialized position and template forced HR to put a salary range in. I actually did send out a couple of fast emails explaining that I live in the US and was considering moving back and asking for salary ranges of a few positions in the industry.
post #11 of 31
Economics major alone is pretty worthless.

Go for a finance/accounting major with an econ minor/double major.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraiche View Post
Economics major alone is pretty worthless.

Go for a finance/accounting major with an econ minor/double major.
My econ/math undergrad, will get me into any interview that a Finance/Accounting undergrad will. Coming out of undergrad it all depends on your internships.

For the most part .. analyst jobs I've applied for have been asking for "Math/Stats/CompSci/ Econ/Finance" undergrads. Based on academics, only people I can't compete with are M.Sc. Math grads.

An econ minor is useless. What do you get .. intro micro/macro and a handful of other courses? Ya, now that is useless.
post #13 of 31
Department of Commerce foriegn trade people. this could lead to a job as a commercial attache.
post #14 of 31
I have a buddy who swears that an econ phd and job in academia is the bees knees, and the tenure track is easily achievable compared to other disciplines. Should I drop out of the rat-race and do it, or is this guy full of shit?
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by imschatz View Post
My econ/math undergrad, will get me into any interview that a Finance/Accounting undergrad will. Coming out of undergrad it all depends on your internships.

For the most part .. analyst jobs I've applied for have been asking for "Math/Stats/CompSci/ Econ/Finance" undergrads. Based on academics, only people I can't compete with are M.Sc. Math grads.

An econ minor is useless. What do you get .. intro micro/macro and a handful of other courses? Ya, now that is useless.

Econ major is perfectly useful - you just have to put a bit of effort into landing interviews and study up a bit on finance/accounting on your own.

An econ minor is pretty much useless (as is pretty much any minor in terms of making yourself employable).
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