A master’s degree in economics is one of the top degrees for the highest-paying business careers. If you’re interested in global trade, and possibly seeing the world while you analyze it, this degree could also be your ticket to a career with international companies and organizations. As businesses have become increasingly global, there are numerous career opportunities for economics in companies or organizations concerned with international trade. Travel, both domestic and international, is an important part of the job for some economists. A master’s degree showcases your graduate-level analytical skills and economic knowledge and can make you appealing to international companies, but students interested in this path can make themselves even more valuable by choosing a program focused on international economics.
Types of International Career Opportunities With a Master’s in Economics
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Any international company, from online retail giant Amazon to Shell Oil Company, may well be large enough to have a need for an economist. Businesses in the finance and insurance industry, the research and development industry and the management and scientific consulting industry are particularly likely to need an economist. International banks and investment firms are among the best international companies to work for with a master’s degree in economics. The finance and insurance industry is the fifth-largest employer of economists, accounting for 6 percent of the occupation, or around 1,260 jobs, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The World Bank, in particular, is one place graduates of such a program can look for career opportunities, according to U.S. News & World Report. With operations running in more than 170 countries across the globe, you could find career opportunities with this institution as far away as Europe, Asia and Africa. Dozens of other global banks, including some of the most popular banks in the United States, also have a need for skilled economists.
Job candidates interested in international finance and trade shouldn’t limit their job searches to positions with private sector companies. Institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the intergovernmental World Trade Organization (WTO) also tend to hire graduates from an economics degree program, according to U.S. News & World Report – especially if these students develop a background in international economics.
Economist jobs in research and development and in management consulting services are more plentiful, accounting for 19 and 13 percent of the occupation, respectively. In these fields, you may find international jobs in global trade research or management consulting.
Pursuing a Master’s in International Economics
Not all master’s degree programs in economics have the same curriculum. At the graduate level of study, it’s often possible to focus your education on a matter of interest by choosing a specialized program like international economics.
A student in a master’s degree program in international economics will take some of the same courses you would find in a general economics program, such as advanced microeconomics and macroeconomics, managerial economics, investments and finance and financial analysis. You should also expect to study quantitative methods of research and data collection. In a specialized international economics program, however, classes in international trade and international finance may also be part of your core curriculum. You might also take some elective courses that fit into your international focus, such as international trade policy or economic development in certain regions or cultures. Although international economics degree programs usually will not require you to study a foreign language or culture to graduate, having this background can help you in your career, especially if you plan to travel to foreign countries in the course of your work or speak with high-ranking company leaders in those countries.
Some international economics graduate programs even allow students to further customize their education by pursuing a concentration or specialization. Whether you choose to specialize in financial economics, applied economic analysis, marketing, real estate finance or another concentration, you will have the opportunity to build in-depth knowledge and skills needed for your intended career in an international company or organization.
Although not all economist roles require travel, it’s not uncommon for economists to engage in some business travel activities, the BLS reported. Economists may need to travel to gather data for their analyses or to present their findings at conferences and events.