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Economics Major

47,385 yearly degrees
#23 in popularity
$116,000 median salary

Economics is a major that typically falls into the Social Sciences category.

There are 115 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in economics, 943 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 321 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 162 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an Economics Degree?

In 2017, roughly 39,000 economics majors graduated with a bachelor’s degree, making it the 13th most popular major in the country. This major attracts more men than women. About 67% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of economics majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 12.7%
  • Black or African American: 4.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 9.3%
  • White: 48.5%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 19.1%
  • Other Races: 6.3%
Economics Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in economics. About 19.1% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending economics majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and India.

What Will You Learn as an Economics Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to economics to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Economics Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Economics Majors

Skills for Economics Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to economics:

Important Skills for Economics Majors

Abilities for Economics Majors

Economics majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for economics Majors

What Can You Do With an Economics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with economics:

Careers Related to Economics
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Compliance Managers



Economics Professors



Regulatory Affairs Managers



Environmental Economists



Wind Energy Project Managers



Survey Researchers



Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists



Investment Fund Managers






Supply Chain Managers



Economics Major Salary

Economics majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $71,000 to $116,000. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an Economics Major  ( 71000 to 116000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Economics Major Jobs

Some careers associated with economics may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for economics careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Economics
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Economics Programs

There are 943 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in economics, with 34 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is an Economics Major Worth It?

The median salary for an economics grad is $116,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 197% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,533,800 after 20 years!

economics salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Pixabay via License

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