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What is applied economics?

Economics is an important part of work and our wider society. Without it, we might find that certain things about our everyday lives don’t work. It’s an interesting subject that many read up on, and even study - but what do you know about applied economics?

Applied economics isn’t quite the same as economics, and there are even different college courses dedicated to it alongside other degrees. Here, we explore what applied economics means, and what career options are available to you once you graduate with a degree in this area.

So what is applied economics about?

Applied economics is about the study of economics in world situations, as opposed to looking at the theory of economics. It uses the application of the different principles and theories in real circumstances and will try to predict the outcome.

So applied economics is about observing how economic theories work in practice. This could be either at a microeconomic level (economics at an individual level) or macroeconomics level (an aggregate economy). Using applied economics means a true picture of a situation or theory can emerge - which then means that decision-makers can make a choice of what to do next to move in the correct direction from a particular situation.

What are my career prospects with an applied economics degree?

Applied economics is usually studied at a graduate level. Since economics is now essential in a number of different industries, you’ll have a great variety of career options if you choose to have a background in applied economics.

If you have experience in applied economics, you’ll be in demand from almost every sector - including government, private industry, and even academia. There are many colleges that offer a masters in applied economics degree, with the option to specialize in a specific area, and this will only boost your job prospects.

Although you can use applied economics in a number of different positions, you will need certain other skills. Being strong in the areas of mathematics and statistics will be essential, as will econometrics - which is being able to apply statistical theories to financial and economic data. As an economist, you will need to analyze and interpret information so you can develop solutions for the problems you’re dealing with.

There are plenty of job options from which you can choose once you graduate with your degree in applied economics:

1. Financial manager

One of those you might be interested in is becoming a financial manager, where you would ensure that businesses stay financially sound through investment opportunities, writing financial reports and overseeing teams of financial and budget analysts. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said the median salary for financial managers was $127,990 in May 2018.

2. Mathematician

Becoming a mathematician is another option. You’d used advanced mathematical techniques so you could analyze data to solve practical problems. You’ll also be spending your time developing your own formulas and methodologies. The BLS said the median salary of mathematicians was $101,900 in May 2018.

There are other job options you could consider, too. These may include research analyst, transportation manager or purchasing manager.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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