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Applied Economics Major

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Applied Economics

333 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
342 Master's Degrees Annually
#59 in Popularity
$115,590 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Applied Economics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many applied economics graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 342
Bachelor’s Degree 333
Doctor’s Degree 27
Graduate Certificate 17
Basic Certificate 8

What Applied Economics Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, applied economics majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Applied Economics Majors

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

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Skills for Applied Economics Majors

A major in applied economics prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Applied Economics Majors

As you progress with your applied economics degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Applied Economics Major?

People with a applied economics degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Economics Professors 10.9% $101,480
Economists 6.1% $104,340
Investment Fund Managers 8.0% $107,480
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 23.2% $63,120
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Wind Energy Project Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Economics?

333 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
31% Percent Women
20% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 69% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Applied Economics Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 27
Black or African American 12
Hispanic or Latino 20
White 212
International Students 50
Other Races/Ethnicities 12

Geographic Diversity

Applied Economics appeals to people across the globe. About 15.0% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Applied Economics Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Applied Economics majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $70,960 to $116,020 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Applied Economics Major  ( 70960 to 116020 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with applied economics require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to applied economics have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.9%
Some College Courses 0.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 35.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.8%
Master’s Degree 23.0%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 3.2%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.8%
Doctoral Degree 19.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 1.1%

Online Applied Economics Programs

In 2018-2019, 58 schools offered a applied economics program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 1 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 5 3
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 34 1
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Applied Economics Worth It?

The median salary for a applied economics grad is $115,590 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 190% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,513,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to applied economics.

Major Number of Grads
General Economics 34,159
Econometrics & Quantitative Economics 11,931
Development Economics & International Development 628
Other Economics 488
International Economics 364

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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