Last updated December 31, 2014

Today’s global economy bears little resemblance to the simple local barter-and-trade systems of yesterday. It is a vast and intricate system in which a hurricane that affects oil production in the Gulf of Mexico can send ripples through the economies of every nation on earth.

Economists seek to understand this system and use their knowledge to make predictions and decisions.

Economists study the buying and selling of products and services, and analyze the factors that influence these transactions.

“I like using economics to think about and solve real-world problems.” Austin, Economist

Are You Ready To...?

  • Collect economic statistics, such as salaries
  • Watch for major trends, such as growing unemployment
  • Decide which factors are affecting the prices of certain products, such as cars
  • Write a report predicting the economic effects of closing a major local business
  • Come up with theories explaining, for example, how changes in interest rates affect the buying and selling of certain services

It Helps To Be...

Good at math. You should also be interested in making connections between theories and real-world situations and in shedding light on the mysterious. Economists use models to predict the seemingly unpredictable.

Make High School Count

  • Sign up for economics courses.
  • Take challenging math classes and try your hand at statistics.
  • Pay attention in world and U.S. history: you’ll learn just how important economics is in shaping the course of human events.
  • Build solid computer skills.
  • Keep up with current events, which often have a lot to do with economics.

Did You Know?

Economists can choose from a wide range of employers, from government agencies and nonprofit organizations to consulting firms and universities.