Small businesses, and virtually all large and medium businesses, rely on economic forecasts to plan strategies for product development and marketing, and to make capital investment decisions. Businesses may wish to forecast sales, prices, interest rates, personal incomes, or even exchange rates. As a business economist, you would prepare and interpret these forecasts, and communicate your findings to top management.
Undergraduate training for a career as a business economist emphasizes three basic sets of skills: a thorough understanding of economic theory, a strong set of statistical and mathematical skills, and effective communication skills. In addition, a solid understanding of other disciplines in the business curriculum, especially accounting, finance, marketing, and management, will prepare you for a rewarding career as a business economist.
According to the National Association of Business Economists, business economists surveyed in 1990 with a bachelor's degree had a median base salary of $41,750. The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of economists will grow at a pace faster than the average of all occupations through the year 2000.