If you are thinking of getting an economics master’s degree then you will probably be wondering whether or not it will be worth it for you.

This post will help you figure out whether or not a master’s in economics would be worth it for you and some other things to consider.

So, is an economics master’s degree worth it? A master’s in economics will qualify you for a number of higher pay and more highly rated jobs. However, the ROI might not be so clear cut when considering what you could be earning with just a bachelor’s in the years that it would take to get the degree.

There are actually a number of things to consider when deciding on whether or not to get a master’s degree in economics and there are a number of alternatives that you might want to consider.

Pay, ROI and job outlook

According to Payscale, the average pay for someone with a master’s degree in economics is $77,000 based on 661 survey respondents. This is $8,000 more than that of someone who only has a bachelor’s degree in economics (source).

This means that the ROI of an economics master’s degree is not quite as clear cut as it is with a computer science master’s where they make $18,000, or an engineering master’s where they make $11,000 more.

When considering whether or not an economics master’s degree will give you a good return on investment it would help to consider things such as:

  • The types of jobs you currently qualify for
  • The time and cost it would take to obtain the degree
  • The amount of money that you would make if you were working in the time it takes to get the degree
  • The placement rates of the colleges you will be competitive for
  • The type of economics master’s degree you want and the salary of the jobs that particular type of economics degree will qualify you for

If you’re still an undergrad then an option for you would be to pick up internships where a master’s won’t be needed, while you are still an undergrad, and to see if you would like those jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for economists is expected to rise by 6% by 2026 which is about as fast as average which they say is 7%.

However, The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts that the demand for mathematicians will rise by 33% by 2026.

This is mainly due to the surge in data that companies have been receiving in recent years that they need people with statistical skills to make sense of.

An economics master’s degree will tend to involve a lot more math and statistics than a bachelor’s so many of the jobs that deal with data will lend themselves well to someone with a master’s degree in economics as well.

Potential jobs

Since economics master’s degrees teach you how to deal with data there are many different types of jobs where an economics master’s degree can be useful.

Some potential jobs that you could get with an economics master’s degree could include:

  • Economist
  • Data scientist
  • Data analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Budget analyst

The exact jobs that you would qualify for will largely depend on the type of economics master’s degree that you get and it’s specialization.

Types of economics master’s degree specializations

There are a number of different economics specializations that you might want to consider which can include:

  • Developmental economics
  • Applied macroeconomics
  • Applied microeconomics
  • Financial economics
  • Business economics

Each of these specializations will qualify you for different types of jobs. When deciding on the type of economics master’s degree that you want to get it will be helpful to consider the types of jobs that you want and which degree will put you in the best position for those jobs. You might even find that a master’s degree other than economics might be a better option. It would help to speak to hiring managers about what they look for if you can.

Required classes

Many economics bachelor’s degrees do not go heavy on mathematics. However, in order to be competitive for master’s degrees in economics, it will help to have a number of mathematics classes on your transcript. Particularly important math classes would include single and multivariable calculus and linear algebra.

In addition, intermediate micro and macroeconomics will be important classes to include on your transcript.

Classes in econometrics and statistics will also be very beneficial.

Other classes that will help will depend on the specialization that you want to pursue.

Is a master’s degree in economics worth it if I have a bachelor’s?

Whether or not it would be worth it for you will depend on the types of jobs that you want and how qualified you already are for good jobs. It will also be important to consider the placement rates of the colleges you could get accepted into.

It will also depend on the type of bachelor’s degree that you currently have.

If you have an economics bachelor’s then getting a master’s degree could be worth it for you since it will be very likely to qualify you for better jobs than you can already get.

Whereas, If you have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and you can get software engineering jobs then the ROI on an economics master’s will be very low or even negative for you.

How hard is a master’s degree in economics?

Something to consider is that getting a master’s degree in economics will require a significant time commitment on your part and it won’t be easy to obtain.

Economics master’s degrees will be much more math-heavy than bachelor’s degrees in economics. If you have done a lot of math as an undergrad then you will likely be well prepared for the degree but it will require more study time than most of your undergrad economics classes.

Before deciding to do the data science master’s degree it would help for you to be sure that it is the right degree for you and that it is really what you want to do.

Alternative master’s degrees

If you are thinking of getting a master’s degree in economics then you might also want to consider getting a degree in the following fields:

You can click on their links to see articles about whether or not those particular degrees would be worth it for you as well.


I created and currently manage College Corner. I received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. My goal is to help current students do better in college and to help future students plan for college. You can read more about me and my website here.