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How Do I Become a Political Economist?

By Kesha Ward
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

Politics help shape policies and have an effect on how a country is viewed by the rest of the world. Political economists are essential to helping citizens as well as politicians understand how politics affect the economy and vice-versa. If you would like to become a political economist, you should plan to study politics as well as economics in college.

Political economists are often consulted when political or economic decisions have to be made. The reviews and recommendations offered by a political economist can have an effect on public policy and the global economy. In addition to an undergraduate degree in either political science or economics, any individual who would like to become a political economist should pursue graduate-level study in either of the two subjects.

A political economist can analyze statistics and economic data for a government as well as corporations. The global economy has created an environment in which corporations are deeply connected to the economic positioning of countries. Trade between countries affects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all services and goods produced within that country within a given period of time and which helps indicate the size and health of the economy.

Any individual who has a goal to become a political economist should have a strong foundation in math and statistics. Statistics are important in understanding global economic trends and conducting analysis on how economic policy has historically affected a country’s economic position in the world. Having a solid understanding of statistics will also help an individual who is interested in a career as a political economist be able to interpret the averages and variables that affect the economy.

Although a doctoral degree might not be a necessity for those who would like to become a political economist, having a doctorate will provide a level of credibility that might not be possible otherwise. Additionally, possessing a doctoral degree will open up opportunities for careers in academia. Some political economists work as government consultants as well as college professors. They might teach courses in political science, economics, government and international relations.

Someone who would like to become a political economist must understand international relations. The economies of countries are affected by agreements between their governments. Cultural differences can affect how the countries communicate and agree on trading and other global issues.

Political economists are well paid and respected. Anyone who would like to become a political economist must have the ability to communicate effectively and work in diverse environments. Although the years of study might be quite long, becoming a political economist can lead to a rewarding and long-lasting career.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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