How do I Become an Econometrician?

A. Noel
A. Noel
John Maynard Keynes.
John Maynard Keynes.

For mathematicians, econometrics is a challenging and rapidly evolving discipline with expanding applications and job market opportunities. An econometrician uses quantitative analysis and economic theory to analyze economic relationships and apply them to real-world applications. Econometric skills are used in all sectors of the economy. In industry, more econometricians are being utilized by companies in strategic operational and marketing roles to analyze and forecast market and consumer behavior. If you want to become an econometrician or economist, however, you likely will need an undergraduate degree, research experience, an internship, and you should seriously consider obtaining a post-graduate degree.

Becoming an econometrician can mean starting out as an entry-level statistician who works crunching numbers.
Becoming an econometrician can mean starting out as an entry-level statistician who works crunching numbers.

Graduate degrees in econometrics or economics with a focus on econometrics are both pathways for you to become an econometrician. Typically, graduate programs in econometrics look for good undergraduate degrees in mathematics, statistics or economics. Engineers and physicists who are seeking to apply their mathematic and analytical skills to economics have also migrated to the econometrics field. If you do not fully meet the undergraduate requirements, many economics programs offer the options of a post-graduate degree or two-year master’s programs.

In industry, more econometricians are being utilized by companies in strategic operational and marketing roles to analyze and forecast market and consumer behavior.
In industry, more econometricians are being utilized by companies in strategic operational and marketing roles to analyze and forecast market and consumer behavior.

Many econometricians follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s most famous economists, John Maynard Keynes, and work in government. Economic relationships are studied in the treasury, labor, energy, and health departments, among others, to help improve policymaking. Opportunities exist to gain experience working on part-time and summer projects for the government or the large pool of economic and policy research firms that work for government agencies. Many governments have recruiting programs that target economic students and graduates who want to become an econometrician. It can be worthwhile to get an early start on researching and, if required, preparing for testing for your desired government position.

The growing popularity of behavioral economics — the application of psychological factors to economic analysis — is increasing the demand for the quantitative analysis of more dynamic economic relationships in business and government. Research into the use of positive incentives to encourage energy conservation or healthier lifestyles is an example. Conventional statistician jobs also are demanding more econometric tools. The insurance sector, typically a large employer of statisticians, is placing more emphasis on the relationship between individual and market behavior and insurance economics; thus, they are hiring more econometricians.

Generally, the financial markets could continue to be a growth market for econometricians. Many financial firms are staffing up on quantitative analysts to focus on building stronger credit and risk-management programs, in addition to more traditional roles forecasting prices of financial assets. To gain ground level experience en route to become an econometrician, financial firms are always hiring entry-level statisticians and financial forecasters to crunch numbers. Econometricians often start work as junior analysts and statisticians, initially applying many of the same forecasting, regression analysis, and stochastic tools.

For PhDs, academia and consulting are career options. Many opportunities exist to gain experience as an expert econometrician. Consider interning with one of the many econometric or economics journals to round out your experience.

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Discussion Comments

anon259868

Can I become an econometrician by starting with economics honours for my college or should I do honours in mathematics after completing high school?

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    • John Maynard Keynes.
      John Maynard Keynes.
    • Becoming an econometrician can mean starting out as an entry-level statistician who works crunching numbers.
      By: Nonwarit
      Becoming an econometrician can mean starting out as an entry-level statistician who works crunching numbers.
    • In industry, more econometricians are being utilized by companies in strategic operational and marketing roles to analyze and forecast market and consumer behavior.
      By: Syda Productions
      In industry, more econometricians are being utilized by companies in strategic operational and marketing roles to analyze and forecast market and consumer behavior.