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Become An Economic Development Specialist

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Working As An Economic Development Specialist

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $67,101

    Average Salary

What Does An Economic Development Specialist Do

Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues. 

Duties

Economists typically do the following:

  • Research and analyze economic issues
  • Conduct surveys and collect data
  • Analyze data using mathematical models and statistical techniques
  • Prepare reports, tables, and charts and present research results
  • Interpret and forecast market trends
  • Advise businesses, governments, and individuals on economic topics
  • Design policies or make recommendations for solving economic problems
  • Write articles for publication in academic journals and other media sources

Economists apply economic analysis to issues within a variety of fields, such as education, health, development, and the environment. Some economists study the cost of products, healthcare, or energy. Others examine employment levels, business cycles, exchange rates, taxes, inflation, or interest rates. 

Economists often study historical trends and use them to make forecasts. They research and analyze data using a variety of software programs, including spreadsheets, statistical analysis, and database management programs. They sometimes give a presentation of their research to various audiences. 

Many economists work in federal, state, and local government. Federal government economists collect and analyze data about the U.S. economy, including employment, prices, productivity, and wages, among other types of data. They also project spending needs and inform policymakers on the economic impact of laws and regulations.

Economists working for corporations help them understand how the economy will affect their business. Specifically, economists may analyze issues such as consumer demand and sales to help a company maximize its profits.

Economists also work for research firms and think tanks, where they study and analyze a variety of economic issues. Their analyses and forecasts are frequently published in newspapers and journal articles. 

Some economists work for companies with major international operations and for international organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and United Nations.

Many economists become postsecondary teachers.

The following are examples of types of economists:

Behavioral economists study the effects of psychological and social factors on the economic decisionmaking of an individual. They research how these factors lead to and affect the outcome of an economic decision.

Econometricians develop models and use mathematical analyses to test economic relationships. They use techniques such as calculus, game theory, and regression analysis to explain economic facts or trends in all areas of economics. 

Financial economists analyze savings, investments, and risk. They also study financial markets and financial institutions. 

Industrial organization economists study how companies within an industry are organized and how they compete. They also examine how antitrust laws, which regulate attempts by companies to restrict competition, affect markets.

International economists study international trade and the impact of tariffs and trade restrictions. They also examine global financial markets and exchange rates. 

Labor economists study the supply of workers and the demand for labor by employers. They research employment levels and how wages are set. They also analyze the effects of labor-related policies, such as minimum wage laws, and institutions, such as unions.

Macroeconomists and monetary economists examine the economy as a whole. They may research trends related to unemployment, inflation, and economic growth. They also study fiscal and monetary policies, which examine the effects of money supply and interest rates on the economy. 

Microeconomists analyze supply and demand decisions of individuals and firms. For example, they may determine the quantity of products consumers will demand at a particular price.

Public finance economists analyze the role of government in the economy. Specifically, they may analyze the effects of tax cuts, budget deficits, and welfare policies.

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How To Become An Economic Development Specialist

Most economists need a master’s degree or Ph.D. However, some entry-level jobs—primarily in government—are available for workers with a bachelor’s degree.

Education

A master’s degree or Ph.D. is required for most economist jobs. Positions in business, research, or international organizations often require a combination of graduate education and work experience. 

Students can pursue an advanced degree in economics with a bachelor’s degree in a number of fields, but a strong background in mathematics is essential. A Ph.D. in economics may require several years of study after earning a bachelor’s degree, including completion of detailed research in a specialty field.

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree may qualify for some entry-level economist positions, including jobs with the federal government. An advanced degree is sometimes required for advancement to higher level positions.

Most students who complete a bachelor’s degree in economics find jobs outside the economics profession as research assistants, financial analysts, market research analysts, and similar positions in business, finance, and consulting. 

Other Experience

Aspiring economists can gain valuable experience from internships that involve gathering and analyzing data, researching economic issues and trends, and writing reports on their findings. In addition, related experience, such as working in business or finance, can be advantageous. 

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Economists must be able to review data, observe patterns, and draw logical conclusions. For example, some economists analyze historical employment trends to make future projections on jobs.

Communication skills. Economists must be able to explain their work to others. They may give presentations, explain reports, or advise clients on economic issues. They may collaborate with colleagues and sometimes must explain economic concepts to those without a background in economics. 

Critical-thinking skills. Economists must be able to use logic and reasoning to solve complex problems. For instance, they might identify how economic trends may affect an organization. 

Detail oriented. Economists must pay attention to details. Precise data analysis is necessary to ensure accuracy in their findings.

Math skills. Economists use the principles of statistics, calculus, and other advanced topics in mathematics in their economic analyses.

Writing skills. Economists must be able to present their findings clearly. Many economists prepare reports for colleagues or clients; others write for publication in journals or for news media.

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Economic Development Specialist Jobs

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Economic Development Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

65.9%

Male

30.7%

Unknown

3.4%
Ethnicity

White

58.6%

Hispanic or Latino

18.7%

Black or African American

12.6%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.2%

French

12.3%

Portuguese

4.6%

Italian

3.1%

Nepali

1.5%

Kurdish

1.5%

German

1.5%

Dakota

1.5%

Carrier

1.5%

Hindi

1.5%

Russian

1.5%

Thai

1.5%

Tswana

1.5%
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Economic Development Specialist Education

Schools

Florida State University

13.2%

University of South Florida

10.5%

University of Central Florida

9.5%

University of Phoenix

9.5%

Florida International University

7.9%

University of Florida

6.3%

Florida Atlantic University

4.2%

University of North Florida

3.7%

University of West Florida

3.7%

Nova Southeastern University

3.7%

Saint Leo University

3.7%

Hillsborough Community College

3.7%

Miami Dade College

3.2%

Northern Arizona University

2.6%

Liberty University

2.6%

Troy University

2.6%

Pennsylvania State University

2.6%

Indian River State College

2.6%

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

2.1%

Florida Gulf Coast University

2.1%
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Majors

Business

22.4%

Criminal Justice

7.7%

Psychology

6.7%

Public Administration

6.3%

Political Science

5.8%

Human Resources Management

5.8%

Social Work

5.5%

Economics

5.5%

Finance

4.8%

Accounting

4.8%

Management

3.6%

Marketing

3.4%

Urban Planning

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Sociology

2.4%

General Studies

2.2%

Human Services

2.2%

Education

1.9%

Legal Support Services

1.9%

Public Health

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.4%

Masters

32.2%

Other

13.7%

Associate

7.4%

Certificate

4.9%

Doctorate

3.0%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.3%
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Real Economic Development Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Economic Specialist Advanced Services International I, Inc. New York, NY Oct 08, 2009 $90,805
Economic Development and Evaluation Specialist International Center for Research On Women Washington, DC Nov 01, 2010 $80,000
International Economic Development Specialist Allegheny Conference On Community Development Pittsburgh, PA Jan 01, 2010 $73,000
Economic Analysis Specialist National Communication Limited Corporation Miami, FL Jul 25, 2012 $72,758
Economic Development Specialist (Management Analys Dexis Interactive, Inc. Washington, DC Jan 28, 2011 $72,500
Economic Development Specialist (Management Analys Dexis Interactive, Inc. Washington, DC Mar 21, 2011 $72,500
Economic Development Specialist/Overseas Markets Wellness Publication LLC Chula Vista, CA Aug 15, 2010 $68,203
Economic Development Specialist PLS Diabetic Shoe Company, Inc. Parksdale, CA Sep 25, 2015 $67,101
Economic Development Specialist Andonian Enterprises, Inc.DBA Discount Tire Centers Anaheim, CA Aug 06, 2015 $64,563
Economics, Gender & Evaluation Specialist International Center for Research On Women Washington, DC Sep 15, 2014 $60,000
Economic Development Specialist BR111 Imports and Exports, Inc. Medley, FL Feb 11, 2010 $51,200
Economic Development Specialist Wilson Environmental Associates Irvine, CA Mar 31, 2011 $48,340
Economic Specialist Monica Franchi Souza Orlando, FL Nov 09, 2016 $46,862

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Top Skills for An Economic Development Specialist

MedicaidPublicAssistanceProgramsEconomicDevelopmentProjectsCustomerServiceEligibilitySystemBusinessDevelopmentFoodAssistanceProgramEligibilityAccuracyLevelsCommunityDevelopmentLargeCaseloadStateRegulationsBusinessPlansFamilyStatusPublicAssistanceBenefitsCurrentRegulationsQuestionableInformationEligibilityStatusBroadRangeTanf

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  1. Medicaid
  2. Public Assistance Programs
  3. Economic Development Projects
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Determined eligibility of applicants and recipients for public assistance programs including food assistance, Medicaid and temporary cash assistance.
  • Reviewed and approved case work processed for eligibility of various public assistance programs.
  • Created and administered grant/loan applications for community and economic development projects through several federal and state programs.
  • Performed high-level customer service and client relations ensuring adequate financial and medical needs for individuals and families.
  • Analyzed a broad range of documentation and entering data into a computer-based eligibility system while adhering to time sensitive agency deadlines.

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