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What can you do with both a statistics(or applied math) degree and an economics degree?

I am interested in statistics, applied math, and economics, but don't know people who had double-majored in these areas. Just wondering what your working experience is like before and after graduation. How is your day like and what is the best part of your job?

Much thanks!
math career economics technology statistics

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14 answers


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Syed’s Answer

Hi Hailin,

These majors combined create a very powerful set of skills. Data science is a crucial field in our world today. Oftentimes, there’s a lack of mutual understanding between data experts and the business leaders/users that rely on the expertise and output of these data folks. With the academic background you’re interested in and some quality internships, you will have a strong understanding of how to gather, transform and analyze data (statistics + applied math) and then create insights/products/dashboards that industry users actually care about. This bodes well for your financial future.

You could consider becoming a digital strategy consultant, a pure data scientist, a product manager, and a number of other jobs at the intersection of data and business.
Thank you so much! Your response is very insightful! Hailin G.
Happy to help! Syed Ferdous BACKER
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Patryk’s Answer

Hey Hailin,

Great question and great to see that you are looking ahead and thinking about how your expected major(s) maps to a career.

I was also a double major in applied mathematics and economics and decided to become an actuary.
The website “https://www.beanactuary.org/” gives some insights into the career.

The career falls somewhere between “math” and “business” which works well with an applied mathematics/statistics and economics double major. Career progression is generally tied to a series of examinations which are usually taken concurrent to doing entry level work. It does help to have 2 or 3 of the exams passed before getting a first job, with earlier progress generally opening up internship opportunities.

In general, the Casualty Actuarial Society (https://www.casact.org/) provides examinations and certifications for “property & casualty” actuaries (dealing with helping estimate reserves or price auto liability, workers’ compensation, general liability, homeowners, etc.).

The Society of Actuaries (https://www.soa.org/) provides information on actuarial tracks such as:
- Corporate Finance and Enterprise Risk Management Track
- Quantitative Finance and Investment Track
- Individual Life and Annuities Track
- Retirement Benefits Track
- Group and Health Track
- General Insurance Track

Finally, an endless supply of information is available on the Actuarial Outpost forum (http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/).

Patryk recommends the following next steps:

Explore the career options listed by the posters, including: data science, marketing, investment banking, and actuarial science.
Seek out possible summer internships related to the careers of your interest.
If you are interested in an actuarial career, study for and try to pass the "Probability" and "Financial Mathematics" exams over the next couple of months.
Thank you for your answer! Hailin G.
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Lorinda’s Answer

You can do so many things with that combination - both are very hot fields and give you a lot of interesting career options.

I have a math background and have ended up working in 'financial analytics' which typically hires a lot of people with stats and economics backgrounds. With those skills you get to solve a lot of problems by looking at data and using your statistics to find answers to important business problems. Typical days probably include doing a fair amount of statistical analysis, with meeting mixed in to ask others questions or to present out your results. One of the bonuses with this type of work is that you get a fair amount of respect from others for the results you're able to produce, since running statistics or economic analysis is challenging without the coursework you take to get that degree.
Thank you for your response! Hailin G.
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Eugenia’s Answer

Aside of great answers you have got already, you might look at investment consulting or investment banking - those guys work a lot with mathematical models of economics processes.
Awesome! Thanks for your answer! Hailin G.
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Eugenia’s Answer

Aside of great answers you have got already, you might look at investment consulting or investment banking - those guys work a lot with mathematical models of economics processes.
Cool, thanks for your answer! Hailin G.
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Gabriel’s Answer

I am a math and econ double major, and I made my career in finance as a quant. Some other popular roles include economist, equity analyst, traders etc.
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Thomas "TC"’s Answer

Halli..... For technology and math here are some methods and disciplines you should be aware of (if not actually master in classes:

Quantitative and Computational Finance (QCF):

What is QCF?

Quantitative:
A strong foundation of quantitative skills for complex mathematical modeling.

Computational:
Computational skills to implement these models using multiple statistical techniques and programming languages.

Finance:
A solid, practical understanding of Finance theory and institutional details.

Georgia Tech has program dedicated to this: https://www.scheller.gatech.edu/degree-programs/interdisciplinary-ms/quantitative-and-computational-finance/index.html

Here is a detailed webpage.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15427560.2010.507155

Good luck! Thomas Moore.
Thank you for sharing! Hailin G.
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Richard’s Answer

Almost certainly, Yes! But check with your degree requirements and plot out the necessary courses to be sure. This should be posted on your college's website. My son majored in statistics and economics and knows dozens of people who did either math/econ or stat/econ doubles.
Hi Richard, what does your son do? This can help the student start exploring potential career options! Gurpreet Lally, Admin
Thank you for your response! Hailin G.
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Ana Karime’s Answer

Look for the company that you like and see if they only request a bachelor degree., Then apply.
Thanks for the advice! Hailin G.
Hey Ana, do you have any job recommendations for them? Gurpreet Lally, Admin
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Hector’s Answer

Statistics applies mainly to Engineering, Business, Healthcare and practically anything. Now, for sue, Economics is present in every field without exception.

Economics deals with Accounting, and any type of business involves accounting
Thank you for sharing. Hailin G.
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Benjamin’s Answer

Hi Hailin! Our backgrounds overlap a fair amount - I was an economics major in undergrad and am currently pursuing a graduate degree in statistics. I am currently working on a data science team, where I spend most of my time training and testing out machine learning models that might help improve my company's software product. Data science is a great career path if you are passionate about statistics, and having a formal background in it is very helpful in this domain.
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Julie’s Answer

Hi Hailin,

I majored in economics and while I didn't have a double major in math or statistics, I am glad that I took a lot of math with my economics major. I run marketing teams and understanding of economics and statistics are incredibly important in marketing. Given digital services and the access to big data, the skills that you'll get from economics and math/stats will be very valuable to marketing teams that are trying to improve their understanding of customer behavior and business value through data. Often marketing teams have an analytics or customer insights team and people on these teams tend to be good at connecting understanding of data and analytics with business impact.

Julie recommends the following next steps:

You may want to consider taking a class that exposes you to business or marketing analytics.
Thank you for the advice! Hailin G.
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Jenna’s Answer

Hi Hailin,

I work as a data scientist in the business intelligence/analytics department of of my company and every day we try to bridge the gap between data science and economics. Incorporating data into the business and economic decisions is a vital part of any modern company. The combination of a statistics and an economics degree will give you a very valuable skill set and make you extremely desirable to companies in a wide range of fields (since essentially every company now has some form of analytics department to help inform its business decisions).

I actually just focused on pure math and statistics in undergrad and grad school and I wish I spent more time learning the quantitative applications to economics, since I interact with economics every single day at my job. I think stats and econ is a perfect combination and will give you the most opportunities in your career. Hope this helps!

Thank you so much for your response. Appreciate it! Hailin G.
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Christina’s Answer

This is a very useful combination and having this skill set would allow you to contribute to pretty much any field. As long as you have access to data, you will have the ability to draw insights from it and make recommendations to better your organization.

I double majored in economics and statistics and am now in a business strategy role. I honestly do not use the theoretical concepts I learned from school that much. However, when I am establishing business cases or advising on our company's strategy and next steps, I use data driven recommendations. Having this background gives me a better idea of how to create business models and understand the data.

Others I know who have double majored in these areas ended up in a wide range of roles. Some went into academia, finance, actuary, healthcare consulting... the list goes on.
This is great to hear. Thank you for sharing! Hailin G.
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