A macroeconomist is concerned with the overall "big picture" of the economy. Unlike the "microeconomist," whose primary concern is the buying and spending of consumers, coupled with the "supply and demand" of the economy, a macroeconomist focuses more on the general trends of the economy and what can do done to improve it from a broader perspective.
The general requirements and qualifications for a macroeconomist would be someone who is skilled in math applications and statistics, economic theory, and financial trends.
The typical education track required of a macroeconomist would be a four-year degree in economics, math, or applied statistics, with a business slant. Some macroeconomists work in the private sector or with the corporate world, and others work for the government. Since you are not sure which area you might likely work in later, it is wise to get a broad education in the applied sciences or liberal arts too.
An Alternate Route
You need a four-year (Bachelor’s degree) to be a true macroeconomist. An economist is a specialist and they need a full four-year degree to gain that knowledge in their chosen field. While one could work in the field of economics with a lesser degree, it is doubtful they would be considered a full-fledge macroeconomist without the four-year degree.
Steps to Becoming a Macroeconomist
If you decide this field is for you, here are some steps you could take to begin the process:
1) First, get a Bachelor’s degree in economics, math, or applied sciences. Your degree program should focus on economics in general, as well as the study of economics as it relates to the "big picture" (macroeconomics).
2) Gain experience in related fields. Get a job working with your local county extension office, a budgeting committee, or anything that would give you a good background in economic know-how.
3) Become a specialist. A macroeconomist is a specialist in his chosen field. People will come to rely on you to be the expert in matters of wide range economic trends and occurrences. If you become really skilled at this, perhaps you will even be asked to work in some capacity for the government, like Warren Buffet has done.
4) Decide which area of economics you want to focus on. If you choose to work with corporations and business, your career will be much different than if you decide to focus on a global reach as a political expert in the field of economics.
5) Keep up with the trends. It is extremely important for economists to keep up with the current trends. The field of macroeconomics involves not only the subtle changes in supply and demand, inflation, and overall national economics, but also world and political factors as well. The more you know about world events and the political engines that fuel them, the better you will be at predicting change and growth in the future.
To become an effective macroeconomist, you should study the effects of global trends on the economy, know the significance of specific factors, and learn to predict with some accuracy what the economy will do over the long term. Of course, economics is such an unpredictable field, it is impossible to tell what will happen with any certainty. But, if you are analytical minded and have an ability to see beyond the obvious, you may become highly respected as the voice of reason for consumers and government alike, in our changing economic climate.