What Can I Do With A Major In Economics?

Economics is the study of how effectively society meets its human and material needs. It provides a logical, ordered way of looking at various problems. It draws upon history, philosophy, and mathematics to deal with subjects ranging from how an individual household or business can make sound decisions to societal issues such as unemployment, inflation, and environmental decay. As a result, economics is widely recognized as a solid background for many jobs and professions in business, government, and the law.

Economics is one of the most demanding, yet rewarding, disciplines that you can choose to study. Students of economics will gain insight into what motivates people to behave as they do and how different groups with different behaviors interact when they come together. The concepts and tools of analysis that Economics students learn also makes it one of the most adaptable and useful sets of skills a job candidate can have. Employers know that Economics majors are well-prepared analytically to face the challenges of a dynamic world.

More than anything else, economists like to ask questions about the individual and collective choices we make and seek to understand the impact of those choices on the world around us. Economists' quest for knowledge not only addresses questions involving the traditional economy such as: "Does free trade benefit consumers but hurt workers?" and "Does a minimum wage help or hurt the working poor?", but also questions outside of the traditional economy such as: "How do different types of environmental protection affect citizens well being ?", "Why do some people wait to marry and have children and others don't?", and "How do cultural values, levels of inequality, and public institutions affect the productivity of the economy?"

The analytical training and quantitative skills obtained make economics one of the most financially rewarding and flexible undergraduate degrees available. Since most of the skills that people use in their occupations they learn "on the job," employers frequently seek individuals that have the ability to critically analyze and evaluate a variety of complex situations. The skill set obtained by an economics major is just that - the ability to critically, and quantitatively, evaluate a wide range of real-world events. 

A Sample of Related Occupations

  • Legal and Litigation Support
  • Business/Economic Reporter
  • Investment Analyst
  • Statistician
  • Environmental Planner
  • ADD Economist

Types of Employers

Private and Non-Profit Organizations

Low Income
Market Research Companies
Brokerage Firms
Insurance Companies
Legal Firms
City/County/State Government
Environmental Agencies
Community Development
Land Use Planning
Trade Associations
Accounting Firms
Chamber of Commerce
Consulting Firms
Public Services
Property Assessment
Public Utility
Economic/Community Development

Government Agencies

Federal Reserve Banks
Department of Treasury
Central Intelligence Agency
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Securities and Exchange Commission
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Department of State
Department of Agriculture
General Accounting Office
Bureau of Census

Related Web Links

Professional Associations