Why Study Economics?
A career in Economics...it's much more than you think - from the American Economic Association on Vimeo.
How does a degree in economics help me get employed?
Quite simply, economics teaches you how to think. While studying economics, you will develop the analytical and critical thinking skills that are necessary for any career path you choose. You will be able to think clearly about complex issues and to communicate your ideas effectively to both technical and non-technical audiences. Furthermore, the quantitative skills learned while pursuing an economics degree are highly sought-after by employers in business and government, and are important for effective decision making.
Specifically, when you graduate with an economics degree you will be able to:
- Think critically about important business and economic decisions.
- Effectively communicate economic ideas.
- Conduct cost-benefit and policy analysis
- Use and manipulate data to answer important business-related questions.
- Utilize the R statistical software package, which is widely used by government and businesses.
Students interested in economics should experiment by taking some of our gen ed courses [PDF].
The Economics Department offers a wide variety of elective courses to suit your particular interests and compliment your minor or double major.
- Why Study Economics presentation [PDF]
- Why Study Economics Video by Dr. Christopher Elias
- Things to know for First Year Economics Majors Video by Dr. Christopher Elias
What career choices do I have with a bachelor's degree in economics?
A degree in economics offers a high degree of flexibility to accommodate specific career objectives. The versatility of the economics degree offers a diverse career path in business, government, education, international organizations, and nonprofits. Below is a non-comprehensive list of possible career choices:
- Economic, Data, Investment, Financial, Credit, Budget, Policy, Industry, Market Research analyst
- Economic Forecaster
- Compensation and Benefits manager
- Cost estimator
- Insurance sales agent
- Banker, Loan officer
- Insurance underwriter
- Leasing consultant
- Financial examiner/manager
- Project manager/administrator
- Business manager
- Health service manager
- Field marketing associate
- Business reporter
What salary range can I expect with a bachelor's in economics?
Based on a PayScale College Salary Report, the starting salary for someone with a degree in economics is $50,100 with a mid-career salary of $96,700.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also provides data on employment and wages as an economist. According to PayScale.com, students with a BBA or BS degree in Economics rated their job satisfaction with five out of five stars (based on 45 and 243 votes, respectively), indicating they are extremely satisfied.
Will a degree in economics help me get into graduate school?
An economics degree offers excellent preparation for students looking to pursue advanced degrees in business (MBA), economics (MS, MA or Ph.D.), or law (JD). Based on a study from the National Institute of Education comparing 550,000 college students, economics majors tend to receive top scores on graduate entrance exams such as the LSAT and GMAT. In particular, economics majors scored +9.6% above the mean score of all test takers on LSAT and +7.3% on GMAT.
Our graduates have gone on to pursue master’s degrees in business (MBA), statistics, public policy, and economics. Some of our students continued their education at the Ph.D. level at institutions including Purdue, Oregon, Clemson, West Virginia, and Wayne State, while others went on to law school at institutions such as Harvard and William and Mary.