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Careers for Economics Students


An undergraduate degree in Economics leads to a great diversity of professional opportunities for those who wish to pursue graduate education as well as for those who want to enter the workforce immediately after college.

Students might consider choosing their four economic electives to fit one of the following areas of specialization. Specializations consist of four related courses in different areas of economics.

Please note that fulfilling a specialization is not required to complete the economics major. A specialization does not appear on a students' transcript and students are responsible for tracking their own progress towards completion of a specialization. 

Behavioral economics combines elements of economics and psychology to understand how and why people behave the way they do in the real world.

We offer a specialization in Behavioral Economics, it consists of four courses:

  • Behavioral Economics (Econ 415)
  • Game Theory and Economic Activity (Econ 487)
  • TWO of the following: Economics of Life (Econ 305), Experimental Economics (Econ 310), Economics and Psychology (Econ 315), or Health Economics (Econ 371)

Business policy deals with acquisition of resources with which organizational goals can be achieved. This may involve guidelines developed by an organization to govern its actions and define the limits within which decisions must be made.

We offer a specialization in Business Policy; it consists of four courses:

  • ONE of the following: Microeconometrics (Econ 421) or Economic Forecasting (Econ 422)
  • ONE of the following: Stocks, Bonds, and Financial Markets (Econ 215), Business and Government (Econ 341), or Development of the Modern U.S. Economy (Econ 356)
  • ONE of the following: Managerial Economics (Econ 400), Industrial Organization (Econ 405), Economics of Labor Markets (Econ 430), or Game Theory and Economic Activity (Econ 487)
  • ONE economics course at or above the 300-level

Transferable skills obtained in an economics major (including problem solving, critical thinking, research, and communication skills) paired with the quantitative knowledge gained in an economics education (data analysis, programming, and forecasting skills) lend itself to a natural fit for careers in consulting and many of our graduates go on to work in the fields of management and economic consulting.  

Management consultants work with businesses to improve their performance by providing expert advice to solve problems and encourage growth. Students interested in management consulting can take the following classes to help them prepare for a career in this area:  

 

Highly Recommended to take prior to recruitment: 

  • ACT 210: Financial Accounting 
  • ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 201: Intermediate Microeconomics 
  • ECON 220: Probability and Statistics for Economists 
  • ECON 400: Managerial Economics 
  • ECON 405: Industrial Organization 

Optional but Recommended: 

  • ECON 315 (Economics and Psychology) 

Economic Consultants cover a more specific range of consulting than management consultants, dealing mostly with government organizations and corporations to help solve problems and disputes that fall under the umbrellas of economics, business, and law. Students interested in economic consulting can take the following classes to help them prepare for a career in this area: 

Highly Recommended to take prior to recruitment: 

  • ACT 210: Financial Accounting
  • ECON 112: Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • ECON 212: Intermediate Macroeconomics 
  • ECON 320: Econometrics 
  • Independent Study/Research 

Optional but Recommended: 

  • ECON 421: Microeconometrics 
  • ECON 422: Economic Forecasting 
  • ECON 487: Game Theory & Economics Activity 

Data science is the domain of study that deals with vast volumes of data using modern tools and techniques to find unseen patterns, derive meaningful information, and make business decisions. Data science uses complex machine learning algorithms to build predictive models.

We offer a specialization in Data Sciences comprised of four courses:

  • Microeconometrics (Econ 421)
  • Economic Forecasting (Econ 422)
  • Financial Econometrics (Econ 423)
  • ONE of the following: Game Theory and Economic Activity (Econ 487) or Experimental Economics (Econ 310)

Specialization in Data Science: View Flyer

Financial economics analyzes the use and distribution of resources in markets. It employs economic theory to evaluate how time, risk, opportunity costs, and information can create incentives or disincentives for a particular decision.

Our Financial Economics specialization requires four courses:

  • Financial Economics (Econ 333)
  • Advanced Financial Markets (Econ 433)
  • Financial Econometrics (Econ 423)
  • ONE of the following: Stocks, Bonds, and Financial Markets (Econ 215), Money and Banking (Econ 411), Behavioral Economics and Finance (Econ 415), International Finance (Econ 432), or Housing and Mortgage Markets (Econ 446)

Economics majors, especially Economics-Human Health joint majors, receive the foundation to pursue a variety of careers in healthcare including policy analysis, consulting, administration and management, and informatics. Economics majors also pursue pre-health tracks for their future medical careers.

Our Health Economics specialization requires four courses:

  • Health Economics (Econ 371)
  • Health Policy and Economics (Econ 372)
  • TWO of the following: Microeconometrics (Econ 421), Economics of Labor Markets (Econ 430), Public Finance (Econ 434), or Research in Health Economics & Policy (ECON 470)

The global economic environment is complex and provides various challenges for economics professionals across fields. The ability to adapt rapidly to this environment requires a detailed understanding of the international economic elements that can affect outcomes.  

Our International and Development Economics specialization requires four courses:

  • TWO of the following: Introduction to Global Trade and Finance (Econ 231), International Trade (Econ 431), or International Finance (Econ 432)
  • ONE of the following: Economic Development (Econ 362), Latin American Economics (Econ 364), or Development Issues for Africa (Econ 366)
  • ONE economics course at or above the 300-level

Many private-sector job opportunities are available for economics majors in the banking industry, brokerage houses, investment banks, insurance companies, and law firms. 

Here are classes students interested in Investment Banking/Management that students can take that can help prepare them for a career in this area: 

Highly Recommended to take prior to recruitment: 

  • ACT 210: Financial Accounting 
  • ECON 215: Stocks, Bonds, and Financial Markets 

Optional but Recommended: 

  • ECON 333: Financial Economics 
  • ECON 411: Money and Banking 
  • ECON 423: Financial Econometrics 
  • ECON 433 Advanced Financial Markets  

Many careers in law involve shaping economic decisions. Writing and interpreting contracts, supporting mergers and acquisitions, dealing with the tax system, addressing disputes of workers, landlords, and vendors; all involve decisions with significant economic content and implications. Students’ critical thinking, analytical, and research skills are all cultivated in the study of economics, making it a suitable major for students who wish to pursue a legal career upon graduation.  

 

Our Law and Economics specialization includes four courses: 

  • Law and Economics (Econ 442) 
  • TWO of the following: Business and Government (Econ 341), Industrial Organization (Econ 405), Economics of Regulation (Econ 440), or Game Theory and Economic Activity (Econ 487) 
  • ONE of the following: Health Economics (Econ 371), Health Policy and Economics (Econ 372), Microeconometrics (421), or Public Finance (Econ 434) 

Macroeconomics is the study of the behavior of the whole economies. Monetary economics is a theory holding the economical variations within a given system.  

Our Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics specialization requires four courses:

  • Topics in Macroeconomics (Econ 410)
  • Money and Banking (Econ 411)
  • Economic Forecasting (Econ 422)
  • ONE of the following: International Finance (Econ 432), Labor Economics (Econ 430), or Housing and Mortgage Markets (Econ 446)

Public Policy deals with real-world applications of economics to societal problems such as inequality, health, unemployment, development, the environment, and education. Most public policy issues have a strong economic dimension; therefore, economics is a natural undergraduate major for those interested in public policy, public administration, or public health.

Our Public Policy specialization requires four courses:

  • Either TWO of the following: Contemporary Economic Issues (Econ 309), Business and Government (Econ 341), Environmental Economics and Policy (Econ 365), or Health Policy and Economics (Econ 372) OR six hours of Washington Policy Semester (Econ 494)
  • TWO of the following: Industrial Organization (Econ 405), Public Finance (Econ 434), Economics of Regulation (Econ 440), Law and Economics (Econ 442), or Housing and Mortgage Markets (Econ 446)

Every year a handful of our undergraduate students graduate and move on to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics at prestigious institutions including the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. will need rigorous quantitative and empirical training. Common classes required for admission to a doctoral program in economics include:  

Highly Recommended: 

  • ECON 320: Econometrics 
  • MATH 111: Calculus I 
  • MATH 112: Calculus II 
  • MATH 211: Multivariable Calculus 
  • MATH 221: Linear Algebra 
  • MATH 411: Real Analysis 
  • Independent Study/Research 

Optional but Recommended: 

  • ECON 421: Microeconometrics 
  • ECON 422: Economic Forecasting 
  • MATH 346: Optimization 
  • MATH 361: Probability & Statistics 

Read about our PhD program and how you can apply.