Careers in Economics

Careers in Economics

So What Can I Do With a Degree in Economics?

Adapted from a report by
Dr. Philip J. McLewin - Ramapo College of New Jersey

Economics Majors - Marketable Skills

The key economic resource in the future will be people who can analyze quantitative and qualitative data to:

  • Provide information [selection and interpretation of data]
  • Make decisions [exercise judgment]

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has stressed that future high paid jobs will require the skills of "symbolic analysts." Few academic majors will equip you as well as economics in this respect.

Economics courses are full of graphs and charts. Some display information of a purely descriptive nature (e.g. how the Consumer Price Index has moved through time); others attempt to explain a relationship (e.g. how the CPI and the unemployment rate are interconnected). These intellectual tools provide you with the following marketable skills:

  • Logical reasoning
  • Problem solving
  • Manipulation of symbols
  • Basic computational skills
  • Making connections between concepts and applications
  • Strong foundation in economic theory

The Fredonia economics program is particularly strong in offering you a wide range of economic thinking. What you get from this experience is making judgments. The economics program will help you develop the following set of career-long skills:

  • Awareness of conflicting interpretations [critical thinking]
  • Assessing different perspectives and ideas [interpretation]
  • Developing inter-personal and communication skills [information clearly presented]
  • Practicing the art of argument with supportive statements [persuasion]
  • Reaching a decision under conditions of uncertainty or conflict [judgment]

Salaries of Economics Graduates

Economics majors tend to earn higher salaries than business and other social science majors. For January of 1999, Average Annual Salary offers for graduating seniors were as follows:

* Economics ---------------- $40,000 - $59,000
* Business ------------------ $36,000 - $51,000
* Other Social Sciences ----- $26,000 - $40,000

Source: College Placement Council, CPC Salary Survey, January, 2008.

This shows that in the late 1990's initial salary offers to fresh economics graduates are roughly 7% higher than business graduates and over 20% higher than social science majors.

Primary Occupations of Economics Graduates

Over 60% of economics graduates are in executive/administrative or sales occupations, compared with less than 40% of all graduates. On the whole economics is much closer to business than either social science or the overall distribution of all graduates.

Furthermore, gender matters. Women are more heavily concentrated in professional, administrative support and technical occupations; men dominate in executive/administrative and sales.

Careers of Fredonia Economics Graduates


Job Titles Held by Our Recent Graduates:

  • Branch manager, Mid - Atlantic Medical services
  • Collateral loan department, Buffalo, NY bank
  • Teaching assistant, graduate school
  • Financial analyst, commercial corporation, Dallas, TX
  • Law student, graduate school
  • Personnel manager, home builders supply firm
  • Director of student financial services, local college
  • Management trainee, ITT Financial Corporation
  • Financial management trainee, Associates Corporations, Buffalo, NY
  • Payroll specialist, Paychex, Inc.
  • Business analyst, TRW, Fairfax, VA
  • Software engineer, Paradyme/G.E.N.E.
  • Treasury - collateral liaison, Fleet Bank, Albany, NY
  • Administrative Businesss Analyst - planning Dept - Seneca Nation of Indians
  • Asst to Buffalo City Council Member - Buffalo City Hall, Buffalo NY
  • Associate - J.P. Morgan Chase
  • Auditor - New York State Tax & Finance Department
  • Corporate Sales Manager - Atlanta Falcons (NFL)
  • Credit Analyst - Dresser - Rand Co.
  • Economic/Community Development Planner - Merrimack Valley Planning Comm.
  • Equity Analyst - Deutsche Asset Management
  • Management Trainee - Enterprise Car Rental
  • Financial Analyst, Aetna Underwriting Insurance, Middletown, CT
  • Manager, Financial Analysis, Hyland Software, Inc. Cleveland, OH
  • Ph.D. student (Economics), University of Colorado, CO
  • Ph.D. student (Economics), Florida State University, FL
  • Analyst, Verizon Communications, Buffalo, NY
  • Deposit Operations Processor, Partners Trust Bank, Binghamton, NY
  • Engineering Planner Associate, Lockhead Martin, Owego, NY
  • Investment Consultant, Beanstalk Enterprises, Gowanda, NY
  • Service Planner/Analyst, NFTA, Buffalo, NY