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.  According to the College Placement Council, the Average Annual Salary offers for graduating seniors are:
* Economics ----------------$40,000 - $59,000
* Business ------------------ $36,000 - $51,000
* Other Social Sciences   $26,000 - $40,000

This shows that the 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.

Careers of Fredonia Economics Graduates:

  • Financial analyst, Commercial Corporation, Dallas, TX
  • Payroll specialist, Paychex, Inc.
  • Business analyst, TRW, Fairfax, VA
  • Treasurer - collateral liaison, Fleet Bank, Albany, NY
  • Administrative Business Analyst - planning Dept - Seneca Nation of Indians
  • Associate - J.P. Morgan Chase
  • Auditor - New York State Tax & Finance Department
  • Credit Analyst - Dresser - Rand Co.
  • Economic/Community Development Planner - Merrimack Valley Planning Comm.
  • Equity Analyst - Deutsche Asset Management
  • Financial Analyst, Aetna Underwriting Insurance, Middletown, CT
  • Manager, Financial Analysis, Hyland Software, Inc. Cleveland, OH
  • Analyst, Verizon Communications, Buffalo, NY
  • Deposit Operations Processor, Partners Trust Bank, Binghamton, NY
  • Investment Consultant, Beanstalk Enterprises, Gowanda, NY

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