Students and their parents often ask about the career options open to economics majors. To work as an "economist" generally one must have an advanced degree. Some of our graduates, in fact, do go on and get M.A.'s and Ph.D.'s, aiming for college teaching jobs or high-level banking or government jobs. However, most do not.
So what then can a college graduate with a B.A. in economics expect?
Fortunately, the undergraduate degree in economics offers great flexibility. It trains students for entry level jobs in a variety of areas, including: business economics and forecasting, urban real estate and regional planning, analysis of markets and industrial regulation, and so on. Recent SMC economics graduates found jobs in management consulting and systems analysis (for example, at Anderson consulting), in sales and in customer relations (e.g., at IBM and IDX), in banking and financial services (Dun & Bradstreet, Prudential Bache, Chittenden Bank, Transamerica, Chubb Insurance, etc.). We also have graduates who are social workers and teachers. Some have become branch managers or are self-employed owners of national franchises; others have gone on to law school or have completed MBA programs. The list goes on. . . .
This diversity and flexibility comes from the nature of economics training, which most of all provides a systematic approach to problem solving. Think of economics as giving you a way of looking at the world and a set of tools that can be applied to helping a company decide on location, production levels, pricing, etc., but that are just as relevant to helping governments understand the consequences of new tax proposals or, say, employee incentive programs.
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