College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Career Opportunities

Job and occupational titles at entry level for those receiving bachelors degrees in economics vary considerably as is true with most academic disciplines. Recent graduates have joined the labor force in positions encompassing the occupational areas of accounting, statistics, finance, business management, public policy, specialized sales. Others have accepted positions related to employee benefits, financial services, public administration, urban planning, environmental regulation, and real estate as well as junior economists or economic researchers. All sectors of our economy have been represented: industry, business, and government.

Many students go on for graduate degrees. A few have entered schools of law, or studied theology. Many beginning positions in government, business, and industry involve the collection and compilation of data and a thorough knowledge of basic statistical procedures. In recent years about half of those employed as economists have held either a masters or a Ph.D. degree.

Economists with training in computer applications should be in demand as well as Ph.D.'s working on tax, pollution, and government policy problems of business and industry. Women and minorities are in demand at all levels.

Private industry and business are expected to continue to provide the largest number of employment opportunities for economists because of increased reliance on quantitative methods of analyzing business trends, forecasting sales, and planning purchasing and production operations. The next largest area of employment opportunities for economists will most likely be in colleges and universities. Employment of economists in state and local government agencies is expected to increase because of the growing responsibilities of local governments in areas such as housing, mass transportation, environmental regulation, and manpower development and training. Employment of economists in the federal government is expected to rise slowly in-line with the rate of growth projected for the federal work force as a whole.

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