University of Wisconsin–Madison

Career Options for Economics Majors

In the Economics Career Development Office, we are commonly asked about what careers economics majors go into after graduation. Majoring in economics is like majoring in critical thinking. You are well-prepared to apply your coursework to a variety of careers and industries. Your economics major opens up a wide range of career options to you. Sometimes the range of choices makes it difficult to decide what you would like to do after graduation. However, we have complied a list of the most popular industries below. If you would like to talk to someone about your career interests, the Economics Career Development Office is here to help!

Students majoring in economics gain skills that are valuable for many jobs and in many settings. An economics education:

  • Trains you to think analytically and critically in solving complex problems.
  • Provides skills to observe and make inferences from data.
  • Teaches you effective verbal and written communication skills.

More specifically, economics teaches and develops a variety of skills. The lists below are just some skills you may gain.

Research/Analysis
Generating/developing ideas
Organizing materials
Designing projects
Analyzing results
Applying statistical methods
Testing an idea/hypothesis

Problem Solving
Assessing needs
Defining problems
Reviewing/evaluating goals
Relating theory to practice
Applying quantitative analysis
Generating solutions
Evaluating policies
Projecting/forecasting results

Financial/Data
Maintaining accurate records
Tabulating data
Manipulating numerical data
Developing budgets
Cost analysis/projections
Preparing financial reports/statements

Communication
Writing reports articles
Reading/interpreting reports/statements
Summarizing data
Writing grant proposals
Analyzing data
Sizing up an audience
Speaking clearly
Presenting proposals/reports

Career Opportunities Frequently Pursued by Economics Majors

Below is a list of a few of the common industries economics majors have gone into in the past. This is not a complete list of everything you can do with a major in economics. Think of it as a starting point. Your career advisor can help you learn more. If you click on each area, it lists helpful information for someone interested in that area, including, potential courses, student orgs, and sample job titles. Please note that these are guides only; you are not required to take all the courses that are listed or join any student organizations listed.

Business Banking and Finance
Economic Development
Entrepreneurship
Federal Reserve Public Finance
Government
Graduate School in Economics
Healthcare
International Trade
Law
Marketing and Retail
Public Policy
Real Estate and Urban Planning