University of Wisconsin–Madison

Explore Careers in Economics

In the Economics Career Development Office, we are commonly asked about what careers our graduates pursue. Majoring in economics is like majoring in critical thinking. You are well-prepared to apply your coursework to a variety of careers and industries. Sometimes the range of choices makes it difficult to decide what you would like to do after graduation. We have found that by understanding what skills you have, what other graduates have done, and what you enjoy doing, you can begin to define your career goals!

Below, we highlight career paths of economics alumni, career guides for the most common industries economics students pursue, skills gained through studying economics, and additional career exploration resources. If you would like to talk to someone about your career interests, make an appointment with us!

SKILLS GAINED THROUGH STUDYING ECONOMICS

Generally, 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 including:

  • Research/Analysis

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

  • Financial/Data

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

  • Problem Solving

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

  • Communication

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