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:
Applying statistical methods
Testing an idea/hypothesis
Maintaining accurate records
Manipulating numerical data
Preparing financial reports/statements
Relating theory to practice
Applying quantitative analysis
Writing reports articles
Writing grant proposals
Sizing up an audience
ADDITIONAL CAREER EXPLORATION RESOURCES
Career Exploration Center at UW-Madison
Career Exploration Center at UW-Madison provides in-depth advising appointments for undergraduates to help you explore your interests, values, strengths, and personality
SuccessWork’s Career Communities
SuccessWork’s Career Communities highlight online resources to explore career options in Government, Politics, Policy & Law, NonProfit Management, Data & Analytics and MORE
Occupational Outlook Handbook
The Occupational Outlook Handbook highlights occupations by industry or interest area and outlines what the positions do, how to become one, pay ranges, job outlook, and similar occupations.
American Economic Association “Careers in Economics”
American Economic Association “Careers in Economics” section highlights common career paths and salary statistics
The Graduate School’s Individual Development Plan
The Graduate School’s Individual Development Plan helps graduate students assess skills, interests, and strengths and make a plan to meet professional goals
Begin exploring internships and jobs in career fields you are curious about!