According to a 2002 National Association of Business Economics survey, 18.5% of the economics grads work for the government, 16% work for private consulting firms, 11.5% work in academia, 11.2% work for financial institutions and the remaining 42.8% work in other areas like scientific research and development services for other industries like agriculture, law, health care, etc. Economists, investment bankers, commercial bankers, corporate financial managers, stockbrokers, traders, financial securities analysts and administrative managers all have degrees in basic economics and business.
Students should have a good understanding of math, politics and business. People often choose this major because they want a good job, they want to make a lot of money, they want to be a manager or CPA, they want to have a secure job or they want to get into a good graduate school.
To get accepted by a school’s department of Economics in a prestigious graduate program, you’ll need some letters of recommendation to help you clinch the deal. Be aware that recommendations from your employer in an unrelated field, your neighbor or a relative will hold very little value. Instead, you’ll need letters from economists who have contacts at the schools you’re applying to. The catch is you also have to know these economists well! While you’re getting your undergrad degree in economics, get to know some of your professors well. Remember, most professors will be excited about your ambitions, so don’t be afraid to approach them for advice or that recommendation letter. If your recommendations aren’t all that stellar, you’ll still have a chance at getting into the education economics program if your GRE scores, math grades and admission essays are particularly polished.
Many Business Economics majors go onto law school. Economics research shows that the economics majors consistently scored highest on the LSAT throughout the nineties. This is important because for every point scored on the LSAT, grads earn an additional $ 2,600 in salary their first year out of law school. Additionally, a 1998 Wall Street Journal article quoted UC-Berkeley admissions officer Edward Tom as saying, “Of all the majors, economics ranks in the top four or five consistently year after year for both applicants and offers made.”
Many Business Economics majors go on to get their MBA. Richard Silverman, executive director of admissions at Yale, said: “The best people are more frequently taking economics as their major than they were a decade ago.” He goes on to say “It shows they have the intellectual fire in the belly to perform well in an MBA program.” Similarly, UC-Berkeley admissions officer Edward Tom added, “Of all the majors, economics ranks in the top four or five consistently year after year for both applicants and offers made.” Compared to business administration, accounting, marketing and finance majors, the economics majors earn 15-20% more.
According to US News & World Report, Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts is the top-rated school for Business Economics. The second-best university in this field is Stanford in California and Northwestern University in Illinois. After the top-three, other economics college options include the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) in Philadelphia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan) in Cambridge, the University of Chicago, UC-Berkeley in California, Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Columbia University in New York City and Yale University in Connecticut. It’s highly recommended that individuals looking to remain competitive in their field pursue advanced education with Master’s or PhD’s.
A department of Economics is rather rigorous, compared to other areas. Many individuals start off seeking a degree in economics, only to switch to business, finance or an easier degree. The best way to keep ahead is to take as much as you can; hard math, too. Keep reading economics books and publications like The Economist or the Wall Street Journal. In the summers, seek out internships and peruse the Job Openings for Economists (JOE) job board at www.aeaweb.org/joe. To be successful in any field, you must love what you’re doing, as well as eat, sleep and breathe it.