What career options are there for economics majors?
I am studying economics at Brown; I really like how economic thinking can solve problems, but I am not a huge fan of math (I do not plan to take any beyond statistics and Calc II which are required). I am very interested in public policy, but more from an applied microeconomics view (rather than macro policy). I'm not super interested in finance/consulting/business, but I haven't ruled it out. I think teaching and research would be super cool, but I know getting an economics Phd is a lot of math. What career options would y'all suggest? #economics #policy #professor #career #phd #government #research
I would suggest a government-related role... an economics background can be applied in many areas - public policy, research, FED/State agencies. I would also recommend the private sector - an economics degree can be used in business strategy, marketing, data analytics, etc. Neither a government or private sector role require a PhD unless you want to really specialize.
Hope this helps!
The most important and most direct way to find an appropriate application of economics for you is two fold:
- get to know yourself to see how your personality traits relate to people involved in various applications of economics
- get to know and meet and talk to people who are involved in those areas of interest so that you can carry on a dialogue (a two way conversation in person) to learn more about what they do and how they got there and what they recommend and how you feel about it.
Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
Ken recommends the following next steps:
You can become an economist predicting, forecasting, and forming the future economic trend,
or you can become a teaching teaching economics.
Or you may utilize what you learn in college to have your own business.
Going to government sectors is also an option. You can always go to work for many companies
on Wall Street or Main Street.
He was also not interested in the business/IBD route, but tried it.
He ended up finding Economic Consulting as a great middle ground -- intellectually challenging, but not as risky as a PhD. You should check it out!
Also, it's worth taking real analysis in college just so you don't rule yourself out of a PhD.