What can I do with a degree in economics?
Prospective students and majors often ask this question. The short answer is anything. Oxy graduates who majored in economics have gone on to all types of careers, becoming college professors, C.E.O.'s of major corporations, teachers, attorneys, physicians, theater managers, venture capitalists, high-level government officials, and officers in the air force—to name just a few.
Our alums have also gone on to graduate school in a variety of fields, earning doctorates, master's degrees, and other advanced degrees in business administration, public policy, accounting, law, medicine, education, sociology, and many other fields.
Your first step as you start thinking about what you will do after Oxy should be to visit Oxy's Hameetman Career Center, which offers a wealth of information and a variety of programs regarding jobs and careers. Check out their website and visit the office in person to learn more (start visiting early in your college career and visit often throughout your four years).
If you are interested in a PhD program in economics, talk to your advisor early in your career and read the following resources carefully:
You should also consider the AEA Summer Training Program & Scholarship Program. This 8-week intensive residential program "prepares talented undergraduates from under-represented groups for doctoral programs in Economics and related disciplines." The application deadline is often in January.
Note that most students do not begin PhD programs in economics directly after their undergraduate career. Instead, students often develop their skills (and learn if a PhD is the right choice for them) by first working as an economics research analyst, or by participating in a one-year pre-doctoral master's program designed to enrich students' quantitative skills. Common pre-doctoral opportunities include:
- Economic Consulting Firms: Analysis Group, Bates White, Brattle Group, Charles River Associates, Compass Lexecon, Cornerstone Research, EconOne, Edgeworth Economics, NERA, Quant Economics
- Policy Organizations: RAND Corporation, The Brookings Institution, International Monetary Fund, Peterson Institute for International Economics
- Federal Reserve Bank (Opportunities for both Macro and Applied Micro Research
- One-year Master's in Economics: University of Wisconsin, University of Texas at Austin, Duke University, Tufts University, UCLA, Washington University, and Vanderbilt University
If you are interested in graduate school in business administration, please read Professor Studenmund's "The MBA Myth." This document contains important information about the MBA degree and the best way to prepare for a career in business.
If you are interested in applying to law school, a major in economics will serve you well. Be sure to check out these tips for applying to law school, written by Jon O'Steen '02 (an economics and politics double-major at Oxy who now practices law in Arizona).
As always, be sure to contact your advisor or any faculty member in the department if you have questions or concerns.
- Chair Office: Fowler 224
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (323) 259-1304
- Fax: (323) 259-2704