Career Paths in Economics

What can I do with a degree in economics?

Obtaining a degree in economics requires an ability to communicate well both verbally and orally. It requires high level of logical reasoning and an equally high level of mathematical acuity. Obtaining a degree will enhance these abilities while providing data and statistical skills in high demand by employers across the board. You should contact the University’s Career and Professional Development Center for help in finding a job after graduation.

How do the earnings of economics graduates compare?

Relative earnings are reported on the American Economic Association website here.

Careers in Economics

The American Economic Association have a comprehensive overview of what you can do with your degree at

Graduate School

Business: A degree in Economics is the preferred pre-business school degree. If you intend to go to Business School in the future there is little point in relearning the same the skills at a higher level. Economics teaches principles that will continue to be of use during your advanced studies and throughout your career in business.

Law: Economics requires the kind of logical thought and verbal acuity required of lawyers. LSAT performance is known to be very important for people wanting gain admission to top law schools. Michael Neiswiadomy of North Texas University has looked into who performs best on the LSAT examination. Scroll to page 6 of his paper to see the most comprehensive list of comparator majors. 

Economics: There are, in general, two options for continuing your study in economics. The master’s degree or the PhD degree.

Master’s Degree

A Master’s degree program in economics can be used as a terminal degree or as a steppingstone to the PhD. The classes you take will depend on which of these objectives you intend to pursue. Those who intend to enter the workforce for good after graduation will focus on the applied data and policy analysis tools which are in demand in many sectors of the economy. Our own master’s program at works well in this regard. Current UAlbany economics students can save time and money acquiring the master’s degree by enrolling in the joint B.S./M.A. program. Please create link.

We also have a unique forecasting concentration in the master’s program which is more selective than the general master’s program. The forecasting concentration provides an intensive training the statistical methods used in economic forecasting. These are in demand from the private sector for example to forecast demand for goods and services. And, they are in demand from the government agencies for example to forecast revenues and expenditures.

PhD degree

The PhD typically does not require a master’s degree for admission. However, PhD programs in economics are very selective. Some evidence of ability in economics will be required. An extensive and accomplished background in mathematics is essential. Programs typically have a nominal requirement of 3 semesters of calculus and one of linear algebra. However, in practice to gain admission to a good program you should have the equivalent of at least a minor in mathematics with good grades. Evidence of strong statistical skills is also very helpful. Read more about our PhD program.

More information including sources of rankings of programs is available from the American Economic Association.