If you're interested in a job that specifically relies on economics, there are several career paths open to you, including economic or management consulting firms. You could be doing anti-trust work, macroeconomic or market analysis and projections, demographic analysis, or litigation support, to name a few. Most state and local governments have jobs for economists in the areas of tax policy, planning, energy and telecommunications regulation, and others. Economics provides a very good background for many different types of graduate programs.
Economics provides great preparation for a job in just about any field. You'll graduate with broad-based liberal arts degree and a set of tools and analytic techniques to analyze a variety of problems. An organization looking for a good liberal arts graduate will also be looking for an economics major: this includes government, marketing, sales, finance and research.
The Art of Resilience
When David Barranco ’92 reflects on his years at UVM where he studied economics, he remembers developing a certain flexibility of thinking that helped him solve problems that don’t always have textbook answers.
“I eventually got my MBA from Fordham and that gave me important background in finance, but I look to my UVM education as essential in helping me navigate my career with this company,” he said.
Barranco is senior managing director of restructuring and corporate development at Ambac Assurance Corporation, a company that specializes in providing insurance to bondholders, often states and municipalities, which issue bonds to finance everything from general operations, to schools, to road improvements, to large infrastructure projects.
He was director of the company’s European Structured Finance office based in London when the global financial crisis in 2008 struck. Along with many other companies with investments in mortgage-backed securities, Ambac was hit hard, with major bond guarantors struggling to pay insurance claims. Barranco was called back to the company’s home office in New York City to help manage the evolving crisis.
“Everything was turned upside down, so job descriptions didn’t mean much at that point,” he said. “You had to focus your energies on helping change the direction of the company, which places you in unfamiliar roles. In my case, it was transitioning from front office sales to hard core restructuring.”
The average LSAT score for economics majors was the highest of any academic discipline. That's probably because economics teaches you how to systematically analyze a problem. Law and economics is also a growing field and you can take a specialized course Law and Economics (EC 135) in the economics department at UVM. Read more information on pre-law at UVM and our partnership with Vermont Law School through which you can earn a law degree.
Public Policy Programs
Many economics majors go on to get a masters in public policy. It's usually a two-year program and economics is a strong component of any MPP program. Students programs can focus on a wide variety of problems and issues, both domestic and international. These programs provide you with the training to be able to work for a variety of government or non-profit organizations.
Some economics majors go to graduate programs to obtain a masters degree in business administration. There are also two-year programs that provide you with training to work in a business environment in a variety concentrations including finance, marketing, advertising, accounting, organizational behavior and IT. Many top-ranked MBA programs prefer to accept students who have a few years of business experience. Read a list of MBA programs and other resources.
There are many masters and doctoral programs in economics and agricultural economics throughout the country. With a two-year masters degree, you can work in a variety of settings including government, higher education, non-profits and business. A Ph.D. program takes on average 5-7 years to complete and requires a strong mathematics background as well as economics. For those considering a graduate degree in economics, you may want to prepare by taking a number of additional math courses, beyond Math 19, or getting a minor in mathematics.