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Advisement for Snagging a Business Economics or Financial Sheepskin

Advisement for Snagging a Business Economics or Financial Sheepskin
Advisement for Snagging a Business Economics or Financial Sheepskin


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.

To get approved by a grad school’s department of Economics, you’ll need to take a GRE test, get a few letters of recommendations from economists and write an essay discussing what areas of economics you’re interested in, what papers you’ve read on the topics and what questions you’d like to explore further. You don’t necessarily need a specific thesis proposal, but you want to sound professional, determined and passionate about basic economics. You should get a critique on your essay from someone in your undergrad economics department to ensure it sounds intelligent and hits on the right topics. GRE scores also matter a lot in your acceptance. These examinations should be taken no later than October, but the sooner the better. Your admissions application will not even be considered until your test results are in.

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.”

Upon graduating with a degree in Business Economics, one may work in government, business or education. People with four-year bachelor’s degrees can get hired in many entry-level administration, consulting and management trainee jobs. Yet, those who wish to pursue a career as an actual “Economist” should pursue a Master’s or PhD degree. Getting an advanced degree with as much math and accounting as possible is the best way to stand apart from the competition. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for someone with a degree in economics is projected to grow 7.5% by 2016.

Individuals with a degree in Business Economics have been recruited by employers like the California State Controller’s Office, Cerner Healthcare Information Technology, Coca-Cola, Consolidated Graphics, Deloitte Services LP, Edward Jones, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Ernst & Young LLP, General Mills, Inc., Insight, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Group (MA), Medix Staffing Solutions, PetSmart, Raytheon, Sherwin-Williams, Travelers Insurance and Wells Fargo Financial. The economics field is expected to grow 7% by 2016, adding another 16,000 workers. People with bachelor’s degrees can get almost any entry-level job in business. Master’s degree holders generally compete for sales and management trainee positions. Those who hold PhD degrees often go on to teach or become top market analysts in their fields.

As you know, most students seeking PhDs love school and wish to continue working in academia at an economics college or university. According to the Job Openings for Economists (JOE) job board, as of June 2009, there are full-time positions open at John Hopkins University, Kansas State University, Lebanon Valley College, the University of Santa Barbara, the University of Austin Texas and West Virginia University. NYU, Lake Forest College, Saint Benedict’s, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Vermont also offer adjunct/part-time positions. Internationally, there are positions in Australia, South Korea, Germany and the UK. You’ll need to contact the department of Economics of these offers through the JOE website at www.aeaweb.org/joe.

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