Careers in Economics
Our majors have been very successful at placing in a wide range of jobs, as well as graduate programs. Using data from their First Destinations survey of recent WFU graduates, the Office of Personal and Career Development (OPCD) has prepared a graphic illustrating the industries, employers, and geographic areas that have most often popped up in our graduates’ placements. (Click here)
If you want a more detailed look, you can also examine the raw data:
We strongly recommend that you begin speaking with the OPCD (Reynolda 230) early in your career, as they can help you to form your post-Wake plans. Also, please register for an account with Handshake to access both internships and jobs.
More and more jobs are being found through student summer internships. Often these result in good prospects before the senior year. Please check out internship opportunities through OPCD.
Majors should be aware that any job interview that says “for business majors only” automatically includes economics majors (according to the career center staff). So do not hesitate to sign up.
Most employers do not specifically ask for economists. However, there are some that do — government agencies in particular. You may need to dig these out, but there are some.
Check out this video launched by AEA about the benefits of an economics major.
Graduate Studies in Economics
Modern economics, at the professional level, is highly mathematical. Someone planning to go on to grad school in economics is well advised to take the joint major in math-econ. Otherwise, combine economics with as much additional quantitative work as possible. Faculty will be glad to advise on courses. Also plan to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) early in the fall of your senior year. Most important: make your interest known to faculty as soon as possible; their advice will be helpful.
Although graduate study in the professions (e.g., law, medicine, management, etc.) is often costly, almost all well-qualified students who enroll for the PhD in economics will find that fellowships, assistant ships, waivers of tuition, etc., reduce the cost substantially and in most cases provide a small, but living income during the period of graduate studies. In short, do not assume that a PhD will cost you or your parents a bundle; it probably will be essentially free, except for opportunity cost.