Careers in Economics

The training you receive in economics while at Vassar will not merely enhance your educational experience, it will also make you more attractive to prospective employers and graduate programs. Employers and graduate schools seek individuals who have completed a liberal arts program of study that includes exposure to economic analysis and quantitative reasoning.

Many students will leave Vassar and enter graduate and professional programs. Economics provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in a number of disciplines, including public policy, international studies, law, business, and economics.

The discussion below outlines how courses of study in economics can facilitate employment in your desired career upon graduation.

Getting A Job After Graduation

Economics is one of the best preparations for a career which can be entered with a bachelor’s degree. In addition to economic consulting work in both the private and public sectors, employment prospects in government, journalism, administration, sales, finance, investment banking, and venture capital are enhanced with an economics degree. Work in these fields requires superior analytical ability, so one’s employment prospects will be further improved by supplementing study in economics with skills in statistics, mathematics, and computer science.

Economics majors with a view toward such employment should construct a program of study in consultation with their advisor as early as possible. It is recommended that students interested in economic consulting work take Econometrics (210), which equips them with the skills required for empirical economic research. Preparation for a career in journalism would be advanced by taking courses in Macroeconomics (200, 304), the U.S. Economy (240), and International Economics (248, 345, 346). Students interested in investment banking or venture capital are encouraged to take courses in Financial Markets and Investing (225), International Economics (248, 345, 346), and Industrial Organization (355).

A minimum preparation in economics for non-majors interested in seeking employment in these areas would include Introductory Macroeconomics (100), Introductory Microeconomics (101), Principles of Accounting (120), and Probability and Statistics (209). These four courses, which constitute the recommended minimum, should be supplemented by the introductory courses in calculus and computer science: Introduction to Calculus (Math 121 and 122 or equivalent), and Computer Science I (Cmpu 101). Students are encouraged to build upon this base of six courses in consultation with their advisor.

Students are encouraged to consider a wide variety of sources for information on possible jobs. The Economics Department will post information on internship and employment opportunities as we become aware of them, and the Center for Career Education (CCE) can help you with the search process. However, you should be proactive in also seeking out other sources of information.