Preparing for Careers and Graduate School

After graduation students have the option of either continuing on to graduate school or starting their career. We’ve outlined some tips and suggested next steps to help prepare you for your next steps after graduation.

Preparing for Graduate School

If you decide to pursue graduate work in economics, you should plan on getting a PhD. While some programs offer master's degrees, the employment opportunities are substantially greater with a PhD. This usually takes four to five years of graduate study. Students planning to go to graduate school should speak with their advisor.

Economists with PhD's work in:

  • Academics
  • Government (such as the departments of labor, justice, state, and treasury, the Federal Reserve, Social Security Administration, and so on)
  • Research organizations (such as the Rand Corporation)
  • International organizations (such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, GATT, or the United Nations)
  • Banks, law firms, and businesses

See the preparing for graduate school page for more information.


A BA in economics prepares students for a variety of career paths. Students can also check out our economics alumni interviews and what it's like working as a(n):

Watch a Panel Discussion held February 23, 2021, conducted by recent Alumni, regarding how they make use of an Economics Degree in their careers here.

There are a variety of resources available for students looking to start their career. Students can visit the Career Center or look at job listing from AfterCollege. You can also learn about almost any job (the requirements, working conditions, pay scales, employment outlook, etc.) from the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

What to see what recent graduates are doing? Check out the placement of recent graduates page.