Recommended Economics Courses for Popular Career Paths

Economics provides excellent preparation for a number of different career paths you may be considering. Many students already know that economics is a great foundation for careers in business, and indeed our graduates often go to work in fields like management, banking, finance, consulting, human resources, real estate, and insurance. What surprises many students is that a background in economics is also very helpful for fields such as law, public policy, journalism, health care administration, teaching, and academic research. In fact, many students find the flexibility afforded by an economics education to be among its biggest advantages. The American Economics Association has a great website with many links to valuable information.  Check it out.

In order to help our students plan for their futures, the Department of Economics has prepared the following advice on courses that are useful for different career paths. All of the courses listed are in addition to the “core” courses that cover the foundation of our discipline, lay the groundwork for other courses, and form the primary requirements for a major or minor in economics: principles of economics (Econ 103 and 104), intermediate micro- and macroeconomics (Econ 301 and 302; required for the major and encouraged for the minor), and economic statistics (Econ 210).

One final note: New classes are added all the time, so check the course schedule to see if there is anything else that sounds interesting!

Careers in Business:

Banking/Finance/Insurance:
Highly recommended: Money and banking (325), forecasting methods (411), statistics (413), international finance (455), econometrics (513).
Recommended: Industrial organization (432), mathematical economics (506)
Useful: Health economics (221) (especially for those interested in insurance), urban economics (323), international economic relations (351), public economics (426), international trade (454).
Management/Management Consulting/Marketing:
Highly recommended: Game theory (404), statistics (413), industrial organization (432).
Recommended: Money and banking (325), forecasting methods (411), employment relations (415) and/or labor economics (447), public economics (426), human resources (448).
Useful: especially for those intending to get an MBA: Mathematical economics (506).
Human Resources or Labor Relations:
Highly recommended: Collective bargaining (341), employment relations (415) and/or labor economics (447), human resources (448).
Recommended: Health economics (221), discrimination (248), statistics (413).
Useful: Industrial organization (432).

Careers in Law:

Highly recommended: Economics and law (333), antitrust law (335), game theory (404), public economics (426), industrial organization (432).
Recommended: Discrimination (248), environmental (328), urban economics (323), money and banking (325), employment relations (415).
Useful: Analysis of American industries (231).

Careers in International Relations/Diplomacy:

Highly recommended: Environmental (328), international economic relations (351), economic development (353), international trade (454), international finance (455)
Recommended: Money and banking (325), game theory (404)

Teaching High School:

Highly recommended: Economic education (112)
Recommended: Discrimination (248), money and banking (325), economic thought (405), statistics (413), employment relations (415) and/or labor economics (447).

Careers in Public Health/Health Care Administration:

Highly recommended: Health economics (221)
Recommended: Statistics (413), employment relations (415) and/or labor economics (447), public economics (426), human resources (448)
Useful: Industrial organization (432)

Careers in Public Policy/Journalism:

Highly recommended: Public economics (426)
Recommended: depending on your areas of interest: Health economics (221), discrimination (248), urban economics (323), money and banking (325), environmental (328), law (333), antitrust (335), international economic relations (351), economic development (353), economic thought (405), employment relations (415) and/or labor economics (447), industrial organization (432), human resources (448), international trade (454), public sector (529).

Careers in Research in Economics/Teaching in Colleges and Universities:

Highly recommended: Mathematical economics (506 and 606), statistics (413), econometrics (310 or, preferably, 513). We strongly encourage you to take many classes in mathematics as well, especially in calculus (at least through calculus III), linear algebra or matrix algebra, probability and statistics, and real analysis.
Recommended: Any upper division courses in economics; logic (Philosophy 211).
Additional recommendations: High undergraduate GPA, especially within the major; early and steady contact with an advisor; preparation for the GRE exam.

For more information contact one of our Undergraduate Economics Advisors.