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Economics/Mathematics Prospects

PerturbedPerturbed Posts: 15Registered User New Member
edited November 2012 in Business Major
I enjoy economics, chemistry/physics, and philosophy in that order. I convinced myself to major in chemical engineering because it's the most practical and has the best chance of employment after college. However, I'm having second thoughts now as I find myself reading econ papers and listening to economics podcasts all the time, but not doing the same with any other field.

I go to a large state university (on a full ride) in the D.C area, and I'm unsure of whether the switch from chemical engineering to economics would be wise given my university's ranking. I know engineering firms don't care too much about rankings (my school is also ranked top 20 engineering), but economics job applicants are ranked more heavily by the prestige of the undergrad institution. I want to switch to economics, but it's hard to find reliable data on employment data for econ majors. I know a lot of data is purposefully created to mislead people. For example, 99% employment rate doesn't mean that the people actually got jobs in economics related fields. Alas, most of the degree-holders may be waiting tables for all the data shows.

However, chemical engineering graduates generally get jobs, and they're valued in finance and other quantitative fields in the business world.

So what are the job prospects for individuals with a econ/math double major? What kind of jobs is it reasonable for these people to expect? Thanks CC
Post edited by Perturbed on

Replies to: Economics/Mathematics Prospects

  • turtlerockturtlerock Posts: 1,119Registered User Senior Member
    Typically, those individuals that go on to pure economics jobs (i.e. economists) go on to graduate level economics after undergrad - so a PhD program for Economics. If you know you want to major in econ and math, and can afford to do graduate research and don't mind 3+ more years of school, then you should consider that.

    Otherwise, it doesn't seem as hard for economics majors to find employment with the skills they pick up from their major, but you're right - this could come in any form of employment that is other than straight economics.
  • PerturbedPerturbed Posts: 15Registered User New Member
    Do you know if it's possible to get finance internships and finance jobs with just an economics/math degree right out of college?

    I heard that PhD programs for economics are extremely difficult to get into, and I would only seriously consider very strong programs to spend 3+ years of my life in.
  • ijamjlijamjl Posts: 347Registered User Member
    Can you minor in Econ at your school?

    If not, stick to engineering. Firms are willing to hire engineers due to the fact that they have math skills. Business concepts can be learned much quicker than mathematical ones.

    You'll be able to apply to both engineering or business positions. The fact that you listen and keep up to date with the economy can only benefit you if you decide to apply to a business firm.
  • turtlerockturtlerock Posts: 1,119Registered User Senior Member
    Perturbed wrote:
    Do you know if it's possible to get finance internships and finance jobs with just an economics/math degree right out of college?
    I've known Econ majors to obtain positions at banks, if that's what you mean by 'finance'. If you mean more like IB, then I don't know any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
    Perturbed wrote:
    However, chemical engineering graduates generally get jobs, and they're valued in finance and other quantitative fields in the business world.
    ijamjl wrote:
    Firms are willing to hire engineers due to the fact that they have math skills. Business concepts can be learned much quicker than mathematical ones.
    I agree that the mathematical skills you obtain as a ChemE major will still be sought after skills in finance and business (one of my co-workers in accounting industry is a Chemistry major, though accounting is obviously not math intensive, they had a lot of other business-related options open to them at graduation). A minor is a good suggestion, or if you can't, then maybe an internship or some participation in the school's Economics-type club will put something on your resume that shows continued, recorded interest.
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