What can I do with this degree?

Christie McCowen

There is a question that has been tossed around between children and adults alike for ages:
Why did the chicken cross the road?
It turns out, the answer depends on who you ask and perhaps what they specialize in. If you ask Charles Wheelan, economist and author of “Naked Economics,” the answer would be, “Because it maximized his utility.”
Well, as an economics major myself, one thing that would maximize my utility — happiness — would be to do something useful with my major after I graduate; something that actually puts the expensive, Lawrence-branded piece of paper known as a bachelor’s degree in economics to use.
I’ve changed my major a few times, tossed around a couple of minors and ended up with economics — a good fit, but one that made me think: How many Lawrentians change their major? How many have a major but don’t know what they are going to do with it? How many are undecided?
Check out this section every week for ideas and strategies to put your interests to use and start mapping out a path to a successful future.GOVERNMENT
AREAS
Cost Analysis
Intelligence
Foreign Trade Analysis
Public Administration
Transportation Management
Urban Planning

EMPLOYERS
USDA
Department of Commerce
Bureau of Labor and Statistics
The United Nations
The General Accounting Office

STRATEGIES
Become active in student government. Complete an internship with a government agency. Earn a graduate degree in economics, statistics, public administration, or a related field for promotion and advancement. Become familiar with government hiring practices. Develop excellent computer, analytical, and quantitative skills.

ECONOMIC MARKET RESEARCH

AREAS
Research Analysis
Consulting

EMPLOYERS
Market research firms
Consumer goods manufacturing firms
Business firms
Consulting firms

STRATEGIES
Supplement curriculum with courses in business, political science, research design, survey design, statistics, and computer science. Earn a graduate degree to obtain advanced research and consulting positions. Obtain experience in business research. Become a student member in related professional associations. Get involved in student or community organizations to develop leadership skills.

BANKING & FINANCE

AREAS
Credit Lending
Operations
Systems
Trusts
Securities: Sales, Research

EMPLOYERS
Commercial banks
Regional banks
Savings and loan associations
National and regional brokerage firms
Discount brokerage houses

STRATEGIES
Develop a solid background in business including finance, marketing, and accounting. Gain experience through part-time, summer, or internship positions in financial service firms. Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills in order to work well with a diverse clientele. Become the financial officer or treasurer of a campus organization. Get involved with an investments club.
Earn an M.B.A. for positions in investment banking.

INSURANCE

AREAS
Underwriting
Sales
Operations
Claims

EMPLOYERS
Insurance firms

STRATEGIES
Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. Earn a business minor.
Gain sales experience. Participate in campus organizations.

HEALTHCARE

AREAS
Hospital Management
Healthcare Analysis

EMPLOYERS
Private (LLC) corporations
U.S. Department of Health
Hospitals
Health Maintenance Organizations

STRATEGIES
Earn a master’s degree in public health or hospital administration. Gain experience in healthcare through internships.

OTHER BUSINESS AREAS

AREAS
Management
Buying and Purchasing
Human Resources
Hospitality
Sales

EMPLOYERS
Department, grocery, drug, specialty, and variety store chains
Hotels, resorts, and tourism councils
Restaurants
Large corporations

STRATEGIES
Gain related business experience through internships or jobs. Demonstrate enthusiasm and flexibility. Secure leadership positions in campus organizations.
Earn a business minor. Obtain sales experience.

TEACHING

EMPLOYERS
Colleges and universities
Secondary public and private schools

STRATEGIES
Earn a Ph. D. to teach in post-secondary institutions. Gain research experience by assisting a professor. Obtain certification for public school positions. Get experience working with young people. Develop strong public speaking skills.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Choose a career focus and structure curricular and extra-curricular activities to achieve goals.
Obtain volunteer, part-time, summer, or internship experience to enhance career path. For example, complete a finance-related internship if interested in a career in banking.
Develop an excellent background in research, statistics, and computers.
Earn a graduate degree in economics, business, or other related fields for increased marketability.
Do informational interviewing with professionals to learn more about fields of interest.

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES ****<>****

Name: World Trade Center — Wisconsin
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Categories: Business-General, Government, International
Majors: Economics, Government, International Studies

Name: Habitat for Humanity — Rock County
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Categories: Communications, Journalism, Non-Profit, Social Work/Human Services
Majors: Economics, International Studies, Psychology

Name: American Red Cross — Minneapolis Area Chapter
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Categories: Business-General, Communications, Education, Finance/Banking
Majors: Computer Science, Economics, Government, Education

Name: U.S. Census Bureau
Location: Washington, DC
Categories: Business-General, Computer Science/MIS
Majors: Computer Science, Economics, Mathematics, Anthropology

Name: John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Location: Washington, DC
Categories: Arts/Fine Arts
Majors: Economics, Music Performance, Theatre Arts

Name: Briggs & Stratton
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Categories: Computer Science/MIS, Marketing/Advertising
Majors: Computer Science, English, Economics

Name: General Mills
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Categories: Business-General, Finance/Banking
Majors: Economics

Name: Congressman Steve Kagen
Location: Appleton, WI
Categories: Communications, Government, Marketing/Advertising, Public Relations
Majors: Economics, Government

Name: U.S. Department of State
Location: Washington, DC
Categories: Foreign Language, Government
Majors: Economics, Government, History, International Studies

For more information visit the Career Center.
http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/student_dean/career/

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