[Skip to Content]
Economics
Analytical Insight, Global Leaders

Why Economics?

The answer is simple:  because you enjoy the topic.  That is the key reason to become an Economics major.  Fortunately, the price you pay for this preference is not high. In fact, Purdue Economics majors directly entering the labor market have starting salaries similar to Purdue Management and Accounting majors (2011 comparison).  However, Purdue Economics majors are more likely to go immediately on to graduate school.  For instance, approximately 25% of recent students graduating with a BS in Economics report going on to graduate schools in law, economics, finance, international law, business, sports journalism, or political science.  The most common graduate program was law school.  In contrast, 10% or less of management majors immediately pursue a graduate school education.  For those students graduating with a BS in Economics who do enter the job market following graduation, the types of positions they fill range from various types of analysts to sales positions to various types of trainee positions at firms such as Sears, Intel, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Target, Citi, and JPMorgan. 

If you like Economics and Management, there is the potential to complete a joint major in Economics (BS degree) and Management.

If you like Economics, each semester the Economics Department hires a limited number of undergraduate students for Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UGTA) positions.

Economics Degree is the Best Route to CEO Positions

and Becoming Future 1%-ers

"It is often suggested that Economics is a good major for individuals interested in becoming business leaders. Despite this widespread assertion, little research has been conducted on this topic."  A 2006 paper by Patricia M. Flynn and Michael A. Quinn indicates some validity to this claim.  They find that after "adjusting for size of the pool of graduates, those with undergraduate degrees in Economics are shown to have had a greater likelihood of becoming an S&P 500 CEO than any other major," including business and engineering majors. Along similar lines, a recent article in the New York Times (1/12/2011) indicates that according to the Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey, "the majors that give you the best chance of reaching the (top 1 percent of earners) are pre-med, economics, biochemistry, zoology and … biology, in that order."