Why Study Economics?

"Students in an economics major learn how to analyze human decision-making and interaction. Economic concepts apply to topics that range in scale from individual choices to international relations. Majoring in economics can provide students with exposure to research techniques, policymaking methods, quantitative analysis and more"

- U.S. News, July 16, 2019

"Leaders who study economics are better at driving GDP growth."

- World Economic Forum, December 12, 2019

Thinking about majoring in economics?

There are many reasons for majoring or minoring in economics. Whether you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree (such as an MBA or a law degree), attaining a high paying job, learning more about financial markets, or better understanding the ever-changing global environment, a degree in economics can help you reach your goals.

The purpose of this page is to indicate some of the benefits and rewards that are associated with becoming a serious student of economics at the undergraduate level.

Who employs economists?

Companies, governments, non-profits, and international organizations!

The Economics major stresses the analytical and quantitative skills necessary for today's jobs. Employers looking to hire in financial institutions or consulting firms often consider economics to be an extremely attractive major. The Economics department at FIU has placed its majors and minors in banking, government jobs, consulting, financial firms, law schools, business schools, and Ph.D. programs. The American Economics Association describes some of the diverse career opportunities available to graduates with an Economics degree.

Below is a sample of employers for whom students majoring or minoring in economics at FIU have worked following graduation.

  • ABN Amro, Banco Atlantico, Bank Atlantic, City of Miami, City of Miami Beach, Government of Anguilla, Government of Colombia, Hamilton Bank, Lehman Brothers, Merill Lynch, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Prudential Securities, SunTrust, U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Villamil Consulting.

Each semester, several firms come to the FIU main campus for the purpose of recruiting graduates. Below is a list of just some of the firms that routinely recruit FIU graduates who have majored in economics.

  • Andersen Consulting, Citibank, Ford Motor Credit, General Electric Company, Goldman-Sachs, Marriot International, Nations Bank, Prudential Insurance and Financial Services, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BellSouth Business Systems, Burdines Department Stores, CINTAS Corporation, Home Depot, IBM Corporation, Kraft Foods, Sprint, SunTrust, Target, Walt Disney World.

Finding that first job after college is a stressful time for many students. The Department of Economics strongly encourages all students to register with Career Services in GC 230

How much will you earn as an Economics major?

Quite a lot!

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook (online in 2019), the median annual wage for economists was $105,020 in May 2019. The highest 10 percent earned more than $185,020 and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $59,450.

Measure Salary
Median = $105,020
Highest 10 percent > $185,020
Lowest 10 Percent < $59,450

Average Salaries by Major, 2019.

Payscale.com reports its survey of people with Baccalaureate degrees (and no more) who are employed full time, showing mid-career annual earnings. Here are selected occupations for the 2019 report.

BA/BSc Degree Salary
Petroleum Engineering $176,900
Electrical Engineering & Computer Science $142,200
Applied Economics and Management $140,000
Operations Research $137,100
Political Economy $136,200
Actuarial Mathematics $135,100
Electrical Power Engineering $134,700
Business Analysis $133,200
Pharmacy $132,500
Aeronautics & Astronautics $131,600
Econometrics $131,000
Public Accounting $130,800
Systems Engineering $130,400
Quantitative Business Analysis $130,000
Aerospace Studies $129,600

Going to Law School or Graduate School?

We'll prepare you well!

Nationwide, economics is a popular degree among lawyers. In addition to studying social issues, economics also requires clear and logical thinking. The rigor in economic analysis helps prepare students for law school better than other majors. Students planning to attend law school are encouraged to be an economics major with a political science minor or double major.

  • Economics majors have one of the highest average LSAT scores among all majors.
  • Economics majors also rank highly in the GMAT and the GRE.
  • As evidenced by scores on the GMAT, economics prepares students for MBA programs much better than a finance, an accounting or a business management degree does!

Graduate Test Score Rankings by Major

LSAT(1)/ GMAT(2)/ GRE(3)
Majors Rank Mean Rank Mean Rank Mean
Mathematics 1 163 2 603 1 163
Economics 4 159 7 581 6 160
Philosophy 13 157 5 588 16 154
History 17 156 11 572 42 148
Chemistry 18 156 13 568 9 158
Finance 23 155 20 554 4 161
Political Science 30 154 19 554 20 152
Accounting 31 153 31 518 21 152
Psychology 32 153 27 532 32 149
Sociology 38 151 33 514 33 149
Business Management 39 150 37 502 28 151

(1) Mean 2017-18 Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score by major. LSAT scores range from 120 to 180.
(2) Mean 2008-12 Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score by major. GMAT scores range from 200 to 800.
(3) Mean 2013-16 Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score by intended graduate area of study. GRE Quantitative Reasoning scores ranged in this period from 130 to 170.

Students of economics at FIU have gone on to earn graduate degrees from many different institutions, including some of the most prestigious in the world. Below we list just a few of the graduate programs where our students have been accepted.

  • Law Schools: Emory , Fordham , Georgetown , University of Florida, Cornell, University of Miami, Vanderbilt.
  • Ph.D. Programs: Cornell , Florida International University, Georgetown , University of North Carolina, London School of Economics.
  • MBA Programs: Florida International University, University of Florida.