Careers and graduate study

The economics major provides valuable training for growing employment opportunities as well as preparation for graduate study in business, economics and law.

The curriculum teaches general analytical skills that are in demand in many areas. For example, the importance of quantitative skills (statistics and econometrics) is rising steadily as both private and public organizations seek individuals who are able to work with economic data and forecasts. In addition, business schools look for students who have demonstrated an ability to use mathematical and quantitative skills. Moreover, employers and graduate schools have always sought individuals with flexibility and basic intelligence, who are able to write and speak effectively.

Both the Economics Department and the Bates Career Development Center can assist you in making plans for the future. The Department can put you in touch with some recent graduates who have gone on to further study.

Students who are considering graduate study in economics are strongly advised to take several courses in mathematics beyond those required for the major, such as Math 106, 206, 219 and 301. Students should also discuss the various programs at different universities with faculty members. Some prestigious universities have weak programs in economics, while less famous schools may be specially strong in the field. Where you decide to go should depend on the particular department and individual faculty members in your planned field of specialization. In applying to graduate programs you should be clear and definite about your interest in the specific program.

To assist you in your applications for graduate study and employment, the Economics faculty are happy to write letters of recommendation. You should consult faculty members who will be able to write strong letters for you. It is important that you discuss your future plans with them and get an idea about how strong a letter they can write on your behalf.

The Bates Career Development Center can help you with both graduate study and job searches. They have information about test dates for the Graduate Record Exams, the LSAT and the GMAT. If you plan to go on to graduate study immediately after Bates, you should take these exams in the fall of your senior year; if you might continue your studies later, take the exams in the spring of your senior year. The CDC’s file of Bates alumni advisors is a valuable resource to help you explore various postgraduate opportunities.

In addition to providing counseling services, the Bates Career Development Center brings to campus some representatives, both of business schools and of firms seeking to hire new graduates. Take advantage of this opportunity to talk with these individuals when they are on campus.