Employment Opportunities in Economics and Finance


Math Skills are Essential in Today's Job Market

Business Week, January 23, 2006, p. 57

Getting a job in today's market requires an edge. As our employers often tell us, an edge consists of a presentable individual who is articulate, can communicate clearly in written and spoken terms, an can be a problem solver. A recent article in Business Week points to the importance of good math skills in today's job market:

Math Will Rock Your World, Business Week, January 25, 2006, p. 57

Some Basics on Career Placement

Finding a successful job depends on many considerations. For undergraduates, employers are looking primarily for good oral and written communication skills, sharp analytical reasoning capacity, an ability to work hard , individual initiative, leadership potential, and a drive to succeed. Knowledge of both historical and contemporary issues, along with international language and cultural skills provides further strength to a resumé, as does prior work experience and professional internships. Some employers are more exacting of applicants regarding these skills than others and may use a variety of measures to judge prospective employees. Others may use proxy measures from a well written resumé: one's academic institution, the overall and discipline GPA, knowledge and experience with computer applications, along with indicators of community leadership and involvement. In all cases, appearance and maturity, in addition to solid accomplishments on a professional resumé, are critical filters to prospective employers.

There is no single route to a successful position. Job search efforts should include preparation through university career placement services, on-campus recruitment interviews, responses to written and electronic position announcements, contacts and recommendations through friends and relatives. One also should look carefully at current trends in employment from business and government sources, and keep well abreast of events through regular reading of national and international newspapers and business publications. Finally, one needs to answer the question of how does a prospective position match with one's own personality and skills predisposition.

Economics continues to provide a good foundation for successful careers in a variety of fields. It links the humanities and social sciences with business disciplines, and serves as a good background for those interested in advanced degree programs in economics, finance, and law, among others. Choosing a good graduate program depends on good advisement, staying abreast of employment trends, along with all of the skills and aptitudes already noted. Although most Ph.D. graduates in economics pursue careers in academic institutions, there also are opportunities in banking, business, government, and international institutions that can be quite rewarding. Again, the choice ultimately depends on what kind of career one finds most fulfilling and for which drive and determination are essential for success.

Access Financial - Stamford, Connecticut contingency fee service

America's Job Bank - U.S. Public Employment Service search engine

Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Profiles - good source of employment trends

Career Fairs - site and calendar locator

Career Forum (Yourcareer.com)

Career Mosaic and Accounting Net - Accounting and Finance Jobs

Career Path.com - fee-based links to newspaper and employer listings

Career Web (cweb.com)

Chronicle of Higher Education - mostly academic positions for Ph.D. graduates

Council on Grant Foundations - a directory of major foundations and corporate giving programs

Dept. of Labor Information - analysis of job markets

Fastweb.com - financial aid search engine

FedWorld (U.S. Department of Commerce)

Job Ads for Statisticians via Amstat (Ph.D. graduate job opening in statistics)

JobCenter (JobCenter.com)

Job Openings for Economists (AEA, UTexas at Austin) - (Ph.D. graduate job openings)

Jobweb (National Association of Colleges and Employers)

Monster.com - commercial job search engine company

National Science Foundation Salaries by Major and Occupation (Cal. State U. Survey Data)

The New York Times Job Market (NY, NY)

OnLine Career Center (monster.com)

Peterson's Guide to Careers and Jobs - a good complement to BLS data - undergraduates

FinAid! - financial aid search engine company

Westech Virtual Job Fair - a complement to on-campus and off-campus job fairs -undergraduates

Wetfeet.com - San Francisco, California job search engine company

Yahoo! Employment - Yahoo job search engine


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