A BA in Economics provides a range of exciting career prospects in the private and public sectors. Graduates with economics degrees are highly marketable because they learn an analytic approach to solving problems. The BA in Economics provides an excellent background for graduate programs in economics, business, law, and urban planning. The economics major is also attractive to students who seek a broad liberal arts background. Majors in economics at CSU, Chico have the opportunity to pursue semester or year-long study-abroad programs.
Students may choose classes ranging from those with a historical perspective to those which use quantitative techniques. Students may complete a BA in Economics with concentrations in at least two of the following four areas: Environmental Economics and Public Policy, International Economics, Financial Economics, and Quantitative Economics. Small senior-level classes allow students to know their professors well. Tutors in the department conference room can help students in any economics class; sometimes professors join tutors in explaining economic issues. The economics department is committed to using the latest technology. The curriculum is periodically reviewed and adjusted to be responsive to changing national and international conditions and to student needs and preferences. Exceptional students may participate in the Honors Program in Economics.
Students may be eligible for internship credit if they take jobs that expand their knowledge of economics and/or allow them to apply the economics they have learned in class. A maximum of three units of internship credit may be applied to complete the major. Economics majors have held internships ranging from stock brokerage firms in Chico to the United States Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. For some, internships turn into full-time jobs. See the department chair for more information about internships.
Double Major and Economics Minor
Students may earn a double major in economics and one of the business majors without doubling unit requirements since some courses count towards both majors. A double major in economics and social sciences satisfies the requirements to enter a teaching credential program and to prepare to teach economics at the high school level. A minor in economics enhances employment opportunities for students with majors in communications, environmental studies, journalism, education, geography, planning, business, international relations and a variety of other fields.
The economics faculty uses a combination of diverse approaches in conjunction with numerous applied case studies to provide students with a broad and in-depth exposure to the discipline. The faculty holds doctoral degrees from prestigious American graduate programs, is actively involved in publishing and grants, and is involved in local economic issues. Often students work with faculty on research projects. Undergraduate teaching and learning is their highest priority.
There is a strong demand for those with a BA in Economics in the business, finance, banking, planning, marketing and insurance areas. At the local, state, and federal levels, economics majors compete extremely well for jobs in the public sector. There is an increasing demand for teachers of high school economics. Economics is an excellent major for those planning to enter law school. Economics majors earn more on an annual basis and have higher lifetime earnings than other majors in the social sciences. A degree in economics is especially beneficial for women. On average women with bachelor’s degrees make about 75% as much as men; women with bachelor’s degrees in economics make about the same as men with bachelor’s degrees in economics. Economics majors with mathematics, statistics, or computer skills are in very high demand and command substantial starting salaries. The career outlook for those with a BA in Economics is very positive.