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Career Development

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Overview

The Arts and Sciences Career Development Office is the primary resource for A&S students seeking jobs, internships, graduate school information, and assistance with career exploration. 

Students are encouraged to get to know the A&S Career Development Office staff as early as freshman year.  Listed below are just a few of the useful resources the office offers students:

The Extern Program allows sophomores, juniors, and seniors to connect with Cornell alumni and other professionals in their field(s) of interest for either a work-site shadowing visit or through an informational interview during January break.  

These are small networking sessions with Alumni designed to offer you the chance to get answers to your most pressing questions about a particular career field

Contact Sarah Schupp, Undergraduate Experience Coordinator, at sls499@cornell.edu to find out more about the resources the Arts and Sciences Career Development Office offers.  

Internships

Within the Economics Department, we do not have a formal internship program, though many of our students participate in semester and summer-long internships. The College of Arts & Sciences is VERY helpful with infomation and connections to internship opportunities. Start here and explore.

Also, make sure you check out Cornell In Washington. The Economics Department highly recommends this program where you are involved in an internship and take an Economics course as well while living in DC and learning about research.

When to Start Looking for an Internship: Advice for Freshmen & Sophomores

Most Frequently Asked Questions Economics Internships:

Can I get credit for an internship?
No, you cannot get academic credit for an internship.

The XYZ Company offered me an internship, but I have to show that the work I will do as an intern counts as part of my undergraduate program. What do I do about this?
Again, you cannot get academic credit for an internship.  

The Job Market and Graduate School

What do Econ majors do after graduation?

Some majors go directly to grad programs -- primarily in Law or Finance -- but most go to work. The largest employer of Econ grads is the financial-services industry -- including Wall Street, mutual-fund companies, accounting firms, and so on. But Economics provides good preparation for a wide variety of careers beyond financial services, with recent grads going into purchasing, marketing, operations management, government service, journalism, and lots of other fields. Others work for a few years, then complete an MBA program. Among majors within the Arts College and the ILR school, Economics is one of the best, jobwise -- in terms of your chances of finding career-track employment and in terms of starting pay. 

Class of 2017 Job Placement Statistics

To provide a sense of what our majors do immediately after commencement, we conducted a survey.  Out of 188 January 2017, May 2017, and August 2017 graduates, 168 responded to the survey (89.36% of the graduating class). 
 
Of these respondents 77.38% said they were employed or obtaining further schooling.  Here is the breakdown by the type of employment and type of further schooling:
  • 22.31% in Finance
  • 27.69% in Consulting
  • 13.08% in Banking
  • 9.23% in Another Business Field
  • 1.54% at a Not for Profit Organization
  • 1.54% in Government
  • 11.54% are Attending Graduate School
  • 3.08% are Attending Law School
  • 1.54% are Attending Medical School
  • 8.45% stated “Other”
 
Of the students attending graduate school, some of the degrees they will pursue include:
  • PhD in Economics
  • PhD in Operation Research and Financial Engineering
  • Master of Accounting
  • Master of Business
  • Master of Computational Social Science
  • Master of Engineering in Operations
  • Master of Finance
  • Master of Financial Engineering
  • Master of Professional Studies in Information Science
  • Master of Public Administration
 
Of the students attending graduate school, some of the institutions they will attend include:
  • Boston University
  • City University London
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Northwestern University
  • Princeton University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Texas at Austin 
 
Of the students who are employed, some of the companies and organizations they will be working for include:
  • 21 X Media Group
  • A.T. Kearney
  • Accenture
  • AirBnb
  • AlphaSights
  • Amazon (Alexa, Software Development)
  • American Eagle Outfitters
  • American Express
  • Analysis Group
  • Aon Hewitt Actuarial Consulting
  • Axtria: Data Analytics Consulting
  • Bain & Company
  • Bank of America Merill Lynch
  • Barclays
  • BlackRock
  • Capital One
  • CEB: Best Practice Insights and Techonology
  • Citgroup
  • City Year
  • Clad Network, Inc
  • ClearBridge Compensation Group
  • Cornell Investment Office
  • Cornerstone Research
  • Credit Suisse
  • D.E. Shaw & Co.
  • Deloitte
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Elmcore Group
  • Evercore
  • Fortuna Auction
  • GE
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Graham Partners
  • Green Street Advisors
  • Group One Trading
  • Guggenheim Investment Banking
  • Highgate Hotels
  • Houlihan Lokey
  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • Indus Valley Parnters
  • JP Morgan
  • Kroll Bond Rating Agency
  • Macquarie Group
  • McKinsey
  • McMaster-Carr
  • Mercer
  • Mizuho Bank
  • NERA (National Economic Research Associates)
  • Nomura S&T
  • PwC
  • RBC Investment Banking
  • SunTrust
  • TD Ameritrade
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • The Brattle Group
  • The Dui Hua Foundation
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of D.C.
  • USAA – Federal Savings Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • ZS Associates

If I want to get a job on Wall Street, will an Economics degree provide good preparation, or should I be looking at undergraduate business programs?
Cornell Econ BAs have been quite successful in landing Wall Street jobs, partly because corporate recruiters have high regard for the Econ major at Cornell (and for Econ programs more generally). The major provides a rigorous grounding in analytical techniques, and instills a method of thinking that serves Econ BAs well in a wide range of careers, including those on Wall Street. Experience suggests that many recruiters are looking for these broader problem-solving skills. On the other hand, the major itself does not provide the "nuts and bolts" -- specific business-related skills such as accounting, marketing, and so on. Taking courses in these areas (outside the Econ major) might clinch a job for you, after your Econ major gets you in the door. Getting into Finance

I want to go on to a graduate program in Economics. Which math courses should I take?
Bare minimum: Math 2210-2220 (Linear Algebra and Multivariate Calculus). Recommended: Math 3110 (Real Analysis). And for econometrics, take Econ 3130-3140.

What can I do to increase my chances of getting admitted to a good PhD program?
Take lots of math and do well on the math section of the GRE exam, by preparing for it and re-taking it if necessary. Get strong letters of recommendation; in order to do so, you might consider working on a research project with a member of the Economics Department (Econ 4999) or selecting some of the more advanced Econ courses, with small enrollments. Apply to graduate programs that match your interests and strengths. If you are not a native speaker of English, make sure you demonstrate your command of spoken English (since the programs to which you apply may require that you work as a TA).

I want to go to Law School. Should I major in Economics?
Yes. Economics is a popular undergrad major for Law School aspirants. Each year, several graduating Econ majors go directly to law schools, and others work for a few years and then enter law school. "Economics and the Law" has become an established field of study (represented on campus by Professor George Hay, an economist who teaches at Cornell). Also, check this out!