What is Economics?
Economics is the study of people and the choices they make regarding the production, distribution, and allocation of resources. Economists are individuals whose education and training enable them to analyze and make policy recommendations about:

  • Output – the goods and/or services produced;
  • Input – the methods of production;
  • Distribution;
  • Levels of employment and growth, which concern uses of labor and capital;
  • The role of government in economic life; and,
  • International finance, trade, and development.

Contemporary economists focus on the central problem of scarcity, which arises from the fact that human wants generally exceed available resources. Ultimately, economists seek to establish principles from which to formulate theories and/or policies. Economists apply those theories and policies to issues and concerns that affect all areas of our lives.

At UCSB, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics can provide the background for diverse career options. UCSB students are competitors for the best graduate programs in the country in such areas as business administration, economics, law, finance, and journalism.  For example, some of our graduates are candidates for management training programs in large corporations and retail firms; others go into such areas as finance, management of natural resources, management consulting, industrial relations, and operations research. In the public sector, there are opportunities in the Foreign Service, the Bureau of the Census, the U.S. Information Service, public utility corporations, and federal, state, and local governments.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Economics?
You have an interest in the economic analysis affecting business decisions whether on an international or domestic scale. You enjoy problem solving that relies on mathematical and financial analysis where you might determine the most advantageous debt/equity structure or conduct market analysis for strategic product development. You may have a special interest in the accounting principles, ethics, and practices needed to analyze and produce financial statements for future growth and/ or tax benefits for business development. You will be intrigued by how macroeconomics plays a major role in policy decisions for health care, insurance, labor and/or natural resources. You find learning how microeconomics theory can be applied in the analysis of income, employment and price levels interesting.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?
Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the Undergraduate Department Advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings such as Labor Economics, Environmental Economics, Economics of Families and Households, Natural Resource Economics, Public Finance, Financial Management, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Health Economics, Econometrics.

To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:

- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.
- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.

What Can I Do To Make My Major More Marketable?

  • Pursue relevant work, internship, volunteer, and/or research experience.
  • Choose a complementary minor.
  • Specialize in an area; take courses in related fields.
  • Develop your computer skills.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Study abroad.
  • Join professional associations.
  • Get involved in student clubs.
  • Participate in community organizations.
  • Seek out leadership positions.
  • Research specific prerequisites for different positions.
  • Network with others in fields that interest you.

General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?
Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be. The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Film Studies majors with a strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in hundreds of fields. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study, options include:

Accounting: Audit Assistant; Budget Officer; Forensic Accountant; Tax Accountant; Financial Analyst; Corporate Finance; Investment Banking; Controller; Government Accountant; IRS Specialist or Officer

Financial Services: Loan Officer; Credit Analyst; Bank Manager; Trust Administrator; Stock Broker or Financial Planner; Commercial or Residential Real Estate Agent; Real Estate Appraiser; Property Management; Claims Adjuster; Actuarial Analyst

Human Resources/Management Consulting: Employment Counselor; Benefits Officer; Compensation Analyst; Management Analyst; Labor Relations Specialist; Training & Development Specialist; Environmental Health & Safety Officer; Health Information Specialist

Marketing/Sales/Advertising: Account Executive; Media Planner; Market Research Analyst; Product Manager; Strategic Brand Manager: Sales or Marketing Assistant; Buyer or Manufacturer’s Representative; Event Planner; Corporate Communications

Operations/Purchasing: Purchasing Agent; Procurement Officer; Operations/Facilities Manager; Quality Control Analyst; Operations Research Analyst

International Business/Trade: Import/ Export Specialist; Department of Commerce Officer; International Finance or Marketing Specialist; World Bank Officer; Trade Consultant

To learn more about these and other occupations, please visit:
O*Net Online
Occupational Outlook Handbook

Come visit the Career Resource Room to see our vast collection of career books and resources.

See what other UCSB alumni are doing with their major on LinkedIn.

Additional Resources
Economics Career Guide Handout

What Can I Do With Economics degree?
Economics majors are successful in various industries such law, medicine, government, non-profits, and international relations, as well as in academic roles.

What Is Economics?
Learn about the skills needed for economics along with career planning and job opportunities within the field.

Careers in Business and Finance
Uncover different occupations within business and finance.

Careers in Business
Review different business options to further explore.

Careers in Business Management and Administration
Encompass planning, organizing, directing and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.

Careers in Consulting
Learn more about the field of consulting.

Graduate and Professional Schools

MBA schools and GMAT
Find information about MBA programs and the GMAT exam.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Search for international schools accredited in business.
This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.

This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.

Come to the Career Resource Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.

Experience Search Strategies

Get Experience
Build your qualifications by exploring various opportunities to get experience in your field of interest.

Job Listings
The Riley Guide: Business; Finance, and Related Fields
Great site for employment opportunity links for business and administration, accounting and finance, human resources and development, sales, marketing and advertising, and other related business areas.

OneWire Finance is the leading online Career Management Tool that creates precise connections between individuals and opportunities. The world’s top financial services firms are currently using OneWire to hire candidates for open positions. To be considered, you must create a profile.

eFinancial Careers
Browse jobs by sectors in accounting, asset management, corporate banking, graduates and internships, insurance, risk management, and more.

UCSB Career Services “Job Links” section
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers By Majors and Diversity.

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

Professional Associations

Santa Barbara Associations

Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club
Create a fun environment for our local business community to network, learn and grow.

The Financial Planning Association
Provides job opportunities through career online in addition to membership and licensing requirements for a career in financial planning. Local Santa Barbara chapter meets every month.

Santa Barbara Human Resources Association (SBHRA)
Offers student memberships, career guide, and board internship assignments.

National Associations

National Association for Business Economics (NABE)
Provides a student membership rate for those interested in receiving the current NABE Salary survey by educational attainment, industry and location and the Employment Opportunities list. Includes free Economics Links.

National Economic Association
Interested in producing and distributing knowledge of economic issues that are of exceptional interest to promoting economic growth among minorities.

Institute of Management Consultants
Members specialize in all management consulting areas including accounting, finance, human resources, logistics, manufacturing, marketing, purchasing, research, and technology.

Marketing Research Association
Professional network for market research analysts. Careers involve gathering data on competitors and analyze prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution.

UCSB Resources

Economics Departmental Web Page

Career Connection (Department of Economics)

UCSB Library Economics Subject Homepage

UCSB Technology Management Program

UCSB Strategic Business Professional Certificate Program

UCSB Campus Organizations
Check out the following student organizations:

  • Alpha Kappa Psi (Business Fraternity)
  • Delta Sigma Pi (Business Fraternity)
  • Entrepreneurs Association 
  • Finance Connection
  • Human Resources Club
  • Latino Business Association
  • Management Consulting Group
  • Toastmasters International (Public Speaking Practice)

UCSB General Catalog

UCSB Minors

Career Resource Room