What Can I Do With a Managerial Economics Major?

Two students work in front of a laptop at UC Davis.
Left to right: Ryan Newland, a junior Managerial Economics major works on his Calculus homework with his tutor, Alicia Fiebig, a Math graduate student (phd) in the lobby of Shields Library on the UC Davis campus. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

Some people don’t realize that UC Davis has a business major. But we do, it’s just filed under the letter “M” for “managerial economics.” Our students take coursework in marketing, finance, management, agribusiness, international business, business law, quantitative analysis and more.

So why do we call our business major “managerial economics?” I don’t know, why do UC Davis students ride to campus on vintage red double-decker buses imported from London? Because … well, it’s a long story.

But “man econ” (as it’s known) is a dynamic degree that prepares students for a variety of careers in business and beyond. Our students learn how to apply microeconomic theory to solve real-world problems in the realm of business.

Managerial economics offers broad range of careers

Woman posing in the U.S. Capitol
Agricultural and managerial economics major Janice Eberly, who graduated in 1986, served as the assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist in the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 2011-13. She is the John L. and Helen Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Finance at Northwestern University. (Shia Levitt/photo)

There’s a reason why managerial economics is one of the most popular majors on campus. Jobs. Students with a managerial economics degree can pursue careers in banking, finance, marketing, accounting, international management consulting, environmental policy, sustainability consulting, food production and distribution, and agricultural policy.

And the networking! Each year, managerial economics graduates come back to UC Davis and tell current students what they do all day in the world of work. They share stories of how they got their first job or internship with employers such as Intel, Facebook, FTI Consulting, PG&E, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Oracle and Mission Produce.

Last year our alumni gave us these stories:

  • Kayla described a two-year finance rotation program she’s doing with ServiceNow, which provides her with an opportunity to sample accounting, financial planning, sales, product development and other areas before she decides which direction to pursue.
  • Ashkun told students that he first worked in investment banking, then earned an MBA and transitioned to using business models to drive positive social change for the underserved at EcoMedia.
  • Tiffany, who now works at Accenture as a management consulting analyst, noted that she completed several internships during her undergraduate years, including stints at Barclays Investment Bank, Deloitte and Merrill Lynch.
  • Lynda, a co-founder of our career day, has taken multiple companies public during her 30-year career. She shared insights about entrepreneurship and human resources.
woman talking to female students

Our man econ undergraduates pay close attention to the experiences of their fellow Aggies. They listen to words of wisdom from alumni such as Naeem Ishaq, who graduated from UC Davis in 2001 and has risen to become chief financial officer of Boxed Wholesale, a multimillion-dollar, online warehouse shopping startup. At one career day, Naeem told students:

“Hopefully, you can see that your career is not a linear path. It goes up, down, and sideways. Early in your career, it’s good to take risks and explore.”

“Hopefully, you can see that your career is not a linear path. It goes up, down, and sideways. Early in your career, it’s good to take risks and explore.”

Managerial economics vs. economics

Students in UC Davis T-shirts pose for a photo
Peer advisors, from left, Kevin Tran, Anshita Jain, Emma Ronne, Kristi Juwono, Megan Galdes and Tyler Bach are important resources for undergraduate students majoring in managerial economics. (Elizabeth Clark-Anibaba/UC Davis)

What’s the difference between a managerial economics major and economics major?

The short answer — managerial economics is more applied; economics is more theoretical.

Managerial economics majors are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Economics majors earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Letters and Sciences. Although managerial economics and economics are grounded in economics coursework, managerial economics requires more units of calculus and statistics, as well as an introductory computer science course and introductory accounting.

Four areas of emphasis in managerial econ

Our major offers four diverse emphases to choose from:

  • Business economics: focuses on analysis, finance and management of business activities.
  • International business economics: focuses on international trade and public policy challenges and global markets.
  • Environmental and resource economics: examines the connection between the environment and the economy.
  • Agribusiness economics: includes farm management, food safety, food markets and other aspects of food production. This emphasis represents the roots of managerial economics at UC Davis, before it branched out to include general business studies as well. A recent ranking placed UC Davis as No. 1 in the world for research in agricultural economics and policy.

Start your future at UC Davis by majoring in managerial economics. Take risks and explore. And while you’re here, feel free to go up, down and sideways.

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