Careers in Economics

Employment and careers

The Princeton Review includes economics as one of its 10 best college majors, given the kinds of skills students acquire for a wide range of careers. Recent St. Thomas economics majors have entered careers in government, corporate America, and the non-profit sector. They have also successfully completed graduate work in law, public policy, and business. St. Thomas economics alumni are working at places as varied as the U.S. Department of State, the Federal Reserve, Piper Jaffray, the Minnesota Department of Budget, Best Buy, Citibank, the faculty of Macalester College. provides information about the salary potential of college majors, and economics is ahead of other rewarding degrees like mathematics, software engineering, and finance (not that money is everything: many graduates use their degree to enter public service, work at a non-profit or grass-roots organization). More information about the kinds of careers that economics majors typically pursue after graduation can be found at Georgetown University’s Center on Education & the Workforce at


While our thousands of alumni are too numerous to list here, a few short biographies provide a sense of the range of careers our graduates pursue:

 Tyler Petersen ‘12

Tyler uses the economic theory and empirical methodshe learned at St. Thomas in his job at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., where his research supports the policy making of the Fed. Tyler’s undergraduate research (in the Young Scholar’s program) is, he says, something that helped him develop the skills he uses in his current work at the Fed. He says that “… the resources and support I received from the faculty of the Economics Department lead me to the point I’m at in my career today.”

Mark Holmquist ‘07

Mark entered investment banking at Piper Jaffray and is now vice president at Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company, a private equity management firm in Chicago. He completed his M.B.A. at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, one of the top MBA programs in the nation. Mark graduated summa cum laude from the University of St. Thomas with a B.S. degree in business economics and a B.A. in philosophy.

Marina Patrina ‘11

Rebecca graduated with a B.S. degree in mathematical economics. She worked for several years in the insurance industry before entering graduate school at the University of Minnesota, where she completed an M.S. in applied economics. She currently works for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (a state government agency working to provide affordable housing and to reduce homelessness within Minnesota) as a programs analyst.