Economics and Decision Sciences

Career Opportunities for M.A. in Economics

A common question asked by prospective students concerns the types of jobs held by graduates of the M.A. program in economics at Western Illinois University. Surveys of Western alumni have shown a wide diversity of positions at excellent salaries. Although detailed salary data cannot be disclosed, many graduates reported salaries in the mid to upper $40,000s up to the mid $60,000s. Two alumni have reported salaries of more than $100,000 within ten years after graduation.

The economics faculty at Western works with students and prospective employers to place graduates in positions matching their academic training with desired occupations. Graduates are encouraged to register with the WIU's Career Development Center which, in recent years, has reported placing 90 percent of the students registering for placement assistance. In addition, members of the economics faculty, using their professional contacts, have assisted many graduates in obtaining excellent positions. For many students, the process begins by finding an internship. While many internships are unpaid, some students have secured internships that paid a stipend.

To provide potential students with information about positions held by M.A.s in economics from Western, the lists below include positions held and employers of our graduates. Our hope is that a careful review of this information will provide convincing evidence of the Economics and Decision Sciences Department's commitment to successful placement of its graduates.

A note to alumni

Is your present position included in the list? If not, please contact the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences with your current employer and position within the organization.

Firms Employing WIU Graduates


  • Masonite Corporation - Commercial Division
  • Larry Baumgardner, Inc., Gallery of Homes
  • Boettcher and Company
  • Air Express International
  • Gulton Industries, Inc., Data Systems Division
  • Cory Food Service, Inc. (Subsidiary of Hershey Foods)
  • Speigel, Inc.
  • Del Monte Corporation
  • Caterpillar Tractor Company
  • Edward D. Jones and Company
  • J.J. Schmitt and Association, Inc.
  • Service Master Industries
  • Wilkes, Besterfield, and Company, Ltd., CPA's
  • Chilena De Fosforos S.A. CA
  • Wayne Hummer and Company
  • McDonnell-Douglas Corporation
  • Sunstrand Corporation
  • Harlingen Consolidated I.S.D., TX
  • Illinois Power Company
  • Data Resources, Inc.
  • Santa Barbara Research Center - Hughes Aircraft Company
  • Northwest Industries, Inc.
  • Genesis Systems Group

Professional or Government

  • University of Illinois - Agricultural Economics Department
  • MacMurray College
  • Office of the Assistant Board of Staffs for Government Plantation Estates - Indonesia
  • Regional Transportation Authority
  • Capricorn Institute of Advanced Education
  • John Wood Community College
  • State University of New York
  • State Planning Bureau
  • Valleyview School District 365U
  • Department of the Army
  • University of Michigan - Economics Department
  • WIU Accounting Department
  • School District U46 - Elgin
  • Lincoln College
  • Illinois Department of Revenue
  • Kennedy Christian High School, PA
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • South Dakota State Planning Bureau
  • Office of the Chief of Staff - Department of the Army
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Illinois Municipal League
  • University of Missouri - Economics Department
  • International Monetary Fund

Financial Institutions

  • Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Farmer State Bank and Trust Company - Jacksonville, IL
  • Davenport Bank and Trust Company
  • Merrill Lynch Securities Company
  • Comptroller of the Currency, Regional Administrator of National Banks
  • Thomson McKinnon Securities, Inc. NY
  • Bank of America

Positions Held by WIU Graduates

Professional or Government

  • Teacher
  • Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics
  • Research Assistant
  • Research and Systems Analyst
  • Deputy Director of State Agency
  • Governor's Liaison to the Legislature
  • Assistant Professor of Economics and Chairman of Business and Economics
  • Lecturer in Management
  • Assistant Professor
  • High School and Junior College Instructor
  • Economics Instructor - University
  • Accounting Instructor
  • Chairman of Remedial Mathematics Department
  • Teacher and Chairperson - Social Studies Department
  • Assistant to the Director - Department of Revenue
  • Attorney at Law
  • Executive Director of a State Agency

Financial Institutions

  • Principal Assistant Secretary, Central Bank
  • Vice President of Bank - Director and Secretary of the Board
  • Assistant Trust Officer
  • Research Assistant
  • Portfolio Officer
  • Research Analyst