You know there are a ton of great reasons to major in economics — the job prospects, the intellectual challenge, and the chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest thinkers of all time.
But what program in Wisconsin offers the most to would be economics majors?
We at Zippia decided to take a look at the data on the 119 institutions of higher learning in the Badger State to determine which programs offer the best career opportunities for economics majors.
After the dust settled, we’re left with this set of the top colleges for economics majors in Wisconsin:
If you go to one of these schools, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.
But for the rest of you — keep reading and we’ll get to just why these schools have some of the best economics programs the Badger State has to offer.
Economics is, at its core, the study of choice under constraints. When it comes to identifying the best economics schools we wanted to approach the ranking like economics major would, by looking at data on how schools perform and comparing them to one another.
What better way to optimize your choice?
So with that mind, we looked at the following data from the NCES (National Center For Education Statistics) and College Scorecard data from ED.gov to understand what economics department offer the best career opportunities:
It’s hard to argue with a selective school that features economics and produces strong earning potential for your career.
After we had this data, we looked at the 119 institutions of higher learning in Wisconsin. We then ranked each of these schools for each of the criteria above with 1 being the best in any given criteria.
Next, we averaged the ranks for each school to create an “Economics Quality Index”. The school with the best score on the “Economics Quality Index”, University of Wisconsin-Madison, earned the distinction of being the ‘Best College For Economics’ in Wisconsin.
The University of Wisconsin’s flagship institution takes the cake for having the best economics program in the state. The graduation rate for its students is the highest in Wisconsin at 83%, and students leave commanding the 2nd-highest salaries of all econ grads as well.
Believe it or not, but this smaller economics program is the 4th-hardest to get into. Being exclusive typically means quality. Additionally, students leave with the 2nd-lowest debt of all economics majors in the state, which is appealing to just about all math nerds out there.
Economics at Marquette University is offered as an undergraduate major and minor in the College of Business Administration and Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. Its graduates typically go on to work for major companies.
In fact, Marquette economics grads are the highest paid of any other group of econ grads in the state of Wisconsin.
More than two-thirds of econ students take the program to completion at UW-La Crosse, which has the 5th-best graduation rate in the state. And, once they finish school, a majority of economics graduates command far higher than normal salaries, too.
Math geeks like to see good values, and UW-Eau Claire’s program is just about as good a value as you can get in the state. It’s the 5th-least expensive economics program in the state, and grads earn the 5th-highest salaries straight out of school.
UW-Parkside gets high marks for the cost of the program – it’s the most affordable economics degree in Wisconsin. Plus, the percentage of students still working in the field of economics is the highest in the state.
If you like up, close personal attention, than little Lawrence University is for you. This Appleton, WI campus has the 2nd-highest graduation rate (82%) of all economics programs in the state. In addition, most of Lawrence econ grads are still working in the field, even a decade after leaving school.
Not only is Carthage located in a beautiful location right on the shore of Lake Michigan, it’s a great place to earn an economics degree. Being so small, it’s one of the hardest programs to get into, but it’s affordable, and graduates earn the 7th-highest salaries in the state.
Edgewood’s econ program can be a little on the expensive side, when compared to the cost at some of the state universities. But its graduates out-earn all but two other programs, meaning you can pay off those loans a lot faster here.
This private school in De Pere is one of the most expensive on this list, but econ students graduate at one of the highest rates in Wisconsin, and just about all economics graduates hit the ground running with far above-average salaries right after graduation.