When most people hear words like “taxes,” “interest rates,” “inflation,” or “investment,” their eyelids start to droop. Not you—you listen eagerly. You’re fascinated by the systems that drive our financial world, and you’re not afraid to tackle complexities and decode systems that often confuse other people. Does this sound like you? If so, you might be the perfect candidate for Buffalo State College’s Economics and Finance Program.
Let’s start with what economics isn’t. Economics isn’t a business degree—although it does teach important business skills. It also isn’t a one-way ticket to make it big in the stock market, although many wealthy people, like Warren Buffet, have an economics degree. Economics is a social science—it’s the study of how people and societies operate. Economists build models to explain why people behave the way they do and make the financial decisions they make. Therefore, while successful economists have a good head for numbers and sharp analytical skills, they are also very curious about people.
"My favorite part of the Adirondack Cup competition was applying technical analysis tools," said Fabiola Belfort, '17 (pictured fourth from left). "Learning how to forecast the direction of prices is an invaluable asset obtained from taking part of the Adirondack Cup."
"There is a very concerted push in the investment management industry to bring more women into the profession," said Gene Chaas, lecturer, chartered financial analyst (CFA) faculty adviser to the Adirondack Cup competition. "Our team is typically very diverse, giving students who may not have considered asset management a career path and access to a field that would welcome them with open arms."
Interested students have two choices of degree programs to pursue:
Both programs prepare students for entry-level management positions in business, government, and nonprofit organizations, and provide excellent preparation for graduate work in business administration, economics, and law. Both economics programs have distinctive features, including:
Buffalo State is committed to providing students with educational opportunities that extend beyond the classroom. Below are some experiences, programs, and extracurricular opportunities open to economics majors:
As an institution, Buffalo State backs its commitment by putting substantial financial resources behind faculty-mentored undergraduate research. The Undergraduate Research Office promotes, supports, and funds undergraduate research in all academic areas—from the sciences to the arts—and for all committed students. More than 400 students present their research through posters and performances each year at the Student Research and Creativity Conference. They also compete for Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowships, which support eight weeks of paid research activity.
The Economics and Finance Internship Program is designed to complement and enhance the department's classroom-based academic programs. Students not only gain "practical" experience related to their academic study, they also apply what has been learned in the classroom. This enables students to deepen their understanding and develop their own thinking and critical faculties.
A student can apply three credits of internship credit during his/her major. Examples of past internship placements among our economics students include:
There are countless career opportunities available in economics. Our economics majors are prepared for management positions in business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Some go on to pursue graduate studies in economics or other disciplines such as law or politics.
Typical job titles for economic and finance graduates include:
Recent graduates have been hired as cost accountants, mortgage banking supervisors, high school social studies teachers, retirement program control representatives, and aides to state legislators. Specific companies and organizations that have hired our economics graduates include:
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