Central College’s economics program provides a firm foundation for careers after graduation. Many economics majors enter the business world, working in banking, finance or actuarial fields. Others begin careers in the public arena, working with such agencies as the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Federal Reserve. In addition, many students go on to acquire graduate degrees in economics, law, business and public administration.

Economics students at Central gain a comprehensive understanding of economic theory and important methodologies, such as quantitative analysis of economic decisions. Students learn to apply economic theory to contemporary issues to find solutions to problems facing the daily lives of citizens. Students actively engage in hands-on learning to understanding the economic decision-making behavior of individuals, firms, nations and other economic groups.

  • 100% of economics grads are employed within six months; 90% require the use of quantitative analysis
  • 85% of majors who seek graduate school attend law school or study public administration

The Real World


Successful Careers

  • Product analyst, Brokers International, Panora
  • Senior vice president and director of quantitative research, Envestnet Asset Management, Chicago
  • Management and program analyst, United States Dept. of the Treasury: Bureau of Fiscal Service, Kansas City
  • Associate professor of economics, University of Toledo, Ohio
  • Head of fund management, Sammons Financial Group, Des Moines
  • Trade and industry analyst, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Associate, Hardwick Day, Minneapolis
  • Actuary, IMT Insurance, Des Moines
  • Tax analyst, Second Story Software, Cedar Rapids


  • Omicron Delta Epsilon (international honor society in economics)
  • EAM Club (economics, accounting and management)

Cole Decker

Cole Decker

"Without knowing a specific direction where I want to go after graduation, this is the best scenario for me."

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Graduate Placement

  • Drake University, law
  • University of Oregon, Ph.D., economics
  • George Washington University, master in public administration
  • Iowa State University, Ph.D., economics
  • The University of Iowa, law
  • University of Chicago, master in public administration


In today's competitive job market, proven experience is a priceless commodity. Many students turn their internship into employment after graduation. 

  • Policy intern, Senator Charles Grassley’s Des Moines office
  • Financial Architects, Pella
  • Transamerica, Cedar Rapids
  • Policy intern, Senator Tom Harkin’s Des Moines office

Courses & Faculty

Economics majors take courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, plus a minimum of five additional courses at the 300-400 level. Students are encouraged to study at one of Central’s international centers and/or in the Chicago program and to extend their education beyond the classroom through internships and other co-curricular activities on campus.

Learn more about economics in the course catalog.

Economics photo
Meet the faculty:
  • Jeana Clark, Lecturer of Business Management
  • Graham Lemke, Donald T. Butler Endowed Chair and Professor of Finance
  • Uwaoma Nwaogu, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics, interest areas include international trade and finance, monetary economics and labor economics
  • Brian Peterson, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., Professor of Economics, interest areas include public finance, econometrics and economic education
  • Jaclyn Rundle, B.S., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Business Management, interest areas include nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurship and social enterprise certification methods
  • Maggie Schlerman, B.A., M.Acc., C.P.A., Assistant Professor of Accounting, interest areas include financial accounting and analysis, strategic planning, international accounting and corporate social responsibility
  • Jessica Schuring, B.A., M.B.A, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics, interest areas include microeconomics, health economics, labor economics, environmental economics, development economics and economics of discrimination

Sample Schedule

First year
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Calculus I
  • Computer science course
Sophomore year
  • Applied Statistics
  • Quantitative Methods in Business and Economics
  • Public Speaking
Junior year
  • Microeconomic Theory
  • Upper-level economics courses
  • Macroeconomic Theory
Senior year
  • Upper-level economics courses
  • Economics Research Seminar

The Central Difference


The Weller Center for Business and International Studies houses faculty offices and classrooms for the department of economics, accounting and management, department of sociology and anthropology and department of modern languages.

The $3.9-million building completed in 1999 includes state-of-the-art technologies,  a 24-hour computer lab on the main floor and eight high-tech classrooms, two of which contain student computers.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with partner programs in Chicago, Washington, D.C. or New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

Economics majors are encouraged to study abroad because in an increasingly global economy, employers want to hire graduates who have a larger world perspective. Nearly 60% of economics students study abroad!

Professional Development

Finding and landing your first job is an important step. Central makes sure students are fully prepared for the job search through multiple events focusing on search strategies, resume building, interviewing practice and networking skills.

Central Economic Students

Learn More

Want to find out more about economics at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.