A Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Consumer Economics can lead to a career which will take you anywhere in the world, from a Fortune 500 company to the local bank, and in ventures from development economics to wealth management.
Explore our concentrations to find the right path for your career goals.
ACE graduates experience more than just the theory of economics, or how to manage a large consulting client list. They learn practical applications of economics in the food, environmental and consumer sectors. ACE students spend time with those who are influencing the industry from global leaders in agribusiness and finance, to influencers of national and international policy. A University of Illinois ACE degree will afford you diverse career opportunities, grow your knowledge of the food, consumer and environmental sectors, and prepare you for a career as global or as local as you desire.
Each year, ACES Career Services polls graduating seniors to learn where each individual will go after graduation. Students report their destinations as well as salaries, allowing ACES Career Services to compile a document that presents the data collected during the past three years. In ACE, this data is broken down by concentration and demonstrates the companies and organizations hiring our graduates and average starting salaries as well as the graduate programs admitting them.
Graduate programs in the Department of ACE prepare students for – and place students in – the futures they want.
Facts to Know
- Most MS students finish in 1.5-2 years
- 28% of our MS students go on to PhD programs
- Most PhD Students finish in 4-5 years
- 22% of our PhD students end up in faculty positions
- 75% of PhDs with initial placements in postdocs then move into tenure track jobs
Initial Placement of Master’s Students (with examples)
- PhD programs (28%): UC-Davis, Auburn Univ, UIUC, Cornell, Univ of Wisconsin, Duke Univ
- Private sector: (46%) Agri-Bank-FCB, Foursquare ITP, Archer Daniels Midland, MetLife, GP Financial Services, Monsanto, The Hershey Co.
- Government/NGOs/non-faculty academic (26%): Federal Reserve Bank, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis, Pan American Health Org., One Acre Fund, Univ of Michigan, Univ of Nebraska
Initial Placement of PhD Students (with examples)
- Faculty (22%): California St - Fullerton, China Agricultural Univ, Universidad EAFIT (Colombia) Mississippi State, Nanjing Audit University, Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), Chico State
- Postdoc (36%): Princeton, Stanford, John Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon Univ, Univ of Madrid, Tufts, Univ of Minnesota, Univ of Delaware, Yale
- Government/NGO (26%): USDA, World Bank, IFAD, IADB, EPA, CSIR-Savannah Agricultural Research Institute
- Private sector (16%): Facebook, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Mountain View Financial Solutions, South Coast Air Quality Management Dist.
As they conduct their job and internship searches, the Department of ACE encourages students to take advantage of the myriad resources available to them on campus. While campus does not match students to job or internship sites, there are many offices, events, and courses that assist students in conducting productive searches, creating quality application materials, and participating in excellent interviews. Some important resources include:
- ACES Career Services: Housed in the College of ACES, students will find career experts who can counsel them on their job or graduate school search, provide interview support, review their resumes, and more!
- The Career Center: Open to everyone on campus, career professionals provide similar support but also include pre-professional training opportunities.
- Handshake@Illinois: Our campus-wide recruiting platform helps thousands of students connect with employers each year.
- Career Fairs: All University of Illinois students are invited to attend all campus career fairs. Our students tend to find the ACES + LAS Career Fair and the Gies College of Business Career Fair to be the most beneficial.
- ACE 341: With sections specific to each concentration, students in these required professionalism courses have access to recruiters and alumni who present each week as well as lectures and discussions geared toward successfully navigating the transition from college to career.
- Experiential Learning Opportunities: ACE encourages students to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities afforded to them through the department, college, university, and their clubs and organizations. These opportunities allow students to build their networks and their skills, making them more marketable when they begin their internship and job searches.