Building Skills & Experience

Economics students have the opportunity to build a variety of skills to support their undergraduate education. Beyond Econ Student Groups, and Registered Student Organizations, there are a number of ways to get involved.

Illinois in Washington

Live, learn and intern in DC in areas related to economics, such as think tanks, consulting groups, government agencies, and others. Gain valuable work experience, insight into your professional goals, and an understanding of the policy world in Washington, all while earning U of I credit. Illinois in Washington Website


There are numerous ways you can gain experience in consulting. Visit our Consultant Career Path Page to find out more about the professions, including essential skills. There are many student clubs and organizations on campus to gain valuable experience.

Alternative Seasonal Breaks

Sends students on nationwide service trips (winter, spring, and summer breaks) to learn about and actively combat social justice and environmental issues. Alternative Seasonal Breaks Website


The Department of Economics encourages undergraduate students to conduct research or complete an independent study project with faculty. These opportunities allow students to gain a better understanding of economic concepts and add to their experience for a future career or graduate studies. We have compiled information on opportunities to add to your economics degree here at Illinois. Economics Research Website


Illinois Leadership Center

Provides students with opportunities to develop, or enhance, essential leadership skills. Programs and services provide leadership training through both academic coursework (minor), coaching (certificate program), and experiential programming (I-programs and workshops). Students may also take the Illinois Leadership Inventory to understand themselves and their leadership competencies. Illinois Leadership Center Website

Research Park

Provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research and easy access to University labs, equipment, and services. Many global companies who are leaders in their fields are located at Research Park (ADM, Abbott Laboratories, Abbvie, AB InBev, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, Grainger, State Farm, Yahoo,..). Opportunities available to students include Internships and Events. Research Park Website

Office of Volunteer Programs

The Office of Volunteer Programs (OVP) promotes service by encouraging students to donate their time and volunteer for the university and local communities. OVP pairs students with opportunities where they gain invaluable experience through public engagement. Office of Volunteer Programs Website


Want to gain experience working on a business problem? Gain skills in consulting, entrepreneurship, problem-solving, creativity, presentation, and so much more, and have a chance to win money, by taking on a MindSumo project alone, or as a part of a team. MindSumo brings together Fortune 500 companies and college students to work on big ideas that will impact the world. Try out some crazy ideas, get experience working on business problems, and get rewarded. MindSumo Website

LAS Life + Career Design

The LAS Life + Career Design Initiative is a framework to help undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences make sense of and enrich their degree programs to prepare for life after graduation. Our work offers students opportunities to imagine, engage, and connect their learning experiences.  LAS Life + Career Design Website

Classes & Workshops
LAS Website: Leadership Opportunities
LAS Website: Service Opportunities

Statistical Software & Qualitative Programs Workshops

CITL conducts short evening workshops on how to use statistical software, qualitative programs, and questionnaire design each semester.  CITL Website

CU Community Fab Lab

The CU Community Fab lab (located on campus) is a collaborative workshop space for computer-driven innovation, design, and fabrication using prototyping tools like laser engravers, 3-D printers, small electronics and e-textiles. They offer free open hours, classes, and workshops.

Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) Open Lab

The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Open Lab is a creative workshop for all students at the University of Illinois to work on personal projects outside of the classroom. Equipment includes 3D printers, vinyl cutters, and laser cutters.  The lab also offers training in these areas.

Illinois MakerLab

The Illinois MakerLab offers workshops designed to teach students, staff, faculty and community members how to design, scan, and print 3D objects. In addition to workshops, the MakerLab offers a Digital Maker Certificate and a Digital Maker Badge.

Technology Entrepreneurship Center

The Technology Entrepreneurship Center offers many opportunities for students from all colleges to get experience developing entrepreneurial skills.

Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR)

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) offers workshops for students interested in research opportunities.

Thousands (yes thousands!) of training videos on a variety of subjects and topics! Python, R, Java, Excel, Presentations, Adobe, and so much more. This is a great way to increase your skills in areas specific to your career aspirations. It shows a company you are dedicated to learning skills and developing professionally outside of the classroom. is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.

Available to all University of Illinois students for free! 
(make sure to use the University website and your student login)

University Library’s Savvy Researcher

The University Library’s Savvy Researcher workshop series offers workshops relevant to research, academic, professional, and personal success. Undergraduates are invited to participate in these workshops alongside graduate students and faculty. Workshops focus on a variety of topics including: Digital Tools, Data, Sharing Your Work, Visual Literacy, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Digital Humanities, and Information Management.

Data & Software

Want to build your data and/or software skills? There are plenty of workshop and training opportunities for students at UIUC. Visit our page outlining some options