In David Wessel's column in today's WSJ, he cites research by Harvard economists Larry Katz and Claudia Goldin that followed the fortunes of 6,500 Harvard graduates between 1969 and 1992. "Comparing graduates with similar SAT scores, grade-point averages, gender, age, occupation, and everything else they can measure, Mr. Katz and Ms. Goldin find Harvard grads who work in finance earn 195% more than similar graduates in other careers, or triple the pay. That's no typo: Going into finance means making nearly three times as much as your classmates with other careers."
Then again, maybe it's not too late!
Starting in May 2008, the Hough Graduate School of Business of the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida will offer a Post-Doctoral Bridge (PDB) program for non-business Ph.D. holders. The program is designed to prepare participants for teaching and research careers in business schools.
My other alma mater, Virginia Tech, also has a similar program. (Although it is twice the price of Florida's.)
See my previous post on the difference between economics and finance.
Here is a list of median faculty salaries by discipline. Looks like business and law are good ways to go if you can succeed in getting them. The pay scale is fairly well coordinated with opportunities outside of academia.