Becoming an economist may not sound appealing to everyone – there are currently about 14,600 people working in economics jobs today – but to those with an interest in numbers, causation, correlation, and bettering society through data-driven research, economics may be just the right field. A Master in Economics is the second step, after earning an undergraduate degree, into a professional career as an economist or a professor on the subject. By no means is teaching the only end result of post-graduate economic studies, economists are hired to work in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and they enjoy heady salaries in these positions as well. The average income for an economist is $99,350 and many of these professionals write books and articles on the side, boosting their income up to about $150,000/year or more. Becoming an economist will take education and work experience, but once a young professional has “proven” him or herself in the field, economics can be a very rewarding career. Here’s what to look for in a Master in Economics program.
The basis of economics is research – lots and lots of research. Therefore, the top ranked Master in Economic programs often have a very heavily weighted research component. Graduate students will have the opportunity to assist PhD students and faculty in their research. This hands-on study teachers graduate students how to find data, conduct surveys, compile statistics into usable chunks, and draw conclusions from the research – and then check to see that their conclusions can be replicated. Prospective students should consider what types of research interests them most – Cultural? Government? Fiscal policy? – and then seek out a program that is already trenched in this work.
The top ranked master’s programs recruit the best faculty with the most impressive careers. Students could potentially find themselves taking classes from the chairman of the Federal Reserve or someone who has served as economic advisor to the president. This kind of work experience can bring a new level of significance to lectures and theory.
Master in Economic students will have many courses to choose from and it’s important the program they attend offers the specializations that interest them and match their career prospects the best. Different specializations include public finance, econometrics, financial economics, organizational economics, political economics, and much more.