Graduate Study in Economics slides by Prof. J. Zabel

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1 Graduate Study in Economics slides by Prof. J. Zabel

2 Jobs in Economics 1. Academic job You will have to work HARD for six years to get tenure For most academic jobs, tenure is primarily based on your publication record Once you get tenure, you can only be fired from this job under extreme circumstances If you do not get tenure, then you will need to find a new job

3 Jobs in Economics 2. Think Tank jobs There are many economic think-tanks that require a PhD in economics for their top jobs These can be highly rewarding jobs Examples: Brookings Institution American Enterprise Institute Economic Policy Institute I got a list of 192 Institutions in the US alone when I googled Economic Think Tanks

4 Jobs in Economics 3. Federal Reserve System 4. World Bank/IMF These are highly sought-after The pay is excellent Usually a lot of travel is involved 5. Quasi-Governmental Agencies 6. NGOs

5 Jobs in Economics 7. Federal, State Local Governments 8. Economic consulting firms there are MANY of these ABT Charles River Associates NERA Analysis Group

6 MA/MS in economics Why go to a Masters Program in economics? If you decide too late that you want to get a PhD in economics to thoroughly prepare, a Masters Program can provide the extra background that you will need to be able to apply to PhD Programs Get extra quantitative/research skills that will be valuable in the job market

7 We have Tufts Master of Science Program in Economics An 8-credit Course-Based MS degree Can be completed in two semesters A 12-credit Research-Based degree Write a MS Thesis in the second year Students are admitted into the Course-Based MS Program and then can apply to stay a second year for the Research-Based Program

8 MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN ECONOMICS 8 Credit COURSE-BASED DEGREE Year I Fall Statistics (EC201) Microeconomics Theory I (EC203) Macroeconomic Theory I (EC205) Elective Spring Econometrics (EC202) Microeconomic Theory II (EC204) Macroeconomic Theory II (EC 206) Elective

9 MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN ECONOMICS 12 Credit RESEARCH-BASED DEGREE Year I Fall Statistics (EC201) Microeconomics Theory I (EC203) Macroeconomic Theory I (EC205) Elective Year II Fall Applied Econometrics (EC 292-2) EC Theory Research Seminar (EC292, ½ credit) Thesis Spring Econometrics (EC202) Microeconomic Theory II (EC204) Macroeconomic Theory II (EC 206) Elective Spring EC Theory Research Seminar (EC292, ½ credit) Thesis

10 Tuition Course-Based MS: The tuition is similar to what you pay for a year as an undergraduate at Tufts BUT we offer generous tuition scholarships The tuition that you pay in the first year covers 8 courses So even if you stay for a third semester to finish your course-based MS, you will not be charged additional tuition.

11 Tuition Research-Based MS: This year s base tuition is around $9,000 Plus, the same tuition scholarship rate that was applied to your tuition for the Course-Based MS is applied to the tuition for the Research-Based MS.

12 Funding Opportunities Teaching Assistant Positions Grader Positions

13 PhD Programs While I will focus on PhD Programs in Economics, most of what I say will apply to the following PhD programs Resource and Agricultural Economics (Environmental) Public Policy Graduate School of Business Real Estate Economics

14 PhD Programs Usually involve two years of course work It is common to take comprehensive exams (comps) at the end of the second year in the main core subjects (micro, macro, and econometrics) and also in field courses of the student s choosing It is usually required that students pass their comps to be able to continue in the program Students are usually given at least two chances to pass their comps

15 PhD Programs After course work, students take two or more years to finish their dissertation Ultimately it is the quality of your dissertation (and not how you do in your course work) that will determine the job that you get after graduation. Most dissertations have an empirical component so students must be good at working with data and using software programs like Stata.

16 Is a PhD Program in Economics Right for Me? What is involved? 1. Math and lots of it in the course work (a significant step above EC16 and EC18) 2. Independent Research 3. Working with data on the computer 4. Spending 4 or more years in school SO if you don t like any one of these things then getting a PhD in Economics may not be right for you

17 Is a PhD Program in Economics Right for Me? To get a PhD, you should really like doing independent research Depending on your advisors, you may get regular deadlines and highly directed advice, or very general advice only when you ask If you are not sure you do, getting a job for a year or two doing research is a good way to figure that out Obviously, you will have less independence than as a PhD-level researcher, so you'll have to imagine what it's like to be your boss

18 Is a PhD Program in Economics Right for Me? It is probably not worth getting a PhD in Economics unless you have a specific job goal in mind that requires the degree. it is probably not worth doing unless you have a specific job goal in mind that requires the degree. Very few business-world jobs need a grad degree in economics and only a small subset of finance-world jobs need a grad degree in economics. Consider a MBA or masters in finance if you want this career path. It is good to necessary for quantitative consulting, research positions, and teaching at the college level.

19 Is a PhD Program in Economics Right for Me? The attrition rate is HIGH! Often more than half the students that start in a PhD program do not finish Most of these students qualify for a Master s Degree Pay is good but not great (if you want to make a lot of money go to business school)

20 Preparing for Graduate School in Economics It is never too early to start preparing for graduate school in economics Even if you do not end up applying to graduate school, this preparation can be very valuable for the job market

21 Preparing for Graduate School in Economics To prepare for the quantitative rigor and research that a PhD program in economics requires, I recommend the following path in economics Quantitative Economics Major Senior Honors Thesis

22 Preparing for Graduate School in Economics To prepare for the quantitative rigor and research that a PhD program in economics requires, I recommend the following math courses Calculus I, II, and III Real Analysis Linear Algebra Probability and Statistics (rather than EC13) Think about getting a minor (or a double major) in math

23 Preparing for Graduate School in Economics To prepare for the quantitative rigor and research that a PhD program in economics requires, I suggest Computer Programming Courses

24 Preparing for Graduate School in Economics Starting early in scheduling your economics and math classes If you wait too long to take some of these classes, you will find if much more difficult to take all the recommended classes. Take econometrics early It can be very useful in upper-level economics classes You will need it when writing a Senior Honors Thesis

25 Preparing for Graduate School in Economics Get to Know the Faculty If you want to go to graduate school, you will need to have both experience doing economic research and strong letters of recommendation from faculty. Letters of recommendation from full-time faculty are more valuable than letters from part-time faculty. You can look on the department website to see who the full-time and part-time faculty are.

26 Preparing for Graduate School in Economics Get to Know the Faculty One of the most important resources at your disposal is faculty office hours. This is the best way for faculty to get to know you and vice versa.

27 Preparing for Graduate School in Economics Carry out independent research Summer Scholars Senior Honors Thesis Working as a Research Assistant

28 Summer Scholars A University-wide initiative that offers research apprenticeships with faculty mentors. Support will be provided for Tufts undergraduates to do summer research with faculty from Tufts schools Good way to get a head start on your Senior Honors Thesis You MUST get a faculty member to be your advisor for this research Student receives $3,500

29 Summer Scholars 2012 Deadlines (2013 Deadlines will be posted soon) Monday, March 5, 12:00 Noon Applications due to Dowling Rm. 710 March Selection Committee Meetings Week of March 26 Applicants notified of status April 6 Deadline to confirm acceptance of award; waitlisted applicants notified

30 What is a Senior Honors Thesis? A two-semester long project that results in a thesis paper Senior Honors Thesis (SHT) is overseen by (at least) a two-person committee consisting of an advisor and a reader SHT must be defended in Late April/Early May This entails a minute presentation of thesis Usually in power point

31 What is a Senior Honors Thesis? Should answer a (very) specific question or test a particular hypotheses Usually has an empirical component (but not necessarily) Generally the narrower the topic/ the more specific the question the better the thesis Can be in any area of economics

32 Courses, Credits, and Grading Students receive a Y grade for the fall semester of EC195 A letter grade is given after the defense typically one grade that applies to both semesters (2 credits) Counts as two upper-level electives towards the economics major Meets the research paper course requirement Can count as upper-level quantitative economics course that is required for quant majors

33 Courses, Credits, and Grading Also given are honors awards: Honors in Thesis High Honors in Thesis Highest Honors in Thesis

34 Examples Go to the following url for copies of SHT DO.UA005 Click on Undergraduate honors theses, Department of Economics, to get to economics theses.

35 Senior Honors Thesis - Timing Usually, a student develops a topic and finds an advisor in the spring of their junior year The advisor must be a full-time faculty member in the economics department Usually it is someone whom you have had for a class OR is someone who is doing research in an area related to your thesis topic See the department website for faculty research topics Talk to your advisor about writing a Senior Honors Thesis OR come talk to Professor Zabel

36 Working as a Research Assistant Research experience is essential in preparing for a PhD program in Economics. Some of the benefits to being an RA: Additional opportunities to better get to know the faculty Opportunities to publish a paper with your professor Increased computer programming skills Knowledge regarding working with data Higher ability to comprehend economic literature Instruction and experience in the overall research process Flexible schedule- you set your own hours

37 Working as a Research Assistant Getting a job as a RA depends on talking to your professors to find out if they have RA opportunities Professors like to hire students who have good programming skills It is possible to get paid as an RA but recognize that the true benefits are not financial

38 The Application Process You will need to get letters of recommendation from at least 3 people Letters from full-time faculty are more valuable than letters from part-time faculty Letters from employers are good if the job was economics-related and you worked as a RA. Letters from employers of non-economics-related jobs are not so useful Letters from family acquaintances are not useful

39 The Application Process Which programs should I apply to? There are many rankings of PhD Programs in Economics You should consider applying to a diverse set of schools; don t limit yourself to schools in the top 20 or even top 40 in the rankings The worst choice is no choice, you can always turn down a lower ranked school that accepts you

40 The Application Process Which programs should I apply to? Graduate school is expensive so not only do you need to get accepted into a program, it is likely that you will need funding as well The good news is that most programs provide funding in the form of tuition scholarships, TA and grader positions, and stipends

41 The Application Process Which programs should I apply to? While it is useful to have a field of interest in economics, don t worry too much about going to a school that specializes in this field since there is a good chance you will change your mind about your area of expertise While it can be useful to look at the professors who specialize in your area of interest, don t put too much weight on being able to work with them since they can leave the program.

42 The Application Process Which programs should I apply to? To get a feeling for where you can expect to be accepted, look at the profiles of students who did and did not get into certain programs See https://economics.byu.edu/siteassets/graduate% 20Work/Economics%20and%20graduate%20work _your%20future.pdf

43 The Application Process Which programs should I apply to? To get a feeling for where you can expect to be accepted, talk to your professors

44 The Application Process Which programs should I apply to? Ask for placement outcomes and attrition rates from any program you consider attending (typically after you get in). If the job listing is much shorter than the incoming class size, politely ask what (generally) happened to everyone else. Among academic jobs, note whether they are tenure track or not, and familiarize yourself with that distinction. Do you think you would be happy with several of the jobs listed? If not, a PhD might not be a good idea.

45 Related PhD Programs While a PhD Program in economics might not be right for you (particularly the level of math), there are other related programs that may be a better fit Resource and Agricultural Economics (Environmental) Public Policy Graduate School of Business Real Estate Economics

46 Other resources econphd.econwiki.com/rankings.htm

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