For students considering a postgraduate qualification in economics, most of the departments in top ranked universities around the world require a first class undergraduate degree in economics. Standard courses in intermediate micro and macroeconomics, together with advanced courses in certain areas of mathematics also help while applying for a graduate course in economics. In several universities offering MSc courses, students without economics backgrounds but with solid experience in mathematical subjects, can pursue two-year graduate programs. The time-frame increases the feasibility of students with non-economics undergraduate backgrounds to begin economics at the graduate level and write a thesis.
WHAT SKILLS WILL I ACQUIRE?
All graduate and Ph.D programs in economics concentrate on the study of applied economics, econometrics and economic statistics, economic development and planning, economic theory, industrial organization and control, international economics, labour economics, monetary and macro economics, and public finance.
The graduate degree is based on thorough training in core areas of economics with an optional specialization. Although the program involves extensive use of mathematics, it is essentially done so to facilitate analysis.
PhD and graduate courses in this subject allow students to pursue productive and stimulating careers as economists. Candidates can opt for an advanced study and research for professional careers in universities, government, public and private research and consulting organizations, financial institutions and other private businesses. However, most students pursuing PhDs take academic jobs. Graduates wanting to enter the non-academic sector can work with companies like the federal government, international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund, or professional economics positions available in the private sector.
For instance, graduates from Harvard University have gained employment in reputed organizations such as the World Bank, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Cornerstone, the National Endowment for Science Tech & Arts (London) and Harvard Business School.
At the London School of Economics (LSE), approximately one-third of graduates enter the private sector, one-third go into the public sector and international organizations and another third pursue further education. LSE graduates have gone on to work for the International Monetary Fund, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, Bank of Italy, Bank of Spain and academic institutions such as the University of Toronto and the University of Alicante.
Some of THE-QS World University Rankings top universities offering graduate studies in Economics:
Harvard University: Every week, this graduate department sponsors more than 15 different seminars on contemporary issues such as environmental economics, economic growth and development, monetary and fiscal policyand international economics.
MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology puts emphasis on training and admits only full-time graduate study only for its PhD candidates.
Yale: Only offers a PhD program in economics to be ideally completed in four years.
Princeton: There are approximately 50 full-time faculty members in the Department of Economics and many of them have received public recognition for their work. Several of them hold posts in the American Economic Association and Econometric Society. The faculty also serve as editors of major academic publications and consultants to business, governments and international organizations.
UCL: The Economics department at University College London is one of the only two economics departments in UK to achieve the double 5* rating in the two most recent national Research Assessment Exercises. It also offers various scholarships to its graduate students.
LSE: The London School of Economics has a pulsating doctoral program with 100 students pursuing research in various fields of economics. LSE provides structured research training and supervision to all its graduate students and most graduates from the PhD program are in high demand at top educational and international institutions globally.
Oxford University: Offers M.Phil in Economics, suitable to those who do not already have an excellent graduate coursework degree in economics from a top university. This grad course is designed to provide training in economics at the postgraduate level, comparable to the first two years of the PhD program in the best US universities.
University of Toronto: The Department of Economics in Toronto offers PhD program in economics. It begins in late August with an intensive three-week review of basic mathematics and statistics.
University of Sydney: Offers a graduate diploma in economics. It is offered jointly by the Departments (?) of Economics, Econometrics and Business Statistics, and Finance. The course is also suitable for part-time students.
National University of Singapore: NUS has interesting graduate courses in Managerial Economics and Macro and International Economics.