New Master of Arts Program
Sat, April 6, 2013
The Economics department started a new one-year terminal Master’s degree this past summer. The inaugural class of 40 students began classes in mid-July and, after completing a 10-course, 30-credit curriculum, will graduate in May 2014. The rigorous program is the first of its kind in the state of Texas, and only a handful of similar programs (primarily on the East coast) currently exist.
The new Master of Arts (MA) program was officially approved by the UT System in December 2012. Even with only a few months to publicize the program, over 120 applications were received during the first application cycle. The current class of 40 students is especially diverse, including 5 former UT undergraduates, 20 international students, and 9 students from non-economics/business backgrounds. While all students are expected to be exposed to economics courses prior to their application, non-economics majors have been encouraged to apply. The program can serve as a “pivot” for people who had analytical training in other field but wish to pursue a job requiring more economics training.
With today’s workplace requiring more advanced training than ever before, master’s degrees in economics are in high demand. A June 2012 Forbes.com feature story (“The Best and Worst Master’s Degrees For Jobs”) listed economics as one of the top ten master’s degrees in terms of job prospects and salaries; the mid-career median pay is $115,000 for degree recipients, and the projected employment increase for jobs associated with this degree is 14.3% over the next decade.
The MA program at UT was designed for prospective students with any of the following goals:
- Qualifying for jobs in the private or government sector that require greater expertise in economic, analytical, and statistical tools than provided by an undergraduate degree;
- Obtaining the background in economics and mathematics required to gain admission to a high-quality economics PhD program;
- Studying economics as a complementary field to another area of expertise (law, political science, public health, statistics, energy, etc.).
The program trains students in the core disciplines of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Building upon a foundation of required core courses, the program then provides students with elective courses that will provide a stepping stone to either private-sector employment or future graduate study. The elective offerings for the 2013-14 academic year will include Financial Economics, Industrial Organization, Energy & Environmental Economics, and Labor Economics.
The program is being taught primarily by full-time faculty members, including some of the best and most experienced instructors in the department. With comparable programs using adjunct faculty to staff many of their courses, the department seeks to attract the highest quality students by using the highest quality faculty.
PROFILE OF THE 2013-14 CLASS
(# of students in parentheses)
Total number of students: 40
Gender: Male (30), Female (10)
Age: 20-24 (22), 25-29 (14), 30-34 (4)
Citizenship: U.S./permanent resident (20), international (20)
Countries: Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Iceland, India, Korea, Taiwan
Undergraduate major: Economics (27), Business/Finance (4), Engineering (4), Math (2), Computer Science (1), History (1), Philosophy (1)
For more information about the MA program, including upcoming on-campus information sessions, visit the program website at http://ma.eco.utexas.edu.
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