Value of Econ Degree

I’ve been thinking about doing a Masters in Economics: 1. Anybody have any insight into how this is viewed (is it useful, do you have such a degree)? Can this get you into World Bank, IFC, or OPIC along with previous work experience? 2. Last question, which school do you guys think of as being more prestigious or well known John Hopkins University or Georgetown University? Thanks guys!

Econ MAs are second class citizens in schools that have top Phd programs. I should know, I am one. If you want to work for a world organization, I’d recommend going for the Phd. but then again i don’t work for a world organization.

JHU and Gtown are in the same tier-2 bucket.

what type of work would you like to be doing in these organizations? There are many areas you could go outside the economics realm.

@wake2000, I would like to get into development portfolio investment analysis similar to what the OPIC does,

@jbald, What line of work are you into nowadays?

If you havent already done so, I would focus on completing the CFA. The problem with these places is that they have minimal spots to fill for the desirable positions, the application process is tedious and time-consuming, and the competition is fairly competitive. They also love to hire non-Americans. I do know a few people at the IFC as well as at the World Bank.

I have a grad degree in econ and here is what I know: 1) A Masters in Econ is not an easy thing to get and I’d happily hire someone with such a degree, provided they knew how to think when their model assumptions break down. JH and Georgia are solid schools, pick the one with the most specialists in the field you’re interested in. At the end of the day, most economics is taught from a book and tainted with the ideology of the person doing the teaching. As long as your school is respectable, the ideological bent of your program probably matters more to employers than its ranking. 2) Organizations like the world bank, the IMF, OECD etc love economists. Depending on your ideological bent, working for these types of organizations may or may not appeal to you. A masters will get you a job there, a PhD will start you higher up the ladder. In these specific organizations, you won’t ever be chief economist without a PhD. IMO, this is mostly an issue of optics as opposed to ability. 3) If you want to get a grad degree in econ, make sure you’ve got a solid grounding in calculus, matrix algebra, and statistics. Many programs out there take conceptually straight forward economic concepts and turn them into a system of complex differential equations that serve more to confuse non-math types than actually clarify the issue. The exception is econometrics, here the math/stats is needed and very relevant in so far as the model you’re estimating is useful. 4) Econ is not finance. You can easily get a PhD in econ without ever looking at or discussing a balance sheet. If you’re interested mainly in finance, a masters in econ is not the right way to go.

I keep this list, arranged in order of importance for a career in finance Contacts> College Reputation> GPA> Charm> MBA> CFA> Whatever you study But again, it’s personal, maybe cynical, opinion. Would advice you to pool in various opinions.

Zesty Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > @jbald, What line of work are you into nowadays? First job out of grad school I worked on a quant team in a real estate investment consultancy - forecasting market fundamentals, returns, etc. Then moved to a buy side PE real estate shop doing acquisitions. Had level 2 under my belt when I moved and since then finished. CFA got me in the door but econ background has been a very good complement in my day to day - helps understand macro context when evaluating what types of deals are attractive given the point in the cycle.