Thursday, 9 July 2015

Why study economics? PhD edition...

Back in January, Scott Jaschik reported in Inside HigherEd about the robust market for economics PhD graduates in economics in the U.S.:
In the 2014 calendar year, the American Economic Association listed 3,051 jobs, an increase of 9.4 percent from the total in 2013. (The AEA has made slight changes in its calendar, but has tried to account for them to make year-to-year comparisons possible, if likely off by a few jobs.) While many academic jobs aren't listed with disciplinary groups such as the AEA, the trends in these totals are seen as a reliable indicator on the state of the job market in the field.
This is the first time in 14 years covered by the association's report that the total has exceeded 3,000 jobs. Last year's total of 2,790 represented a 4.2 percent drop from the previous year.
Now it turns out that an economics PhD is also one of the most attractive graduate programmes in the U.S., as reported on the website:
An economics PhD is one of the most attractive graduate programs: if you get through, you have a high chance of landing a good research job in academia or policy – promising areas for social impact – and you have back-up options in the corporate sector since the skills you learn are in-demand (unlike many PhD programs).
80000hours also notes that the PhD in economics is attractive because of the excellent job prospects, advocacy potential, high degree of autonomy, and:
You gain a broad set of tools for understanding how the social world works, which is helpful for evaluating causes and interventions. This may help you better evaluate your future career options to have more impact.
I'd second that, and add that you have the chance to work on some really cool projects. I did my PhD here at Waikato, not in the U.S., but while completing my thesis I also got to work on projects on productivity and economic growth in New Zealand vs. Australia and Ireland, landmine clearance in Thailand (gated), air pollution preferences, and developing projections of subnational population in New Zealand. An economics PhD can be a really rewarding experience.

[HT: Marginal Revolution]

Previously on this blog:

No comments:

Post a Comment