Sunday, 11 September 2016

Why study economics? More tech sector jobs edition...

I've written a couple of previous posts on jobs for economists in the tech sector (see here and here). Those tech sector jobs for economists are in the news again. Steve Lohr writes in the New York Times:
Silicon Valley is turning to the dismal science in its never-ending quest to squeeze more money out of old markets and build new ones. In turn, the economists say they are eager to explore the digital world for fresh insights into timeless economic questions of pricing, incentives and behavior.
“It’s an absolute candy store for economists,” Mr. Coles said.
The pay, of course, is a lot better than you would find in academia, where economists typically earn $125,000 to $150,000 a year. In tech companies, pay for a Ph.D. economist will usually come in at more than $200,000 a year, the companies say. With bonuses and stock grants, compensation can easily double in a few years. Senior economists who manage teams can make even more.
Businesses have been hiring economists for years. Usually, they are asked to study macroeconomic trends — topics like recessions and currency exchange rates — and help their employers deal with them.
But what the tech economists are doing is different: Instead of thinking about national or global trends, they are studying the data trails of consumer behavior to help digital companies make smart decisions that strengthen their online marketplaces in areas like advertising, movies, music, travel and lodging.
Yet another reason (if any was needed) why studying economics is a good idea. An in particular, applied microeconomics combined with mathematics or statistics:
“They are microeconomic experts, heavy on data and computing tools like machine learning and writing algorithms,” said Tom Beers, executive director of the National Association for Business Economics.
[HT: Marginal Revolution]

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