Students pursuing this degree will acquire fundamental analytical and computational skills rooted in modern economic theory, modeling, and statistical methods. They will learn how to apply these skills in practice using advanced quantitative tools. In addition to learning core economic theory in microeconomics and macroeconomics, students will develop essential applied econometrics skills using industry-standard computing tools such as R, Python, and other up-to-date data analysis software. Building on the foundation of required core classes, students will have a selection of advanced field courses and quantitative courses emphasizing advanced computational and empirical analysis skills, such as Machine Learning for Economics Data, Computational Macroeconomics, and Advanced Econometrics.
As part of our proposal documents, we included required job advertisements for which students completing this new degree would be qualified. Finding numerous examples in the Walter Career Center’s list of opportunities was not hard. Exciting examples include options at the U.S. Department of Justice, a data scientist at a national hardware chain, and an analyst at a national insurance firm. All of these ads requested skills in modeling, working with data, machine learning, and coding (programming). Our new degree is unique: students develop data science and modeling skills, with core economics training facilitating the latter.
We are very excited about this new initiative in the Department of Economics. The curriculum will be challenging, but we have experienced, engaged faculty that help students achieve these outcomes, and we have the students to do it. The future is bright!