Posted Dec. 22, 2014
You've graduated from your undergraduate program and in your hand you hold the key to a successful future. For some, however, just one degree isn't enough and only serves as a stepping stone in their educational career. Perhaps your goal is a masters degree or a PhD in your chosen field. If that field is Economics? Well, read on.
Pick the Right University If you're lucky, then doing a postgrad degree in economics was the plan all along and you picked a university at undergrad that would be sufficient for continuing your education. Plans, however, have a way of changing and four years is a long time. The good news is that you don't need to continue your education in the same institution that you completed your degree at. When it comes to economics, there are many great schools to choose from both locally or abroad and applying to them is pretty simple - many people find it easier than applying to undergraduate degrees, in fact, since you can focus your application on one university at a time.. Whether you're just looking for a change of scenery or a specialist program, changing universities when continuing with post graduate studies is something to consider.
What you Need to Get In Maths and lots of it. Lets face it, if you've set your sights on an Economics Masters degree and beyond, you're going to have to love maths, or at least tolerate it enough to be good at it. Economics at a master's level ramps up the mathematically difficulty from what you're used to, utilizing advanced stats and mathematical modeling to perform analysis. Maths is so important that some cases, Universities offer 'top-up' maths courses for postgraduates in case they want to polish their math skills. Something to consider if a heavy maths load seems like an obstacle for a Masters degree.
What You're in For Even if you choose a course with lots of industry experience, it'll still be a university course, so time will need to be invested. Expect one or two extra years for a masters, longer for a PhD, depending on how you choose your classes. You'll also encounter a much more focused approach that will leave you a specialist in a certain area of Economics. The range of specialization covers every aspect of the Economics discipline including corporate finance, development economics, international economics, economic policy, game theory and mathematical methods for economic analysis. Expect higher concentration of maths as all of these aspects need a higher understanding of mathematics.
Taught Versus Research One of the things you will need to pick when you enter your masters program is how you want to take your courses. This is a choice that you're going to have to make while you take any masters or PhD. program and that's the taught by a professor versus a more self taught research path. These two paths are pretty self explanatory, you can find a more detailed analysis here . This is something that you're going to need to make a decision on when furthering your educational career.
Costs Education really has two demands, time and money. Continuing to rack up the student loans is one option, but don't rule out grants, bursaries or scholarships. Just because you are a little older now with, possibly, more responsibilities and some income potential, that doesn't mean you can't look into getting some free money. University is expensive, make sure you look into options to lessen the financial load.
Other Tips You are four years older, at the least, and life has likely progressed as well. Different responsibilities are likely starting manifest and different priorities are starting to surface. Now, more than ever, time management and effective study habits are going to be more important. Best get learning !