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Thread: Should I pursue a graduate degree in Economics ?

  1. #1
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    Should I pursue a graduate degree in Economics ?

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    I have read a lot of good, insightful posts here and would like to get some feedback from the boards.

    Background --> I am 35 and work full - time at an Swiss investment bank in the COO's office. I am based in NYC. I have 11 years of work experience in a # of roles (big 4 audit, equity research, and my current role). I have an MBA from the University of Rochester ('02), a CFA charter, and an CPA license.

    I am considering pursuing an MA at Fordham and wanted some honest feedback. The reason I picked Fordham is that it is P/T and has a MA degree. The NYU MA seems aimed at younger students (avg. age = 25), requires a GRE and I would not be able to start until Fall '10. Fordham would start Spring '10, so 6 months earlier and I just study for another standardized test - I hate them.

    I am not interested in becoming a professor (so no PhD), studying full - time or moving from NYC, so my options are limited. I like my job and don't want to leave it. Frankly, this would be a bit of a "fun" thing for me. It could help indirectly in my current job, but it would not be a profound impact.

    My motivation is that I enjoy learning and economics. I especially enjoy reading libertarian economists - Sowell, Hayek, etc. I thought this would help further my understanding of public policy issues - I am a libertarian. That's really it though.

    My education has been in Finance and Accounting but I read economic - related books to improve my knowledge. I thought a degree would be more formal, structured and offer a tangible benefit - another grad. degree.

    My questions are :

    (a) is this a bad idea and not a productive use of my time ?

    (b) would purusing this degree even help with my goal - Fordham seems focused on monetary policy and int'l economics, but I think I am more interested in public economics (not sure really though....)

    (c) are there other P/T programs in the area that I should consider (not NYU)?

    (d) is this even the right approach ? ie will a MA help with get the education I am looking for ?

    (e) Obnoxious question and don't mean it to be, but Fordham is an okay school, not great, would it "dilute" my resume ?

    Thanks, any thoughts are appreciated. Felt I could get some honest feedback here.

  2. #2
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Good post? Yes | No

    Should I pursue a graduate degree in Economics ?

    I have read a lot of good, insightful posts here and would like to get some feedback from the boards.

    Background --> I am 35 and work full - time at an Swiss investment bank in the COO's office. I am based in NYC. I have 11 years of work experience in a # of roles (big 4 audit, equity research, and my current role). I have an MBA from the University of Rochester ('02), a CFA charter, and an CPA license.

    I am considering pursuing an MA at Fordham and wanted some honest feedback. The reason I picked Fordham is that it is P/T and has a MA degree. The NYU MA seems aimed at younger students (avg. age = 25), requires a GRE and I would not be able to start until Fall '10. Fordham would start Spring '10, so 6 months earlier and I just study for another standardized test - I hate them.

    I am not interested in becoming a professor (so no PhD), studying full - time or moving from NYC, so my options are limited. I like my job and don't want to leave it. Frankly, this would be a bit of a "fun" thing for me. It could help indirectly in my current job, but it would not be a profound impact.

    My motivation is that I enjoy learning and economics. I especially enjoy reading libertarian economists - Sowell, Hayek, etc. I thought this would help further my understanding of public policy issues - I am a libertarian. That's really it though.

    My education has been in Finance and Accounting but I read economic - related books to improve my knowledge. I thought a degree would be more formal, structured and offer a tangible benefit - another grad. degree.

    My questions are :

    (a) is this a bad idea and not a productive use of my time ?

    (b) would purusing this degree even help with my goal - Fordham seems focused on monetary policy and int'l economics, but I think I am more interested in public economics (not sure really though....)

    (c) are there other P/T programs in the area that I should consider (not NYU)?

    (d) is this even the right approach ? ie will a MA help with get the education I am looking for ?

    (e) Obnoxious question and don't mean it to be, but Fordham is an okay school, not great, would it "dilute" my resume ?

    Thanks, any thoughts are appreciated. Felt I could get some honest feedback here.

  3. #3
    Tweed cowboy duster singmeat's Avatar
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    *yawn*

    repost


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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    I'm not sure I understand what your goal is. Is the idea to take econ courses because you enjoy them, and hopefully to gain a bit more understanding of public policy issues?

    From my impression of your goals, though, it doesn't seem like an MA in economics might be the greatest thing for you, particularly this one. To quote from their FAQ:
    Q: What is the focus of Fordham's Economics department? A: We offer specializations in four areas: International, Development, Financial, and Monetary Economics. The particular perspective of each course depends on the faculty member teaching that course. The publications of relevant faculty members would provide an idea as to their focus.
    The program doesn't sound particularly focused on public policy.

  5. #5
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    I've never taken an master's levels courses, but in my experience you don't even approach the level where you can understand real research. You need first year phd classes for that. So...unless you are looking for more quant skills I don't really see where this is taking you.

    Also, in a serious econ program you won't touch topics even approaching Hayek or Sowell.
    Golden Bear

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    That was my thought as well to some degree - thank you.

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    Agreed - though I thought the public policy aspects might be "woven" into the Core and the Electives. A bit of a stretch, I know. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    I don't think we should ever discourage this sort of thing.

    I got an M.A. thinking it would be fun and an okay job signal, but it turned out to be a slap in the face that told me to get a Ph.D.

  9. #9
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    It's too bad you can't relocate to Fairfax VA, George Mason would be perfect for you.

    To answer a), you sound like you have a successful career already. I don't know much about the IBank world, but it seems hard to believe that an MA would help you much at this point in your career. So in that sense it's not productive. But if you'd enjoy it, then that changes things.

    Don't know anything about Fordham so I won't answer b) or e). As for c), though I have no idea, you might want to check out CUNY. They've got a solid econ program.

    d) What exactly are you looking for, besides an excuse to read Hayek, etc. for class?
    Soon to be a first year at NYU!

  10. #10
    Apropos of the Wet Snow decision09's Avatar
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    My Two Cents

    tyler, itís not too late, and I don't think you need to worry about the ages of fellow students at NYU. If I let that affect my decision for school choice I would be very limited in alternatives and would miss out on a lot of good educational opportunities. If one likes learning then they should go where the learning is best considering their preferences for time, travel and money. I personally don't believe it is a bad idea but you have to be the judge of whether you can justify the expense and reward that you will obtain from getting an MA.

    BTW standardized tests are seriously flawed, not in their administration but their application. How they are used is a joke in my opinion, and far too many people dwell on them.

    That said, take the test and get it over with, maybe you'll learn some new vocab.

    Econ Rocks!
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