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Thread: Some basic questions about econ/ag econ PhD

  1. #1
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    Some basic questions about econ/ag econ PhD

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    Hi all,

    New to the forum.

    I have a few basic, rather native, questions.

    1. Do the job markets for ag econ and general econ Ph.D. graduates overlap a lot?

    2. Do ag econ Ph.D. graduates have a good chance at industry/non-academic jobs?

    3. For industry jobs, does the department ranking matter as much as the university's overall ranking? For example, the University of Florida's ag econ is ranked pretty low, but the university as a whole is decently ranked (top 100 in ARWU and USNWR globally). So if I am targeting an industry career after PhD, should I go, in this particular case, to Florida or Kansas State (ranked considerably higher among ag econ departments but pretty terribly in overall university ranking) (let's assume that I have professors I want to work with at both these places).

    Look forward to the response.


  2. #2
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    Re: Some basic questions about econ/ag econ PhD

    I can't speak to the first two, but for the third - your specific department is what matters. It doesn't matter what the school does for its engineering or history PhD graduate placements; what matters is the placement for your department.

  3. #3
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    Re: Some basic questions about econ/ag econ PhD

    1) Yes, there is overlap between the two, since not all universities have dedicated Ag Econ departments. Some are subsumed under applied micro or other more traditional fields. Ultimately, it depends on whether the university you're applying to is open to hiring someone in your field, when you get on the job market.

    2) Looking at Kansas State's Ag Econ placements, it seems a number of graduates each year land non-academic jobs.

    3) University overall ranking is largely irrelevant for graduate students. Also, try to not have tunnel vision when looking at rankings. Rankings are only the first measure when deciding what schools to attend since they are, at least, weakly correlated with a lot of other measures that you should concern yourself with. The more important thing to consider is the placement history of recent (past 5 years or so) PhD graduates.

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