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Thread: Math and probability background, beginner/marginal econ. Give up?

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Math and probability background, beginner/marginal econ. Give up?

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    Seems like I have the opposite problem of a lot of those in this thread.

    Mathematical stats undergrad (real analysis, probability, linear algebra, proofs, etc.) who took micro and macro (beginner) and corporate finance as part of a business minor. Currently conduct research in R in another social science, public policy-ish. Also do consulting work through the dept. Feels like some building blocks are here to pivot to econ, but unfortunately, I'm a senior.

    Looking at master's with a thesis programs (as an attempt for a stepping stone for research analyst roles and/or phds) and the decent ones all require at least a minor's worth of econ. Have always wanted to pursue a graduate degree and have always been told by profs that I'd be a good fit personality wise for research-type roles. I held off because I wasn't passionate enough about other topics to warrant the pursuit, until doing research in public policy and dipping my toes in econ. Unlike other disciplines where my background could get me there (biostats, CS, etc) seems like econ has no pathway, DESPITE being wildly related. Stuck and sad. Looking for ideas or confirmation to move on and stay in my corporate gig or look into business phds or or MPPs or something.

  2. #2
    Within my grasp!
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    Re: Math and probability background, beginner/marginal econ. Give up?

    You'll have better luck at getting responses if you post your profile using the standard format.

    Nonetheless, coming from a math/stats background is not that uncommon, given how a sizeable portion of serious applicants are math and econ double majors.

    What programmes have you looked at that require at least a minor's worth of econ? The good ones only require you to come from a quantitative background. Also, public policy is very interdisciplinary. You can pursue a PhD in Public Policy without going through the Econ route, which is arguably more competitive since mainstream Econ applicants with interests in applied micro usually apply to econ-focused PPol PhD programmes as well.

  3. #3
    economist
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    Re: Math and probability background, beginner/marginal econ. Give up?

    You don't necessarily need much econ to go to an econ PhD program, although picking up a couple of courses would help. You could pick up the minimum necessary in summer school this summer.

    But how do you have any idea if you'd really like econ if you haven't done any at a serious level?

  4. #4
    Taking the Homotopic path
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    Re: Math and probability background, beginner/marginal econ. Give up?

    You also need to consider if you want an industry or academic placement out of this. Doing research and all is fun but if you want a good academic placement after PhD you need to break into the top 30. Econ applications are crazy competitive these days and I am assuming you don’t have any LORs from good published Econ professors, which is a current hole in your profile. You want to convince adcoms that you are not choosing Econ just because you took some math classes (the classes you took are the bare minimum anyway) but also because you know what Econ research is like. In your case, a two year masters with a thesis and RA experience is needed. Staying on top of your classes and doing RA work requires some serious dedication and self control too. If you are up to the stress, then go for it!

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