People hiring RAs quite often give Stata assignments to test people's knowledge.
I am a undergraduate student studying economics in the hopes of one day pursuing a PHD. I have downloaded STATA and am faced with the task of self study. Would anyone have tips or advice on how to go about learning this software package in a way that is geared towards economics.
I figure any RA position would want you to prove your proficiency with the software. I just wonder how you would show that. At my university, I have found some previous class assignments from an econometrics class that require the use of STATA. I am thinking it may be a good idea to mess around with those assignments and see what I can do with them. Maybe I could even use the assignments as a badge of proof, a way to show proficiency in STATA.
If anyone has advice for me, I would be happy to hear it. Thank you.
Couple of thoughts, which may or may be not what you are looking for.
1. I learned R/RStudio first. There's a lot more open source resources, lectures, exercises for you to develop proficiency, and it is becoming rapidly more popular. Once you know R, Stata is quite easy to learn. I'd argue that R is more powerful than Stata. Perhaps you wish to do that. Regardless, you should learn BOTH, which will increase your competitiveness for many RA positions. But you should start with one.
2. Ask your professors who have published papers on their sites or in journals (ideally that you have taken coursework from) for the code that goes along with their paper. It is a good exercise to get the original data, learn by doing and understanding how the code works, and replicate the paper. Be honest with them, show initiative, and tell them you are trying to learn Stata or R. It may lead you to a potential RAship under them.
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