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Hello, 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.
So I want to go to grad school to study econ and I've been looking at different terminal programs in the US and Canada that might suit my non-econ/math background. I certainly want to do something quantitative and not the usual international development with some economics (which is what you would see at Johns Hopkins' SAIS for example). Maybe you guys can help me figure out what would be best for me. Background: I studied international relations (BA) at a top 50 school in Boston and I've been working in the operations area of one of the big development banks based in DC. Most of my work consists of policy/operations (assisting projects in developing countries, etc.) related stuff and doesn't involve much econ or stats skills. However, it does involve the application of public finance frameworks and concepts, as well as familiarity with general macro concepts. I have learned most of this econ knowledge at my job, as I have taken very few econ courses (zero quant econ) and zero math classes, with the exception of the typical stats req for International Relations majors'. I'm am, however, planning on taking taking calc I and II this summer and hopefully linear algebra and econometrics during the fall. I've been at my job for approximately two years and given my work experience I've figured that the appropriate track for me must be economic policy more than anything. I want to continue doing what I do at my current workplace (or at any other big development bank), but with the added ability of having some basic econ quant skills (eg. macro and econometric forecasting and modeling) in order to help me move up. From what I've seen at my organization, the more intensive math/econ skills are not really required in my area of work, but rather to enter the research departments of the organization. That being said, I've notice that those working even in the operations areas of my organization tend to view quant intensive econ degrees in a better light than say an International or Public Affairs MA. The reason for this? I'm not really sure, as math and pure economics are rarely needed in this work area, yet it is true that econ modeling and STATA/SAS programming skills do improve your profile. However, I assume it's more about having an 'invisible medal' that shows that: "X person was smart enough to go through a quantitative program instead of the usual int'l development route". Whether this is true or not, I'm not sure. And whether a PhD will be enough or even necessary I am not sure either, as even the dynamics of my workplace are now changing in regards to higher recruiting standards. Having said this, I'm not even sure how someone with experience in the organization and with a masters would fair against someone with not experience in these types of organizations and a PhD. Given the path I'm looking into, I've seen that schools such as McGill offer 'Qualifying Years' for future Econ MA's, but I don't know how much it'd be worth to attend such as program (which would mean a total of 2 years to get an Econ MA from McGill, assuming I get into the Econ MA program after my QY). http://www.mcgill.ca/economics/graduates/programs . I'm also considering the Applied Economics MS at Johns Hopkins. Much more expensive than McGill, but perhaps the Johns Hopkins name, the fact it's an MS and technical skills they claims to teach might make it worth it (?). This particular program is not under JHU Econ dept though, so I'm not sure what to think of it. They also don't require GRE; their rationale being that calc grades are more important. Johns Hopkins University | Advanced Academic Programs | Krieger School of Arts and Sciences | Academic Programs | Applied Economics | Home So in a nutshell, are these the types of programs I should be aiming for given my goals? Any advice either on what to look into, or on these two specific programs would be extremely helpful. Thanks