Anyone who wants to work in a specific area of economics can benefit from specializing an economics degree. Economics is a very diverse discipline that offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree holders a rich menu of different opportunities. Qualified professional could work in fields like consulting and risk analysis, or they could work in academic settings offering instruction to students. Students may be able to find positions with a 4-year degree but having a more specialized education is preferred. Here is how to specialize a Master’s degree in an economics concentration:
Undergraduate Coursework vs. Master’s Coursework
When a student is taking an undergraduate class and majoring in economics, the first 2 years of their coursework will be focused on taking general classes that are classified as prerequisites. Once the prerequisites are completed, the student is able to enroll in the major coursework required to earn the degree in the area.
Students will only study introductory coursework while earning a Bachelor’s degree. Some of the courses that undergraduates will take while majoring in Economics and Finance will include:
- Principles of Economics
- Intro to Microeconomics
- Intro to Macroeconomics
- Business and Society
- Statistics for Economics
- Law and Economics
- Urban Economics
All economics students should be required to complete the above coursework for a 4-year degree. After students earn their Bachelor’s degree, which gives them enough to enter a career in the field, they can decide whether or not they want to take advanced coursework to specialize their skill set.
Types of Concentration Coursework Available
Master’s degree programs are much more focused on different sub-disciplines. Since economics is a huge discipline with many different branches and offshoots, there are several different types of concentrations or sub-specialties to choose from. Knowing what types of sub-specialties that fall into Economics include:
- Applied Economics – application of econometrics
- Development Economics – economics found in developing low-income countries
- Econometrics – application of mathematics and information science to gather statistics
- Environmental Economics – how governmental policies and environmental issues affect the economy
- Health Economics – practice of assessing how policies can affect access to insurance and healthcare
- Labor Economics – assessing market dynamics in regards to wages, training, pension plans
Mapping a Career Path
Prospective students should always look at a list of jobs in the field of economics before specializing a degree. This gives the student the ability to choose an advanced degree program that truly does focus the curriculum on topics and subtopics that they will use. Experts with the Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends that prospective students look into the fields that are projected to grow in the future years before choosing a specialized economics major.
Once the student chooses a job title that they’d like to qualify for after graduate school, they will be able to focus on comparing degree programs. It’s always important to choose a program that’s accredited by a respected organization like the American Economic Association. All students who know what they’d like to do with their master-level education should not find specializing an Economics degree to be difficult.