The final portion of this 3-part series discusses the pros and cons of pursuing a graduate degree in economics.
A graduate degree in economics is very valuable and useful if you are pursuing a career in advanced economic analysis, teaching, or research. However, there are careers out there for economics students that do not require a Master’s degree; two of those careers are discussed in parts 1 and 2 of this series.
So is the extra schooling worth the additional time and money? As economics students know is often the case, it depends.
Some Ph.D. programs offer a Master’s degree upon completing the first two years of study. This type of program is extremely efficient and the likely most advantageous. It allows students to save time and money by jumping right into a Ph.D. program instead of completing the Master’s first. If after two years you decide you don’t want to complete your Ph.D. studies, you can just take the Master’s degree.
So if you aren’t sure whether you want to stop after a Master’s or pursue a Ph.D., it might be worth it to apply to a Ph.D. program. If you know a Master’s degree is the highest level you want to complete, then a Master’s program may be for you.
All this being said, the longer you wait to go to grad school, the higher the opportunity cost becomes as you begin making money in the “real world”. So, if grad school is an option you want to pursue, it’s worth looking into sooner rather than later.
Hopefully this series has been helpful and provided a glimpse into what an undergraduate economics degree really prepares you to do. Don’t let it overwhelm you; after all, we can do anything!