Tapping the Wisdom of Blog Crowds

A friend of mine who lives in Sydney is looking to do postgraduate studies in economics. Does anyone have advice for him? Here’s his dilemma.

I was hoping that you may be able to give me some advice on options for part-time post graduate study (or point me to someone else who would be good to talk to). I am keen to do a postgrad coursework masters w/ some basic economics and public policy. However most of the eco masters I have looked at require econometrics as a prerequisite (which I don’t have, having completed a humble credit average arts/industrial relations degree), and conversely the public policy masters at most institutions I have looked at don’t have much economics (apart from international development economics). The only exception is the masters that your faculty offers, which while it looks good, isn’t accessible for Sydney-siders.

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12 Responses to Tapping the Wisdom of Blog Crowds

  1. Matt C says:

    This is almost precisely the dilemma I face… Although I have a BEc and BA(Hons) I am not at all strong on maths and don’t have any econometrics under my belt…

    I’ll be keen to see the responses to this post.

  2. Kymbos says:

    I recently did a masters in Environmental Management out of ANU in Canberra, with Jeff Bennett. I had toyed with doing the Development Economics masters with the same faculty, but they required that I do more economics theory than I wanted to do. My masters allowed me to do any number of electives from all over campus, which was great. The only draw-back was some compulsory subjects that weren’t my cup of tea.

    Depending on your interests, picking a masters in the general field of interest you anticipate working in, and then doing one that allows you to choose economics subjects, might be a good way to do it. It allows you a whole lot of flexibility on what subjects you choose.

  3. Cheryl Bookallil says:

    Your friend may wish to contact the Faculty of Business at Charles Sturt University http://www.csu.edu.au (home page). CSU teaches many degrees by Distance education. The Masters of Business may provide an option – see this site. http://www.csu.edu.au/courses/postgraduate/master_of_business/index.html
    Your friend could consider taking the research subjects that will assist with the statistical skills. When discussing study options they might also consider the option of cross institutional study if they wish to add more or different economics subjects.

  4. Arianna says:

    The Sydney-Cbr commute isn’t too bad if you can do mostly intensive courses eg two blocks of three days. Amost finished a Masters in Public Policy through the Crawford School at ANU. For me its been a good mix of basic economics (theory rather than econometrics) & public policy.

  5. You could ask the relevant Department/School/Faculty at some of the universities in Sydney about possible options. I suspect that they would allow you to complete any prereq units as a non-degree student or as part of a grad dip.

  6. Note that my previous comment is just a guess. You would need to talk to the relevant people at the universities in question to obtain the correct information.

  7. derrida derider says:

    Mmm, he really should do some econometrics as part of his studies – you can’t read modern economics journals without at least a little. A grad dip first is probably the way to go.

  8. Richard Green says:

    Join the public service where, due to the shortage of economics graduates, they have to send non-economics graduates to do coursework masters to get them up to scratch, and then you can get paid for learning.

    But it does sound like a large part of the issue is Canberra-aversion.

  9. Tim says:

    I had to do some more maths before an economics Phd and did some distance course at Murdoch (grad dip in maths and states). I was initially in Perth but moved to Melbourne and completed 5 subjects over a couple of years. They were mainly maths rather than stats, but you can do either. It got me up to speed enough for US grad econ coursework, and clearly satisfied those handling admissions. It may be more involved than what you are seeking but I suspect that they may forgo econometrics if you did some linear algebra or math stats.

  10. christine says:

    Don’t be scared of the maths. The amount you really need to know to get through a masters level micro or econometrics course is not really that onerous, but it makes a whole lot of things a lot easier (esp reading other people’s work, which I’m guessing would be the sort of thing you’d be doing a lot of?). If it means an extra 2 or 3 courses prior to a formal MA, it’s worth it.

    As to where: no idea, sorry. But don’t just base it on the math/econometrics pre-req issue. As Damien says, talk to some people in the eco departments in Sydney about your options first.

  11. I agree with Arianna. I am doing the same course (MPP at the Crawford School at ANU) and I just choose intensive electives. That said, I did all my core subjects while living in Canberra and have done my electives intensively since I returned to Sydney. I don’t think core subjects are offered intensively. As a bonus, Andrew teaches one of the economics subjects!

  12. Michael Harris says:

    We offer a Masters in Agricultural Economics at U.Sydney.

    Units include:
    Agribusiness Management
    Applied Optimisation
    Research Methods
    International Agricultural Trade
    Agribusiness Analysis
    Quantitative Planning Methods
    Benefit-Cost Analysis
    Environmental Economics
    Agricultural and Resource Policy
    Agricultural Marketing Analysis
    Agricultural Development Economics
    Agricultural Finance and Risk
    Economics of Mineral & Energy Industries
    Economics of Water and Bio-resources

    Some of it is explicitly quantitative and some contains some econometrics, but in general, less so than a hard-core theory/metrics program would offer.

    Something to consider.

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