How Do I Get an Econometrics Degree?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

People who study or use econometrics are interested in using complex mathematical and statistical models to explain and prove economic concepts and relationships. Individuals who study econometrics tend to have at least a strong understanding of economic principles and also are incredibly proficient in math subjects such as statistics, linear algebra, and calculus. To get an econometrics degree, you first should determine your level of qualification, as well as your exact areas of interest. It is highly uncommon to find an econometrics degree that is offered to undergraduate students, while graduate students who study econometrics tend to have specific topics of interest, such as international trade or the political economy of agriculture. A person who wants to earn an econometrics degree also should consider more practical factors, such as issues related to cost, location, and lifestyle.

While it is uncommon to find undergraduate programs that focus primarily on econometrics, most economics programs do contain courses in this subject. More advanced economics undergraduate programs might allow students, with the help of academic advisers, to design their own curricula and concentrations. When it comes to graduate study, econometrics is a tool commonly used in courses and research projects, though students often can choose to make econometric study key parts of their programs.

A person who is qualified to get an econometrics degree normally has a strong understanding of economics and of quantitative analysis. This individual usually has taken courses in macroeconomics and microeconomics, as well as a number of advanced math and statistics courses. In some programs, students might also have experience using analytical software and performing quantitative research.

To gain admittance to an undergraduate economics program with a concentration in econometrics, it normally is important to have high marks in classes related to math, business, and economics. Many students who gain admittance to these undergraduate programs already have taken honors classes in related subjects or even have taken advanced college courses. To get into a graduate econometrics degree program, it is essential to have a satisfactory grade point average, particularly in related subjects, high scores on graduate admissions proficiency exams, and at least three letters of reference from relevant academic or professional contacts, such as instructors or managers. A person who wants to get a graduate econometrics degree also should compose a short essay in which he or she describes his or her plans for the future and illustrates how he or she can be a valuable asset to the field of econometrics.

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