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Master’s Degree Programs in Behavioral Economics Overview

Majors Overview November 11, 2015

The combination of economic theory and psychology to predict and analyze consumer purchasing trends is behavioral economics or business decision research. This article talks about master’s degree programs in behavioral economics and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Behavioral Economics

Few schools, if any, offer master’s degree programs specifically covering behavioral economics; however, general economics programs often cover the subject. Most of the program coursework for a doctoral program – excluding the dissertation or comprehensive examinations – are usually in Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) programs in Economics.

A master’s degree is commonly earned by students while they pursue doctoral studies; however, a terminal master’s degree is not awarded in many programs. Students usually take two years to complete master’s program coursework; specializations are offered by some programs in the behavioral economics area through research studies or coursework. Enrollees discuss economic theory and study mathematics methods employed in economics. Students hone their research skills in developing and presenting original research projects. Incoming students are required to have a solid background in calculus and economics, as well as a bachelor’s degree.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria require incoming students to complete undergraduate-level coursework in macro- and microeconomics, mathematics and statistics before they can gain admission to MS and MA programs. Often, there is a stringent review of undergraduate coursework related to economics.

Coursework

The emphasis of program coursework is on economic theory and analysis along with the simultaneous provision of a thorough review of economic mathematical methods. Coursework combines participation in classroom discussions and completion of research assignments. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Financial market analysis
•Econometrics
•Consumer research
•Political economy research
•Macroeconomic theory
•Microeconomic theory
•International trade
•Economic history

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek behavioral economic positions within the private and public sectors in industries such as finance or business. The best job prospects are enjoyed by master’s or doctoral degree holders (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). They can choose from available job positions such as:

•Consultant
•Research Analyst
•Economic development specialist
•Economist
•Research Assistant

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, market research analysts brought in an average annual wage of $67,380 while economists earned $99,480 (BLS). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth rate of 14% has been predicted for economists. Over the same period, market research analysts can expect a significantly higher job growth rate of 32%.

Continuing Education Choices

A master’s degree is commonly earned by students while they pursue doctoral studies. Doctoral degree holders commonly conduct research and are employed in the same academic circles as research scientists or professors.

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