Understand economics, understand the world: 5 reasons to do a Master in Economics

A Master in Economics from Stockholm School of Economics empowers its students with an attitude of inquiry and skills in numeracy and analysis. Upon completion of the program, students are able to comprehend as well as communicate broad socio-economic concepts to a wider audience.

In short

1. Economics is both specific and universal

Economics unmistakably appears in every facet of life. If you are curious to understand all the debates around growth, jobs, recession, prices and monopolies, and trade and business exchanges – as well as understanding how the world functions every day – then you will surely be fascinated by the varied aspects of economics as a subject.  

At Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) the two-year Master’s Program in Economics is designed to prepare students for a fulfilling career in almost all fields. Students who participate in this course not only deepen their understanding of the theories of finance, business, and government but also learn how to apply these theoretical concepts in the present world. 

As Professor Anna Dreber Almenberg explains, “The Master Program in Economics is a two-year program and you get a great toolbox to do basically anything related to Economics. So you learn theory, you learn how to apply it, [and] you learn how to use statistics in order to understand the important empirical phenomenon. You basically close no doors doing Economics but you open a lot of them” (00:14)

2. You’ll stay ahead of the game by studying economics

SSE is highly ranked, and many alumni have played a leading role in academia. One of SSE’s faculty members, Bertil Ohlin, was awarded the 1977 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for developing the Heckscher-Ohlin model of international trade.

Being a part of such an esteemed institution is always a matter of pride. Mara Balassa, an economics student from Romania, shares, “We all know that SSE is highly ranked in the league table. So, for me, that was really an important factor to be in an institution that is doing cutting-edge research and that is preparing us for what’s to come after our master’s.” (00:36)

3. Economics is a social science that uses scientific methods

A degree in Economics helps you acquire numerical, analytical, and problem-solving skills. While it can help you understand human behavior, it can also lay a solid foundation for the understanding of public policy. At SSE, all this is covered. 

Anna explains the course structure, outlining the four core courses of the program:

  1. Mathematics
  2. Macroeconomics
  3. Microeconomics
  4. Econometrics

In the second semester, students take three to four electives in economics, choosing between courses such as:

  • Behavioral Economics
  • Times Series Econometrics
  • Dynamic Microeconomic analysis
  • Industrial Organization
  • International Trade and Development Economics

While Microeconomics studies how individuals (people, groups, and businesses) use their wealth, Macroeconomics looks at the big picture – unemployment, inflation, and monetary challenges of cities, countries, and continents. Martina Björkman Nyqvist, Associate Professor at SSE, elaborates, “In a lot of our courses we start with challenges and problems we face in the Western world [and] in the developed region, but you also need to understand what challenges and problems that developing countries are facing in order to understand the whole economic context of the world.” (01:34)

4. Studying economics ensures promising career opportunities

The study of economics helps students gain the skills needed to understand the intricacies of markets. The two-year economics master’s program at SSE equips students with the business acumen necessary to succeed in the professional world. SSE Alumni Harini Annadanam, who is now a Management Trainee at Norrsken Foundation, shares, “One of the great things about studying economics is that it gives you a really important skill set. Especially at SSE, it’s very focussed on application than theory, so I use data and form my opinions on what we should do to achieve our goals.” (02:36)

Assistant Professor Abhijit Singh adds, “They need to be familiar with exactly what you can and can’t say with data and what are the issues that you should be looking at just making judgments based on information that comes in. And that’s a skill that’s relevant for policy-making if you are in the government; that’s relevant for making decisions about your business and it’s also one of the fundamental skills that’s necessary and is a compulsory part of every PhD program in the world.” (03:16)

5. Understand economics, understand key societal challenges

Economics is a part of the social sciences but it is a significant field to master if you want to succeed in life. These days, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how the world around us influences our conditions, our choices, our wishes, our living standards, and even our decision-making. If you notice that the price of coffee at your favorite cafe has increased, it is important to have a basic understanding of economics because it governs everything around you and the rest of the world.

Have you ever thought that there are thousands of people who do not have the means to buy food? Have you ever asked yourself: why doesn’t everyone have access to healthcare? In every country, there are thousands of people who are hungry and homeless. If these questions appeal to you and you really want to find solutions, it’s important to understand the economics of the world around you.  As Anna rightly puts it, “Economics is a way to understand the world.” (03:53)

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