We don’t often share links here on the School blog but recently there have been a few that are worth putting together in a post. The target audience is the young, undergrad economist and the honours student. The exam is three weeks away and hopefully you have enjoyed the semester. Maybe you are thinking of making Economics a major or hoping to get the marks that will allow you to pursue a master’s degree. Here are a few links that you should check out:
- First, you are on the right track. New research reported at the ECON3x3 blog shows that graduate unemployment in South Africa is low. In advice to students on NPR’s Planet Money, Tim Harford writes: Economists have found that if you graduate during a recession, your career prospects are stunted long after the recession itself is finished. The economy is recovering now, but slowly. A year’s delay would do no harm – might I suggest signing up for a master’s degree?
- If you are thinking about specialising in Economics (and in our School also International Trade or Risk Management) this is a must-read piece by Dani Rodrik. He explains what is right and wrong about Economics. I like how he explains the thinking behind the models and their empirical tests and brings things back to “standard economics”. And he throws in some gems: To become a true economist, you need to do all sorts of reading – from history, sociology, and political science among other disciplines – that you are never required to do as a graduate student. The best economists today find a way of filling this gap in their education.
- Noah Smith writes that if you want to get a PhD, get the Economics PhD. In South africa we don’t have the same college and grad school format, but his arguments hold true for choosing a Master’s programme.
- Bill C at Twenty-Cent Paradigms also has some thoughts on the Econ PhD.
- If instead you are thinking about taking the next exit and looking for a spot in the job market at the end of the year, have a look at the advice from the Economists at Planet Money. Justin Wolfers writes that your first job is like a first date: Approach your career ambitions the same way you approached your romantic ambitions at college. Sure, you’re looking for “The One,” but the only way to find that is by going on a lot of dates. And you should think about your first job as a good first date. Try it out. If you like it, stick around for another year. But if not, ask another employer out. And keep playing the field until you’ve found the job you want to stay with.