Letter to the editor

The growth in graduate enrollment peaked nationally in the fall of 2010 due to “The Great Recession” of 2009. This fall enrollment has declined when compared to the fall of 2011 because of the increasing but slow improvement in the job markets, which started in the summer of 2010. The consensus is that many bachelor’s degree holders who graduated in 2011/2012 were lucky to emerge from their studies into an economic environment that was less chilly in terms of employment. However, even with the Fed’s recent effort to inject more money into the economy in order to boost spending, output and hiring through QE3 (Quantitative Easing, round 3) policy, many economists still believe that the economy is unlikely any time soon to grow enough jobs to catch up with the growing population and the sheer volume of bachelor’s degree holders.

Students graduating during this academic year should therefore expect to remain unemployed much longer. If you want to benefit from the promise of upward career mobility, you should seriously consider pursuing a master’s degree and all the more so because “more employers are now shifting their sights to graduate-level applicants” (“A Bachelor’s Degree May Not Be Enough”). And why not consider a master’s degree in economics here at YSU? The fact that all of our graduates in the past five years are today gainfully employed or pursuing a doctorate attests to the quality of our program.

Our M.A. program offers two elective tracks for specialization: M.A. in economics and M.A. in financial economics. Both tracks emphasize applied economics. The benefits of earning a master’s degree in economics or financial economics are vast and worth considering. You will learn a wide array of both subject-specific and transferable skills, including:

•Problem-solving skills: Students learn to use economic reasoning to extract relevant information, draw meaningful conclusions and make logical recommendations while noting their implications (societal and political) for the wider society.

•Analytical skills: Students learn to analyze various research methods, become adept in handling complex economic data by applying econometric (statistical and mathematical) analysis methods, and learn to use statistical evidence to evaluate government policy and to assess the performance of the domestic economy as well as the economies of the world at large.

•Computing skills: Students use of specialized software programs to analyze economic data. Our faculty members are quite proficient in the use SAS, STATA, SPSS and EVEWS. These are the top-tier software programs that are widely used in industries and governments globally.

•Communication skills: Every student is required to do a research project and present the findings in a seminar attended by faculty members, fellow graduate students and other invited guests, including the student’s family members. Students are also encouraged to present their paper at national economic conferences with financial support from the department and YSU.

These skills are highly sought after by many employers who now only consider master’s degree holders for entry-level jobs. Since they are transferable, individuals currently employed in finance, real estate, marketing or as economic data analysts in the public and private sectors who seek upward career mobility can also achieve their dream by pursuing the M.A. degree in economics or financial economics on a part-time basis. Our schedule of classes is quite flexible to accommodate part-time students. Our program boasts a diverse body of graduate students from many universities — domestic and overseas. Financial assistance is awarded mostly on the basis of merit and need. We welcome inquiries from economics and non-economics majors including business, mathematics and engineering.Ebenge Usip Professor and Director of Graduate Program in Economics at YSU