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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Master of Applied Economics program connects students to industry

March 10, 2022

The Master of Applied Economics (MAE) program recently hosted its annual industry roundtable, giving MAE students insight into the job search process and helping them make important connections with industry professionals and employers.

“The annual industry roundtable is a great opportunity to enhance the standing of the MAE program and to connect our students in the job market with major employers in Central Ohio,” said Abdoul Sam, professor and director of the MAE program.

The MAE program is a two-semester professional degree that provides students with practical training in applied economics, focusing on core economic theory and cutting-edge quantitative methods. The program offers students a hands-on learning environment where they gain experience leveraging classroom instruction to develop data-informed solutions to real-world issues faced by organizations.

“Employers are looking for people who can hit the ground running, not just in terms of a strong quantitative background, but being able to formulate hypotheses, interpret data and rationalize findings in a way that is consistent with economic theory and business intuition,” said Sam. “And that’s the training we strive to give our MAE students.”

Graduates of the MAE program are equipped with applied economic techniques such as program evaluation, cost benefit analysis and econometric modeling. These marketable business skills serve to springboard graduates into careers in banking, finance, consulting, government and international agencies, NGOs, non-profits and the for-profit sector. This year’s job market panel featured numerous industry professionals and MAE alumni from these sectors.

Amanda Morgan is a 2020 graduate of the MAE program and was an invited panelist this year. Morgan spoke about her experience working for JP Morgan Chase since graduating, where she has been part of a rotational program that gives her the opportunity to explore a wide range of career opportunities across the firm. She has used her skills to analyze call center data, to help build a new business resiliency platform and is now building a new global volunteerism platform as part of the employee engagement, culture and listening team.

“Almost any job can benefit from the thought process and skills of someone who studied economics,” Morgan said to current students. “Economics is about how to think, not want to think. So you can strategically approach problems in a different way than most people in fields like business or the hard sciences. Don’t feel like you have to find a job in economics to apply your skills. At the end of the day, you’re a problem-solver, and you can use that in almost anything you want to do.”

Panelists from the following companies were also in attendance:

  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Root Insurance
  • American Electric Power
  • Department of Medicaid
  • The Athletic
  • SS&C Technologies
  • Huntington Bank
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.

“Columbus is home to several employers who require the kind of technical and analytical skills the MAE offers, which is great because it gives us a chance to engage with these organizations in a way that is hopefully mutually beneficial to both them and our students,” Sam said.

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