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Debates Forum

  1. 07 Dec '10 01:22
    I've met some debaters here who have demonstrated strong economics backgrounds, including palynka and telerion. Any such economic-educated people have suggestions on where to see to get started to put such a major to good use while one returns to academia to get their masters/PhD?

    How does one start getting into academia as a career?
  2. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    07 Dec '10 03:08
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    I've met some debaters here who have demonstrated strong economics backgrounds, including palynka and telerion. Any such economic-educated people have suggestions on where to see to get started to put such a major to good use while one returns to academia to get their masters/PhD?

    How does one start getting into academia as a career?
    After watching the documentary "Inside Job", the answer is that economists usually put their majors to "good use" by becoming toadies for corporate criminals. Economics departments in academia have become so beholden to Wall Street's interests that they typically act as nothing more than training grounds for more Wall Street lobbyists. They are a sorry and contemptible lot.
  3. 07 Dec '10 05:35
    Originally posted by rwingett
    After watching the documentary "Inside Job", the answer is that economists usually put their majors to "good use" by becoming toadies for corporate criminals. Economics departments in academia have become so beholden to Wall Street's interests that they typically act as nothing more than training grounds for more Wall Street lobbyists. They are a sorry and contemptible lot.
    Wow, I'd hate to hear what you think of your psychologist, psychiatrists, or even mathematicians, especially whenever they were particularly scientific and unpolitical.
  4. 07 Dec '10 11:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    I've met some debaters here who have demonstrated strong economics backgrounds, including palynka and telerion. Any such economic-educated people have suggestions on where to see to get started to put such a major to good use while one returns to academia to get their masters/PhD?

    How does one start getting into academia as a career?
    As an academic in a different discipline I think I can answer the question. It's quite simple, you apply for a PhD position (it's just a job) and then move on from there.
  5. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    07 Dec '10 11:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    I've met some debaters here who have demonstrated strong economics backgrounds, including palynka and telerion. Any such economic-educated people have suggestions on where to see to get started to put such a major to good use while one returns to academia to get their masters/PhD?

    How does one start getting into academia as a career?
    As Kaz says, you need a PhD and then go from there.

    If you have been working in non-academic positions for a while and you're interested in modern economics then you'll probably need to brush up on your math skills as they have become an indispensable part of it. Most PhD's programs have a period of coursework, but it can go at a fast pace. Because of this, it would be wise to do a research-oriented MSc first. It's much harder to get funding for MSc's, though.

    To apply, just visit the universities' websites and usually you can find all the information you need.

    I'm not sure if this is the type of answer you were looking for, maybe more specific questions would help...
  6. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    08 Dec '10 02:26 / 5 edits
    Diddo what palynka said. Also realize that an econ phd is a big time commitment. At least in the US, while most programs can be completed technically in 3 years, basically nobody does that. Typically it takes 5-7 years. Also in some programs the first year can be brutal. Most of us that year studied about 12-14 hrs/day, 7 days/wk. Even with that, about 50 pct failed out the in the first year. In the end, just over 20 pct of us graduated. Not all programs are like that but it would be wise to check that out before you apply. None of this is to discourage you. It's just that when I started I didn't realize just how challenging it be.

    Of course, please feel free to im me with with more detailed questions if you like.

    Oh yeah, one more thing. When you think about working in academia ask yourself what type of job you want? Would you like to be a research professor at a department with graduate students or would you rather teach undergrads at a liberal arts college? Would you be happy teaching/researching anywhere or do you want to be placed at a respected program (like top 200 department)? This will help determine the sort of program that you aim for. Landing a tenure-track professorship is hard in any case, but if you just get your PhD at AnyOldPlace University, you'll have a very low shot of landing an academic job. Look at the program's placement history to get a better idea of your chances there. Where does the median person go?
  7. 08 Dec '10 04:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    I've met some debaters here who have demonstrated strong economics backgrounds, including palynka and telerion. Any such economic-educated people have suggestions on where to see to get started to put such a major to good use while one returns to academia to get their masters/PhD?

    How does one start getting into academia as a career?
    I earned a Masters in econ a long, long time ago. At the time (and telerion and Palynka can speak to this today), the Ph.D. program had a residency requirement that I could not fulfill (financially: I was working full time to put myself through school while supporting a family). So, depending on your circumstances, you might want to nail down a Masters first, and then see if you can go for the Ph.D. (which is what I was advised to do; again, Tel and Pal know what the current environment and requirements are). I was able to parlay the MA (with a research internship) into professional work analyzing pension plans (a specific micro-application); so there might still be some professional lines even without the Ph.D.. Check with the schools you’re interested in.

    But, for a career in academia, especially in the U.S., the Ph.D. is required (with few exceptions).
  8. 08 Dec '10 04:27
    You are better off getting a law degree. There is much more money in it and it is easier to get a job.

    If you really love economics that much, remember 2+2 is whatever they say it is. That is how you make money in economics. That is how Bernanke got his job.
  9. 08 Dec '10 05:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    You are better off getting a law degree. There is much more money in it and it is easier to get a job.

    If you really love economics that much, remember 2+2 is whatever they say it is. That is how you make money in economics. That is how Bernanke got his job.
    I just love watching Uncle Ben testify before Congress every couple of months or so as he gives dire warning after dire warning regarding the fiscal insanity in Washington. In the end he just says, "Screw it" as they smile and ignore him and then he proceeds to prints trillions of dollars to try and keep things afloat.

    As for 2+2 being whatever they say it is, you are spot on! It's all smoke and mirrors if you ask me. In fact, I think they should rename it vodoo economics.
  10. 08 Dec '10 06:23 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    I just love watching Uncle Ben testify before Congress every couple of months or so as he gives dire warning after dire warning regarding the fiscal insanity in Washington. In the end he just says, "Screw it" as they smile and ignore him and then he proceeds to prints trillions of dollars to try and keep things afloat.

    As for 2+2 being whatever they say i all smoke and mirrors if you ask me. In fact, I think they should rename it vodoo economics.
    That’s right, whodey: you’re ignorant. Compared to Tel and Pal, I too am ignorant. But I know where I am ignorant (having once had some knowledge), and I admit it. You just sneer at people who know more about economics than you do. And that is something beneath ignorance… .

    So, tell us, what role do exchange rates play vis-à-vis gaps between saving and investment in an open economy?

    Oh, wait! I already know your answer. It's

  11. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    08 Dec '10 06:38 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    You are better off getting a law degree. There is much more money in it and it is easier to get a job.

    If you really love economics that much, remember 2+2 is whatever they say it is. That is how you make money in economics. That is how Bernanke got his job.
    On average law degrees don't make you that much more. Most lawyers I know make less than six-figures, and most of the lawyers I know came out of a top 10 law school! The ones that did corporate law did get offers in the 100-150K range, but

    1) they live in high cost of living areas (in real terms our wages are similar)
    2) they work their tails off trying to make partner (and earn the bigger dollars)
    3) most of them hate their job

    If you go to law school expecting to make big bucks, you'll most likely find yourself in three years making 60K-90K/year with a lot of debt and doing a job you hate just so you can pay your bills.

    If money is all you are after (as opposed to studying a subject, at least in part, because you like it), then I'd suggest that you get an MBA from a top 5 business school. You don't learn much that adds value (my impression from teaching MBA students is that the good ones would do well regardless if given the chance), but you do meet lots of other bright people, you get the certificate, and big business comes courting you.

    If you can't do that, then take some cheap accounting courses and business courses, come up with a half-decent business model and become an entrepreneur. Sure, you'll work your butt off and there's a chance you'll fail, but if you learn a few basic things and have some business sense, you should at worst make a tolerable living. The upside is that you'll get rich and never have to work again.

    Bottom line: Do something you like, but if money matters to you, then have a reasonable expectation of what you will earn and make sure you are comfortable with it.
  12. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    08 Dec '10 06:39
    Originally posted by vistesd
    That’s right, whodey: you’re ignorant. Compared to Tel and Pal, I too am ignorant. But I know where I am ignorant (having once had some knowledge), and I admit it. You just sneer at people who know more about economics than you do. And that is something beneath ignorance… .

    So, tell us, what role do exchange rates play vis-à-vis gaps between saving and investment in an open economy?

    Oh, wait! I already know your answer. It's

    You really sell yourself short, vistesd. You're clearly a bright, mature person.
  13. 08 Dec '10 12:33
    Originally posted by vistesd
    That’s right, whodey: you’re ignorant. Compared to Tel and Pal, I too am ignorant. But I know where I am ignorant (having once had some knowledge), and I admit it. You just sneer at people who know more about economics than you do. And that is something beneath ignorance… .

    So, tell us, what role do exchange rates play vis-à-vis gaps between saving and investment in an open economy?

    Oh, wait! I already know your answer. It's

    I never said I was any kind of economic expert. However, when I see our law makers sneer at the experts that they appoint I get a bit jaded.
  14. Standard member Lundos
    Back to basics
    08 Dec '10 14:51
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    How does one start getting into academia as a career?
    Ideally it works like this (in Denmark):

    Either you go to business school (MBA) or the University (Master of Science in Economics)

    You take your BA with a focus on the harder subjects. Math, econometrics, micro and macro economy. When you take your masters, you need to focus on one part of economy - growth, econometrics etc. You complete the chosen courses with As. And while you're completing your master degree, you get a student job within the institute. Either as a professors research aid or teaching the chosen subject to undergraduate students. When it's time to graduate, you apply for a PhD. It shouldn't difficult to get, since you have As in the relevant courses and you already know the professors and probably the head of the department. If you don't, you should get involved in student politics. That's an easy way to get to know people, and more important get people to know you. After you complete your PhD, you probably got a job waiting for you at the institute. See, it's not that difficult...

    If you want to earn a lot of money, you study finance - corporate finance, risk management, fixed income derivatives etc. Usually you need another part of economics such as applied statistics or accounting or even tax/corporate law might work. Then you're set for a bank job and later a hedge or equity fond.
  15. 08 Dec '10 15:07
    Originally posted by telerion
    On average law degrees don't make you that much more. Most lawyers I know make less than six-figures, and most of the lawyers I know came out of a top 10 law school! The ones that did corporate law did get offers in the 100-150K range, but

    1) they live in high cost of living areas (in real terms our wages are similar)
    2) they work their tails off try ...[text shortened]... reasonable expectation of what you will earn and make sure you are comfortable with it.
    My lawyer earns 200.00 per hour.

    That is good money if you ask me.