2022 Charting a Career Path in Global Affairs
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‘Tooling Up’ for Today’s Jobs in International Economics and Finance
Gordon Bodnar, director of international economics at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, is candid when he talks about what to expect from the school’s 11-month MA in International Economics and Finance (MIEF) program.
“It is intensive,” says Bodnar, who is also director of the MIEF program. “The first thing students will tell you is that from the moment you get here, you’re running pretty fast. I always tell people it’s like boot camp. If you survive it, you think it’s great.”
The degree calls for students to take 14 courses in just 11 months, while a traditional master’s degree requires 16 courses over two years. The MIEF program was created almost a decade ago to fill a growing need in the job market for economics and finance experts with advanced analytical and technical skills.
“The professional economists out there want the people who work for them to have a good tool set,” Bodnar says. “The most important tools are understanding how to do quantitative analysis and empirical research. That’s the cornerstone of most economic work.”
Bodnar’s boot camp analogy is apt. Students join a cohort of approximately 50 peers who make their way through the rigorous program together. They are required to take three courses in quantitative analysis and complete two major research projects. “Skills courses” in R programming and Python are taught to help students master industry technology.
This accelerated approach has proven to prepare students well for their post-graduate career. The program often boasts 100 percent employment within six months of graduation, with students taking positions at organizations such as the Federal Reserve, US Department of the Treasury, International Monetary Fund, S&P Global, and Deloitte, or pursuing further graduate work.
The MIEF program is STEM-designated, which increases external scholarship opportunities and, in some cases, salaries upon graduation. The STEM designation also gives international students the opportunity for three years of post-graduate Optional Practical Training.
The MIEF cohort has a mix of mid-career professionals and students who come straight from undergraduate study. The 11-month structure also allows students to return to the workforce faster and at a lower opportunity cost.
“You can come here, work closely with world-renowned faculty, work on research projects, and work in a cohort where you get to know your classmates really well,” Bodnar says. “Eleven months later, you walk out highly tooled and highly sought-after.”
Research Projects Lead to Professional Placement
Students in the MA in International Economics and Finance program are required to complete two research projects in 11 months. The process requires them to choose a topic, select and analyze data, and work with faculty to produce a professional report.
>>>Projects in recent years included “Modeling Food Price Inflation in Canada’s Territories,” “Quantifying the 2018 USA-China Tariff Escalation in Terms of Welfare and Trade Effects,” and “Climate Change and Crop Yields: Evidence from Rural Punjab, Pakistan.”
>>>“Writing a 25-page, professionally structured and highly edited paper prepares them very well for either economic research or financial analysis,” Bodnar says. “We’re designed to get you out there and into a career in international economics or finance. That’s our primary goal.”
- 2022 Charting a Career Path in Global Affairs
- Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
- George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government
- University of Notre Dame, Keough School of Global Affairs
- University of Miami, Master of Arts in International Administration
- School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University
- Texas A&M University, The Bush School of Government & Public Service
- Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas
- Florida International University, Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs
- Princeton University, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
- The Fletcher School, Tufts University