Master in Applied Economics

Master in Applied Economics

Best degrees in the world for MS in Applied Economics

Advancements in technical skills, in the current world, has taken the application of economic theory to a whole new level.

One that is data driven with analytical tools to provide the best possible economic strategies – whether at an organizational level or on a much larger scale.

And while there are the economic experts being preened in the highly sophisticated economic theories in a Master’s in Economics degree, a Master’s degree in Applied Economics takes it further into the realm of the real world.

You will get a chance to glean through more details shortly, however, it is practical to lay out how an MS in Applied Economics differs from an MS in Economics, or for that matter the ever-popular MBA.

After all, all these degrees do share common courses and objectives – a better understanding of the economy we live in. The difference lies in the fine print. An MBA trains its students on a much broader role as leaders for effective businesses management.

An MS in Economics trains its students in the art and theories of Economics for the more theoretical and academic research pursuits, which often does lead to practical applications.

However, an MS in Applied Economics is wholeheartedly dedicated to arm its students with the analytical tools for economic decisions and policy making.

Why choose an MS in Applied Economics?

An MS in Applied Economics is designed to shape experts who have both the soft skills as taught in MBA programs as well as technical skills that make well rounded professionals.

Whether at a corporate level, non-profit organization, or at the government domain of economic policy making, these applied economics experts utilize their understanding of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics, and help determine action through complex data analysis.

They determine the best approach for problem solving and given their vast knowledge of big data tools, coding training, and other technical skills, they are usually in demand among recruiters.
MCom vs MBA vs Master in Finance

What do they learn in Applied Economics?

The curriculum details may vary but overall all Applied Economics programs provide background in both economic theory and applied econometrics.

Besides courses in Accounting, Finance, Organizational Theory, Marketing, Micro and Macro economics, Game Theory, and other foundational topics, there is ample opportunity to train in Data Visualization, Econometrics, Economic Data Analysis, Time Series Analysis, Labor and Urban Economics, Statistical theories, modeling and applications, International Economics, and more.

For more topics in Economics:
Introduction to Microeconomics
Introduction to Macroeconomics
Game Theory in Economics
Price Elasticity of Demand

Job Prospect and Salaries after an MS in Applied Economics

According to the career tracks of graduates from MS AE programs, the common job placements are as market research analysts in insurance, healthcare or finance sectors, statisticians, budget analysts, or data scientists.

They also take up roles in the public sector, or otherwise, as policy analysts aiding policy decisions. Further research in academia is also an option for those interested in research.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a major fraction (>20%) of economists work in the government sector assisting in research and analysis for framing policies.

Quite a few find placements in research and developmental economics in academia, while a large number land jobs in consulting firms.

Organizations in finance, insurance, hospitals and other federal agencies also hire economists.

The demand is clearly on the rise with the next five years looking at nearly 15% job growth for economists. And a formal and rigorous training in economic applications can give a real boost to meet these demands.
Average salaries are well over $100,000 with the range between $60,000 to $185,000. Finance and insurance sectors pay the highest, followed by the public sector.

Academicians and researchers can make over $100,000 as economists while management and consulting firms economist salaries depend on the size and area of operation.

How to get an MS in Applied Economics?

As is evident from the curriculum structure, it is an analytically rigorous degree. Hence, MS AE program applicants are strongly recommended to carry a prerequisite command in economics, mathematics and/or statistics.

As further admission requirements to a graduate degree program, applicants are expected to furnish letters of recommendations, transcripts, GRE score, and TOEFL (or equivalent English proficiency test score) if applying internationally.

Most of these MS programs last between 1 to 2 years and share common electives with MBA and MS Economics streams.

Best Masters in Applied Economics degrees in the world

Here are some of the well-known schools offering Applied Economics graduate programs in the world.

University Program Name Country Admission Requirements Duration
Georgetown University Masters in Applied Economics (MA-APEC) USA TOEFL and GRE


Quantitative educational background

1-2 years
University of Bath MSc Applied Economics UK TOEFL or equivalent

Undergrad in Social Sciences/Business/Finance, Accounting, International Trade, Banking, Financial Management, Public Finance or Politics

1 year
University College Dublin MSc in Applied Economics Ireland IETS or equivalent

Undergrad in Economics

1-1.5 years
University of Strathclyde MSc Applied Economics UK TOEFL or equivalent

Undergrad in any subject

1 -3 years
Northumbria University MSc Applied Economics UK TOEFL or equivalent

Undergrad or work experience with quantitative understanding

1 year
Washington State University MS Applied Economics USA GRE, TOEFL or equivalent

Any undergrad


1 year
Macquarie University Master of Applied Economics Australia Australian Qualification Framework 7 and above or equivalent in any subject/work experience 1 – 2 years
Monash University Master of Applied Economics and Econometrics Australia English language proficiency test score

Australian Bachelor’s degree or equivalent + university entrance requirements

1 – 2 years
Manchester Metropolitan University MSc Applied Economics UK IELTS score

UK Honours degree or international equivalent

1 – 2 years
University of Essex MSc Applied Economics and Data Analysis UK English language proficiency test score

Undergrad in Economics, Maths, Engineering, Finance, Physics or any other quantitative degree

1 year
University of Maryland Master’s in Applied Economics USA IELTS/TOEFL or equivalent

Undergrad in any subject with high GPA. Else some quantitative background or work experience

1.5 years
Nanyang Technological University Master of Science in Applied Economics Singapore TOEFL/IELTS

Undergrad in Economics preferred. Else undergrad in a quantitative field of study

1 year


Is an MS in Applied Economics worth it?

Patrons of the field say that an MS in Applied Economics is the right degree to train professionals at both soft and hard technical skills.

These graduates have the theoretical strength of hard core economic theories as well as the quantitative pull to make sense of this data driven world we live in. And, they are exposed to similar team working, collaborative, communication based education that dominate business administrative courses.

These qualities are and will continue to rise in demand among employers. On another plus side, it is not as expensive as an MBA degree with its relatively short duration, availability of part-time study options and comparatively lower tuition.

For instance, Georgetown’s McDonough MBA costs about $95,000, whereas MA-APEC stands at around $64,000 for the whole program.
However, applied economics is a rigorous degree fit for only those who have the aptitude for mathematics. They are trained in data science and analytics which essentially means that students should have a keen interest in coding.

If you are interested in the social sciences, business, or policy making aspect of applied economics, however lack the quantitative aptitude needed, you might find this career quite unappealing.

So, if applied economics sounds interesting to you and you have the prerequisite math skills to excel in the field, take a dive into researching the program that fits your needs.

If you need further professional help, you can contact us over email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com.

Also read:
Beginner’s Guide to Masters Degrees
Specialized Masters Degrees
Masters in Finance