Some of the world’s most impactful careers revolve around contributing to solutions for income inequality, devising strategies for sustainable development and crafting policies that weather financial crises. These are precisely the kinds of roles University College Dublin (UCD) aims to fill through its MSc graduates from the School of Economics — Ireland’s leading economics department. Prestige aside, here are five other reasons why this department is the launchpad for aspiring economists and data analysts.
4 pathways to career success
The UCD School of Economics offers several MSc programmes that cater to the diverse interests and career aspirations of our graduate students. The MSc in Behavioural Economics intertwines economics with psychology and prepares students for jobs where understanding individual or collective decision-making is essential. The MSc in Economics and Data Analytics blends economics and contemporary techniques in data analytics and data science, ensuring graduates possess the sought-after quantitative skills in today’s and tomorrow’s job market.
The MSc in Applied Economics offers a wide range of electives that allow our graduates to apply economic tools to address many of the real-world problems that businesses and governments face. Finally, for those inclined towards a research career, the MSc in Quantitative Economics provides meticulous quantitative training, preparing candidates for PhDs.
What these programmes have in common is their empirical applications of economic concepts. Guided by expert faculty, students master key methodologies in research and analysis, applying them to current business or policy contexts.
For instance, in Experimental Economics classes students design and conduct their own laboratory or survey experiments. The learning experience covers the entire research process — from study design and ethical approval to randomisation, power analysis, measurement, analysis and validity.
Your programme, your way
UCD believes academic journeys should be as unique as each student’s career aspirations. Hence, UCD Economics students are free to customise their path. Core modules in econometrics, data analytics, micro, and macroeconomics form the foundation, but passions come to life through electives — the school currently offers 15, spanning development economics, behavioural and experimental economics, health and welfare analysis, environmental economics, data programming, banking, and causal inference.
“Advancing my skills in Econometrics and Microeconomics was a highlight of the MSc, but taking modules such as Energy Economics really broadened my perspective on where economics is most impactful,” shares MSc in Behavioural Economics graduate, Emily Wharton-Hood.
Here, flexibility also means options beyond the classroom. Economics students can gain professional exposure through a 12-week internship or a thesis. Meanwhile, guest lectures from industry leaders and networking events at places like the Central Bank, Accenture, and Google create enduring connections. Little wonder why 100% of those who sought internships found one.
The chance to contribute to groundbreaking research
Each MSc offered is a passport to the forefront of research at Ireland’s leading School of Economics, as confirmed by the 2023 Repec Ideas ranking. No mere spectators, our students are given key responsibilities. In addition to making valuable contributions themselves, they attend weekly seminars with experts discussing their latest discoveries.
The thesis route is just as enriching. Those who choose it benefit from personalised guidance throughout the year as they mould their passions and interests into impactful projects. “Taking the project right from thinking of an idea, synthesising the research, gathering the data, analysing, interpreting and finally to presenting definitely gave me a lot of useful skills I will use in my career,” says MSc Applied Economics graduate Carolyn Visser.
With such exposure on offer, it’s easy to understand why plenty of MSc graduates effortlessly go on to pursue doctoral programs at prestigious institutions like Cornell University, European University Institute, Goethe University Frankfurt, the University of Bologna, Trinity College Dublin, and KU Leuven, amongst several others.
A great place to work
Positioned as a European hub, Ireland is a strategic destination for global career opportunities. This small yet dynamic country is a magnet for large multinational corporations, particularly in the tech, pharmaceutical and financial sectors. Prominent employers such as Grant Thornton, KPMG, Accenture, Novartis, Deloitte, and more, provide bright prospects for UCD alumni.
From the Central Bank of Ireland to the European Central Bank, graduates find themselves stepping out of the classroom and into the nexus of impactful economic work. With unwavering support, anything is possible.
“We have access to the UCD Careers Network, which allows you to exploit the opportunity to get CV recommendations and interview prep,” shares Manvi Jindal, an MSc Applied Economics graduate, who is currently pursuing a PhD at the School of Economics. “They also have a site where they post all the job opportunities available to students.”
An even better place to live
In Dublin, the historic meets the contemporary. This fusion provides the ideal backdrop, setting the stage for one’s first steps towards a career as an economist or a data analyst. The city seamlessly blends urban living with green spaces too, providing moments of serenity along the River Liffey or within the expansive Phoenix Park.
Events, like music festivals and tech conferences, add another layer of excitement beyond campus. Beyond all, it’s the warmth of the locals that makes Dublin a great city and the perfect place for academic and professional aspirations to flourish.