It was his love for Mathematics and dreams of joining the corporate world that drove Rachit Dua to take up Quantitative Economics for his postgraduate studies and successfully complete it. “Since I graduated with an Economics degree and had a liking for Mathematics, I chose to continue my studies in Economics. This course is extensive, very mathematical and ideally suitable for those who like Statistics, Finance and Econometrics. It prepares you well for the corporate world and the catchiest part is that there is no academic fee, rather a stipend is offered,” says Dua, a Business Analyst with Deloitte who recently completed his Master’s degree in Quantitative Economics from ISI, Kolkata (2014-16 batch).
What is Quantitative Economics?
A Master’s in Quantitative Economics gives students a strong foundation in contemporary economic theories and methods of econometric analysis that will help them analyze and forecast various processes associated with economics. A Master’s in Quantitative Economics focuses on micro and macroeconomic theory and trains students to solve real-life economic problems using latest techniques in economic analysis. “One very important area is econometrics where statistics is taken as the base and data analysis like Big Data and all is accomplished. Hence it is a really important course when it comes to doing all the analysis in corporate sector,” says Dr. Tridip Ray, Associate Professor at Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Delhi.
Dr. Tridip Ray,
Students should be good in analytics They should have good analytical thinking. Sharp, analytical and logical bent of mind is really helpful. Apart from this, basic qualities like being creative is also very important
Courses on offer
The preferred choice for students is ISI Kolkata and its Delhi campus that offer MS in Quantitative Economics. Other institutes offer Master’s in Economics with emphasis on Quantitative Techniques and Econometrics. For instance, Madras School of Economics, Chennai (MSE) in collaboration with the Central University of Tamil Nadu Thiruvarur offers MA Programmes in five areas namely, Applied Quantitative Finance; Actuarial Economics; Financial Economics; General Economics and Environmental Economics. These programmes are designed to develop well-trained economists equipped with a wide range of skills and tools for quantitative analysis. Five-year integrated programmes are also offered at MSE, Chennai where students study specialized modules in the last two years.
Symbiosis School of Economics, Pune has an MSc programme in Economics which is quantitative in nature and approach. The programme is aimed at meticulously understanding the application of Economic Theories for using the same in Modeling and Forecasting in the real world. It offers modules in Advanced Economic Theory, Econometrics, International Economics, and Development Economics, etc.
MA Econometrics and MA Financial Economics offered at University of Madras are is a judicious mix of economic theory, quantitative methods and applied economics. Other institutes are Andhra University, Mumbai University, IGIDR, Mumbai, JNU and Delhi School of Economics where students can opt for Econometric Methods and Applications and also modules in Finance: Theory, Institutions and Modelling. JNU offers M.A. Economics (specialization in the World Economy).
In order to be eligible for admission to MS in QE at ISI, an applicant must have a three-year Bachelor’s degree in Economics/Mathematics/Statistics/Physics, or a B Stat degree from ISI, or a BE/B Tech degree with knowledge of Economics and Mathematics at the undergraduate level. Outside ISI, the mandatory prerequisite is Mathematics at the undergraduate level.
Programme: MS in Quantitative Economics
Institute: Indian Statistical Institute (Kolkata and Delhi)
Eligibility: Graduate in Economics/Mathematics/Statistics/Physics or a BStat degree from ISI or BE/B.Tech Degree with knowledge of Economics and Mathematics at the undergraduate level
Selection: Based on performance in written test and interview
Top recruiters: Goldman Sachs; Morgan Stanley; Crisil; American Express; ICICI Bank, McKinsey & Company; Deloitte; Genpact
Selection @ ISI
There is no fixed intake but ISI Kolkata and Delhi campus together admit around 50 students.
Selection is on the basis of entrance test in undergraduate-level Economics and Mathematics followed by personal interview. Academic records also may be taken into consideration. “It’s a selective programme so getting admission is itself a challenge,” says Dr. Ray.
“It’s not too difficult to crack the entrance test if you have an analytical or logical thinking and a strong grip on subject” says Kritika Mittal, a fresh ISI, Delhi alumnus currently working with Capital One, an American Bank holding company in Bangalore.
Demand for the course
As this is a novel programme for those who are aiming to make a career in Analytics and Credit Scoring sector, maximum growth potential is found in the corporate segment, most notably in Banking, Insurance, scientific research and auditing & consulting firms. “Those who have knowledge of quantitative economics will play more pivotal roles in organizations as they are equipped to understand and analyse the economic scenario and map it to the organization and the industry it operates in,” says Dr. Sriharsha Achar, CPO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance.
“There are three kind of median demand areas: Biggest one is the corporate sector. Next is Government, where think tanks like National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, Institute of Economic Growth and such organizations do analysis for various government departments. Third big area is teaching and research. At one level it could be the colleges and at other it could be the research universities. With the increasing complexity of world economy where there is intense competition and more and more business predictions are dependent on quantitative analysis, this course has an above average demand,” says Dr. Ray.
Where will it take you?
After completing the course, you can either step into job market or go for doctoral programmes. Students find employment majorly in the financial engineering sector; consultancy firms worldwide. Typical job profiles would be in Analytics, Actuarial, Risk Scoring, Research etc. At the initial stage, usually one gets the consulting profiles.
The firms that actively recruit are- Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Capital One, McKinsey, Standard Chartered, ANZ, Walmart Labs, American Express, ICICI Bank, Reliance, EY, Crisil, Apollo Munich etc. IMF also recruits a good number of Quantitative Economists.
Generally, one can get salary as per industry standards. The average pay package for a postgraduate from ISI Kolkata, for instance, is INR 14-15 lakhs p.a. “We offer industry-led salary benchmarks at all levels in the organization and try to enable a professional’s growth curve and learning from within the company” says Dr. Achar.
If you wish to make a career in this lucrative profession, then work hard to make a strong base in mathematics and economics along with sharpening your logical thinking and reasoning.
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