California is home to 24 universities that offer master’s degree programs in conventional financial economics and dozens more that offer specialized business and managerial economics programs. All of these institutions provide classroom instruction, and many also offer comparable programs online. California also supports diverse educational options by acting as host to many satellite campuses for out-of-state universities that also offer graduate level programs in economics.
The National Association for Business Economics reported in 2008 that a master’s degree was the most popular educational background that California’s business employers sought in new employees.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego are hotbeds for economic thought with the recent Nobel Prize in Economics going to two California professors. Lloyd Shapley of UCLA and Alvin Roth of Stanford were awarded the prize in October 2012.
Students seeking careers in the private sector often pursue MBA programs that offer business or managerial economics as a concentration. A master’s degree program of any kind should provide professionals with a strong foundation in economic theory, mathematics and statistics. Although there is a great deal of variety in the curriculum offered in the various specialized masters-level economics programs available in California, students can generally expect to take courses in:
- Monetary economics
- International finance
- Mathematical economics
- Economic development
Capstone Projects for California’s Economics Students
Many of California’s more rigorous programs will require students to produce economic research under the tutelage of a faculty member. This research should be published in the form of an academic paper or thesis. Some programs may also require students to present research in an oral presentation to faculty or academic peers. A written or oral examination testing proficiency in a number of economic fields is also a common requirement.