Indian Econ Students Head for Corporate Life

Short, interesting piece on the employment prospects of Indian students getting an MA in Econ (though, I don't know how much this can be compared to a Master's in econ here in the States -- I would tend to believe it's a bit more rigorous than our terminal Master's programs).

Of the 100 students graduating in MA Economics from the Delhi School of Economics this year, none will end up as a college lecturer.

In fact, with corporate houses snapping up toppers in the field year after year, faculty members fear there might be a shortage of qualified people to teach the subject in the coming years.

The process is probably a bit cyclical. The salaries are likely to drive more people to apply, which makes competition more fierce on graduating, corporations pick off only the very top, and eventually the people who made admirable though not stellar marks will go into teaching, and future potential classes could be made up of those who either excel or have the drive to work hard at what they like rather than those seeking a quick path to a higher salary. Of course, "teaching" econ in the US is usually a euphamism for long bouts of data crunching and editing, with the occasional class mixed in. Personally, it's research I want to do, so this isn't a slight in any way. But i suspect that the emphasis may be more on the side of teaching in those places that aren't endowed with considerable research funds. And some of my favorite teachers, the ones who made me want to pursue higher levels of a subject, were not those who published the most frequently.

Also, as the environment improves for both professional work and research (as I assume it would do as more companies hire, more schools see the value in having larger classes, the benefits of research driven institutions, etc.), it's likely that a greater percentage of the students that came to the States, the UK, or Canada for higher econ degrees would choose to return. I wouldn't bet on the "shortage of qualified people" being either severe or long-lasting.

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This page contains a single entry by published on March 31, 2005 10:42 AM.

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