Provides students with a quantitative curriculum, consisting of economics (specifically in econometrics), statistics, mathematics, and computer science. Students will be trained in advanced data analysis skills to answer economic questions, uncovering relationships, while taking all information into account.
Students with this degree will find a variety of career paths available, and will be prepared for a variety of graduate programs. These skills are very important in the new world of large administrative data sets. The goal is to answer economic questions with the data. The non-professional approach to data analysis is to find a correlation between two of many variables and infer causation one way or another between those two variables. Correlation may be sufficient in some applications, but it is incorrect and even deceptive in most applications. The field of econometrics is designed to uncover relationships while taking account of all the information.
There are two groups of students for whom this BSLAS degree would be attractive. The first group would be students who want to obtain positions focused on advanced quantitative skills after graduating with this degree. For example, these students could seek positions in research departments of corporations and government agencies and work with large administrative data sets on consumers or firms. In particular, these students would have the preparation to perform more advanced market analyses and policy evaluations. These students would also be well-prepared for positions in consulting and financial firms. Many companies (Capital One, BP, AON, Jump Trading, Deloitte, and many others) have emphasized the need for economics graduates with a strong quantitative background, and the BSLAS degree will provide these students.
The second group of students would be students who need advanced training in econometrics and quantitative methods in order to apply for graduate programs. Some would apply for Ph.D. programs in economics or finance, and others would apply for rigorous Masters programs in these areas and also statistics. Students with an interest in these graduate programs will have the quantitative/economics background required build into their degree, which is not the case for the BALAS degree.
Empirical skills for working with data sets are clearly in demand by employers. Econometrics and quantitative economics are among the most sophisticated empirical skills. Students report that campus recruiters are asking more questions about their ability to work with large data sets. This is also clear from the increased demand for Ph.D. economists at consulting firms, financial firms, and internet firms such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon. The employment outlook for students with a BSLAS degree is very promising.