Every student of economics should ask themselves this important question before limiting the work they will be capable of doing when they leave our campus:
- Are you interested in learning how economists analyze data?
If you’re not, you don’t need to read further. The world of data will keep spinning just fine even if you don’t understand it.
If your answer is YES, then you should probably take one of our two econometrics courses. The understanding and mastery of econometrics is useful for a wide variety of career paths and is pretty much essential training for any research or graduate work. We have two econometrics courses, Econ 400 and Econ 410. They are best taken in your junior year.
- ECON 400 is Introduction to Applied Econometrics
- ECON 410 is Introductory Econometrics
They are similar enough that we won’t allow students to take both, different enough that you want to choose wisely. Here are some factors that can help you make that choice:
If you completed Math 211 with or without its follow-up Math 213, you do not have a choice: You do not have the preparation you need for 410; Econ 400 has been created to allow you the experience of working with economic data in the Stata software economists prefer. Econ 400 is perfect for you.
If you completed Math 221 (or the 171/217 calc sequence) you MAY have your choice. You may NOT take both, in any order or for any reason.
*If you are intending to finish our Math Emphasis econ major, includes everyone hoping to earn Honors in Economics, you MUST take 410.
*If you plan or think you might want to go on to do graduate work in Econ, you should take Econ 410.
So, what if you took Math 221 and maybe beyond, but you didn’t really love it or perhaps you didn’t do super well, and you’re not doing the Math Emphasis? You have your choice. Here are some questions to help you choose:
- Did you do well in your calculus course(s), even like the work you did?
- Do you learn math better from working with graphs (good for 400) or working equations (410). Econ 400 is great for the intuitive math learner.
- Do you like proofs? 410 is more mathematically rigorous. Enjoy yourself!
- Do you like applied work with software? Students in 400 will spend many more hours actually working with real-world data using Stata in our computer lab. 410 is more theoretical.
We hope this helps you choose the right one. We hope you will take one. Pretty much to a person, economists believe the skills you learn in econometrics will make a positive difference in your life’s work and satisfaction.