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Yale MA-IDE versus Columbia MA Econ

Yale IDE versus Columbia MA Econ  

7 members have voted

  1. 1. Which one should I pick?

    • Yale IDE
    • Columbia MA Econ

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I am international students from India with an undergrad in Eco. I also have close to 3 years of experience in statistical and development research based domains. Had a good SOP (atleast I like to think so) and okay-ish LoRs. Had a 169 quant score in GRE. 

I need to decide between Yale IDE and Columbia MA Econ by April second week. 

Yale has a smaller class size, is cheaper and has a less mathematical course structure (by the looks of it).

Columbia might give more opportunities by being in NY, and in general the Econ department seems highly reputed. 

In the future, I plan on pursuing a career in dev econ-consulting in a research capacity for international organisations or think tanks. Anyone with any thoughts on which one I should pick? Would highly appreciate it! 

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Hi @manvikag - congrats on admission to two great programs. I did IDE a few years ago and a good friend of mine went to Columbia. I do not know much about you (and hence I am not 100% sure what is best for you and hence I did not vote) so I just want to say something about what I do know. 

I was surprised to see that you thought IDE is less mathematical. I think this is because you just looked at the title of the courses and not at the actual syllabus. For example – the course “Development Econometrics” does not sound very mathematical but you do a lot actually. It is the second half of Metrics and is quite focused on panel data. You do standard things such as Random and Fixed effects but also more advanced things such as estimators similar to Arellano-Bond. It is really a course that gets faster and faster during the year. What is nice about it (at least for me and I am not sure if this is something you like) is that you always have some reference back to applied devo work (which is I guess where the name comes from?!?!) and that you get to write a paper using all the maths you learn. In other words - yes you do learn about all the conditions and show when things are consistent and when not but you also use them. The second bit I think is just more unique than the first!? But my friend and I, when comparing notes, always thought IDE was the more mathematical course actually. 

Also - many of my friends took courses in the Stats and Maths department (e.g. real analysis) as their option course and that can be *VERY* mathematical.

Regarding jobs – I have had people in my year go to econ consulting, the World Bank, UN agencies and other. I do not know about Columbia tbh. 

Hope that helps

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Manvika, the good thing about both programs is that they're STEM. Job opportunities from both are more or less the same - Yale's smaller class size makes interactions with career services team easier but Columbia trumps in terms of its location and networking events (GSAS doesn't have its own placement committee, btw). Columbia Econ also has a marginally better reputation among employers - mainly because of its proximity to DevConsulting firms like NERA, FTI, Analysis Group, Abt Associates etc. and the UN. The duration of the program should also be considered - Yale is hardly a year whereas Columbia's a full 2 years. If you're someone who's keen on graduating sooner to not lose even a year in the job market, the IDE is ideal. As you mentioned, Yale tuition is cheaper and New Haven being a college city will also have a lower cost of living. I'd personally recommend attending Yale - even if your aim is to work in NYC, students (especially with 2+ years of work ex) generally don't find it too hard to seek employment there. All the best!

Edited by policywonk12
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