M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics offers new professional certification

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
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The National Association for Business Economics (NABE), the premier professional association for business economists, has announced a unique partnership with the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Students now have the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics Professional Option and NABE’s Certified Business Economist (CBE) professional certification simultaneously.

The Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics Professional Option program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is a full time, 15-month, accelerated STEM program that prepares students to enter the professional workforce in data-intensive and quantitatively focused jobs in industries like economic consulting, agribusinesses, nonprofit organizations, and government sectors.

The curriculum features three semesters and one summer term of core offerings in econometrics, economic theory, and professional development, along with a capstone practicum class leading to a professional report that functions as a thesis. Students can pursue individual interests in five major fields of specialty: environmental economics, development, food and agriculture, commodity, and energy.

“Agricultural and Applied Economics’ rigorous training featuring both hard and soft skills will equip students with the necessary skills to compete for jobs in economic consulting, business, agribusiness, nonprofit organizations focused on development, and governmental sectors,” says Jeremy Foltz, chair of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The CBE certification will validate these competencies and signal the students’ commitment to stay up to date with the latest developments in economic analysis.”

Launched in 2015, the Certified Business Economist is a comprehensive professional certification program of study and examination covering core topics in applied economics and data analytics. Students who matriculate in qualifying master’s or undergraduate degree programs at CBE partner universities will be able to complete their CBE requirements by taking additional coursework while studying for their degrees, and sit for the CBE exam that will be offered on campus each year.

“This generation of students is graduating into one of the best job markets of the past five decades, and they are seeking new ways of distinguishing themselves from the pack,” says NABE President Kevin Swift. “Those who earn their CBE certification alongside their economics degree will enter the job market with a distinct advantage, having mastered a body of applied economics knowledge sought after by employers and essential for a successful career in the field of economics and data analytics.”

Built by more than 50 chief economists and other senior-level NABE members, the CBE certification program is designed to train and certify candidates on a battery of skills and knowledge employers expect effective economists to possess. The CBE adds clarity to decisions around hiring and promotion and establishes a platform for lifelong continuing education and career development.

For more information, visit the Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics Professional Option page.