Alumni and employers often tell us that they want graduates who have training in statistics and computer programming and – more generally – who have the quantitative skills required to conduct more technical analyses of the issues facing businesses and other organizations. We listened to this feedback and designed a major that complements the key foundation courses within economics with courses from computer programming, mathematics, and statistics so that students acquire the skills that businesses want, making graduates of this program more marketable in the business world.
The Quantitative Economics program differs from the Economics degree in that many of the economics electives are replaced by computer programming and mathematics courses thereby streamlining the QE major for those who want a more in-depth quantitative treatment of economics. Graduates of this program will have many of the same skills that master’s programs offer without needing to spend time and money with one to two more years of schooling.
Inclusion of more quantitative courses also makes the program a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field. Students graduating with STEM degrees see increased demand from employers. For international students looking to stay in the U.S. after graduating, a STEM degree allows one to remain in the U.S. for three years before needing an H1B Visa, whereas a non-STEM graduate can stay in the U.S. for only one year before needing an H1B.
Since the QE program is associated with the Economics program, QE majors can also receive the Thomas and Chany Chung Scholarship. This is a noncompetitive award meaning EVERYONE who qualifies receives it – you do not even need to apply! Every QE major with a 3.0+ GPA – both overall at SIU and in QE courses – will receive the Chung EACH SEMESTER, currently paying $2000 per student per semester.
For students wanting to attend graduate school in Economics, Business (MBA), or in any of the social sciences, having a Quantitative Economics major will not only provide great preparation but will signal to these schools that you have the quantitative background to succeed in graduate school.
For more information, please contact:
Program Coordinator of Economics and Undergraduate Director
*The official name of the program is entitled Econometrics and Quantitative Economics since this is a recognized STEM field. But we prefer to use the simpler name of Quantitative Economics.