Econometrics has a reputation for being dull, but not in the professional master’s program in Resource and Energy Demand Analysis (REDA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“One of the more surprising things I’ve learned in the REDA program is just how fun it can be to teach econometrics to professional students,” says Dan Phaneuf, professor of agricultural and applied economics.
Econometrics combines data with economic theory and statistics to model how people behave. People associate it with plodding through equations, but Phaneuf makes his class about applied work rather than about models. He proposes a particular research question, and the students suggest the steps they’d take to answer it.
These discussions are animated by the students’ varied professional backgrounds.
“What’s neat to see is that the students all have a spark of creativity to contribute from very different perspectives,” Phaneuf says. “Their broad backgrounds make this technical material exciting and interesting and relevant for their professional experience.”
The professional master’s in Resource and Energy Demand Analysis is the first program of its kind, preparing students for careers with utilities, consulting firms, regulatory agencies, and other organizations involved in conserving energy and protecting natural resources. It allows them to interact with industry professionals and earn a master’s degree in under a year. The growth in energy and resource conservation initiatives has created a need for people who understand economic modeling, big data, and cutting-edge analytics.
For more information on the professional master’s degree in Resource and Energy Demand Analysis, watch the video above or see here.