Three universities have concentrated their economics expertise under the same roof in the Economicum building in the heart of Helsinki. The Helsinki Graduate School of Economics is a teaching and research unit jointly run by the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and the Hanken School of Economics, and provides teaching in the Master’s and Doctoral Programmes in Economics.
The unit offers the most extensive selection of economics courses in Finland. Markku Lanne, the Director of the Master’s Programme in Economics at the University of Helsinki, says that the programme will offer 32 field-specific courses next year.
“We are able to offer studies in a high number of specialist fields as well as related supervision,” Lanne says.
Up to 15 new professorships are expected to be established when the unit expands its operations in the coming years. The objective is to bridge the skills gap in economics in Finland, expand research areas in economics, and conduct world-class research.
Study track in research is a stepping stone to doctoral studies
The Master’s Programme in Economics offers two study tracks: a general study track and a research study track. The latter is geared to students aiming to pursue postgraduate studies. Prospective doctoral students who choose this study track can graduate up to two years earlier.
“Those taking the research-focused study track complete the majority of the courses required for the doctoral degree at the master’s stage,” Lanne points out.
Admission to the study track in research is difficult, as the courses are demanding. The demand for doctoral graduates in economics currently outstrips the supply, but Lanne says that Master’s graduates in economics also do well.
“The Master’s stage is directly linked to postgraduate studies. The programme is challenging and provides an excellent foundation for everyone, including those who do not continue to doctoral studies.”
A profound knowledge of economic theory and methods is useful not only for postgraduate studies but also for several demanding lines of work as an economist.
Demand for analytical skills in the job market
The Master’s Programme in Economics does not focus on specific theories but provides tools for thought. According to Lanne, the programme offers first-rate knowledge and skills for social analysis.
“Students explore a variety of economic and social issues within a coherent framework. This is a highly systematic and methodologically advanced discipline.”
The Helsinki Graduate School of Economics focuses particularly on econometrics, and students must have a solid foundation in mathematics and statistics.
“With the vast amount of data today, methods of data science are integrated into the studies. The discipline used to be quite theoretical, but has now moved in a more empirical direction, with related research clearly dominating.”
In the future, the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics will continue to promote multidisciplinary teaching and research.
“Data processing skills will become more central – this is a clear trend in economics and many other fields,” Lanne says.
He assures that graduates from the programme have very good job prospects. Their degree prepares them for demanding expert work in companies, the financial market and the public sector. The remarkably analytical programme, which emphasises mathematical methods, is held in high regard.
“Job prospects are excellent. With knowledge and skills in economics, you have a great deal of choice.”