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Department Spotlight

New Partnership Promises Job Opportunities for AU Econ Students

Economics Department joins forces with National Association for Business Economics

American University’s Department of Economics has launched a new partnership with the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), the preeminent professional association for private-sector economists. The agreement is expected to dramatically increase job opportunities for new graduates of AU’s master’s programs in economics.

National Association for Business EconomicsAU economics students will be able to join NABE at a nominal student rate to get access to NABE’s extensive job placement resources, including the organization’s private listing of job openings, annual job fair, biennial salary survey, and Careers in Economics seminar series. 

“The partnership with NABE will signal to employers that AU’s masters programs provide students with a solid foundation in micro and macroeconomics, and trains them to engage in economic modeling using cutting-edge software,” says Professor Ralph Sonenshine, director of AU’s MA Program in Economics. “The CBE will help differentiate our graduates in an increasingly competitive job market.”

A person in a suit walking in the street.  Photo by Saulo Mohana

Networking and Jobs 

“Nearly 80 percent of jobs are never publicly listed, which is why networking is so important,” says Kara Reynolds, Professor of Economics. “The new partnership will give AU students access to valuable networking opportunities.”  

Student members will be able to attend the NABE annual meetings and spring policy conference at a reduced student rate, giving them the opportunity to hear the insights of leading business and government economists first-hand. Student members will also be able to attend events at the National Economists Club in Washington, DC, NABE’s local gathering place for professional economists.   

“Certified Business Economist” Opportunity 

“Most importantly, the partnership will help AU’s Master’s students earn NABE’s Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation,” says Reynolds. “This certification was designed by the members of NABE as a signal to employers that applicants have the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a practitioner of economics.” 

Certified Business EconomistSonenshine agrees. “The CBE will help differentiate our graduates in an increasingly competitive job market,” he says. To earn the CBE, applicants must prove their competence by completing two pre-requisites. First, they must demonstrate their knowledge of applied econometrics, business applications of statistics and data analytics, economic measurement, managerial decision making, and microeconomic and macroeconomic theory through a multiple-choice exam. Second, they must establish that they can effectively communicate this knowledge to key stakeholders.  

By forming the partnership, NABE confirms that the curriculum in AU’s Master’s in Economics program prepares students to pass the CBE exam. Although most NABE members must take two communications courses offered by NABE to earn the certification, NABE is waiving this requirement for AU’s Masters students who successfully complete Communicating Economics (ECON-640). In this course, students learn to communicate economic theory and quantitative information to a wide variety of audiences using the leading formats used by economists, including academic articles, briefing papers, op-eds, and presentations.