MSPO program welcomes students back to campus

Now in its fourth year of existence, the M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAE)—Professional Option (MSPO) program welcomed 12 new students this Fall semester-a significant increase from last year when only four students enrolled due to travel and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to three incoming Visiting International Student Program (VISP) students, the new cohort is the most diverse in MSPO’s short history, with students from Nepal, China, India, Indonesia and the United States.

The MSPO program is an accelerated 15-month professional master’s program designed to meet the growing private sector demand for quantitatively skilled analysts and managers. Due to the wide availability of data and increased computing power, quantitatively-focused jobs—such as Data Scientists, Economists, Research Analysts and Statisticians—are among the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy. The typical entry-level education for an economist is a master’s degree, and the median pay is $108,000.

MSPO graduates are working around the world, as near as Madison, New York and San Francisco, and as far away as Beijing, Bangkok and Seoul. They are employed as data scientists, policy advisors, research analysts, consultants, data analysts and economists. Employers include the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Zoro, World Vision International, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Scale AI, Acumen and KPMG. Learn more about the MSPO program: