For Economics students currently at the M.A. level
Doctoral Studies Scholarships for Doctoral Studies
Career choices and job search
As an MA student the job search commences immediately upon arrival in September. Some deadlines for jobs that will start in the following spring, summer or fall are as early as mid-September. This can be somewhat stressful since you need to deal with a very heavy graduate course load while also conducting a job search and/or considering doctoral studies, but it does need to get done. My view is that it is best to keep your job/graduate studies options open, and to maintain fallback plans. As with many activities, although there is some random luck the effort you put in will have a major influence on the quality of the outcome. This page contains a few ideas and leads to get you started, but it is far from a complete listing and it is not a set of instructions. In the end it is your responsibility to conduct the job search. I wish you the very best.
2.0 Doctoral Studies
Many people will not be sure whether they are going to stop after the M.A. or pursue a Ph.D. (or some other form of further study). If you are in the M.A. in Economics program, you really do not need to think about this until late December or January of the M.A. year, at which point a student stopping after the M.A. should probably take other second-term courses besides economic theory (diversify one's portfolio) while a potential Ph.D. student should focus on theory to begin the preparation for the comps. (It is possible for an M.A. student who does not take the second-term theory courses to still get into the Ph.D. program, but it is a disadvantage.)
If you are in the M.A. in Economic Policy Program, you can still think about pursuing a Ph.D. in economics afterwards (although you won't be as well prepared a candidate as you would have been had you taken a regular M.A. in Economics). You don't have any key decisions in January, although you should probably talk to a faculty advisor. If you continued at McMaster, you would begin in the following September with the theory sequence the regular M.A. students took (Economics 721 and 723). The only January decision you might consider would be to take econometrics 762 as an elective so that you can move closer to Ph.D. level econometrics. This is not crucial though.
2.1 Scholarships for Doctoral Studies
If there is any question of going on for further study, you should consider applying for an Ontario Graduate Scholarship if you are a non-visa or visa student, and a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship if you are a non-visa student. While the application material is online, note you will have to submit the applications internally to Ms. Martens in KTH 426. You should talk to her about this in advance. The internal deadline for the OGS is usually mid-October and that for SSHRC early November (please check with her for this year’s dates), and there are absolutely no extensions. If you win one of these it will make subsequent study more affordable (than it would be with only McMaster financial support) and hence more pleasant. Moreover it is my view that the application process itself is valuable. (Even if you don't win, you will learn by the process and that will help you in the future.) Although not for everyone, if you are interested in health economics/policy, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) also offers awards for study at the Master’s level. (Click “Find Funding” and other links.)
While you may get references from your professors at your previous institution, do not be afraid to ask your current professors for a reference. We understand it is difficult to get suitable references and, with access to your file and enough time, we can write them quite effectively. Also you need to give a faculty member your "plan of study" or "research proposal" in time for that faculty member to make some suggestions. This can make a huge difference in your probability of winning.
If you are interested in international study, you might go to Canadian Bureau for International Education . This includes information on the well known Commonwealth Scholarship for study in other Commonwealth countries. There is also information about scholarships for numerous other countries at that site. Deadlines vary by country but can be as early as October of the graduating year. Note that SSHRC also offers an international option; see the above link to the graduate student page.
Other scholarship opportunities exist, so do not view this page as an exhaustive list. Please do your own research. If you have any successes that you think would be valuable to future students please feel free to let me know so I can post the information on this page.
3.0 Career choices and job search
The most critical thing to do is to apply online for the public service before the deadline for most positions that can be as early as mid-September!!! While this seems very early, the public service moves slowly. A few departments will interview on campus at McMaster in October or November for jobs that won't begin until June or July. But if you haven't applied by the original deadline, you will not be considered. Even if you think you will continue with doctoral studies, it is not a bad idea to have a fallback plan and apply for some interesting careers to keep your options open.
More generally click here for a guide to some important job sites.
If you happen to find a co-op or internship position of interest, note that McMaster does have a co-op option in its M.A. program.
More information will be provided throughout the term regarding starting a career and the job search process. Emails will be distributed from time to time notifying you of positions that are available and of on-campus recruitment. Please check your email regularly since some may have short deadlines.