MicroMasters students in Data, Economics, and Development Policy complete first semester

MicroMasters students discuss their experiences taking the online courses.

The online MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP), a collaborative effort between J-PAL and MIT’s Department of Economics, equips learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor. Through a series of five online courses and in-person exams, learners gain a strong foundation in microeconomics, development economics, probability and statistics, and engage with cutting-edge research in the field.  

During the first semester of the DEDP program, which concluded in June, nearly 40,000 learners enrolled in at least one of the five edX courses. Approximately 7,000 students registered on the MITx MicroMasters portal, indicating their interest in pursuing the full program. These students came from 182 countries, and about 70 percent were from low- or middle-income countries.

We had the pleasure of hearing from students across the world on why they decided to enroll. Leena, who is originally from Sudan and now works as an Impact and Research Specialist at Teach for Qatar, said, “The DEDP program, to me, is the perfect opportunity to grow further in the skills necessary to work better with data, and to understand the role that good data plays in driving decisions at a policy level. In addition to professional reasons, I also dream, like anyone from a developing country struggling with issues of poverty and inequity, of somehow making a difference.”

Je-Al, who is currently working for the central bank of the Philippines, shared how the program has proved beneficial to his work. “The MicroMasters in DEDP is an excellent avenue to gain new perspective and ideas on the intricacies involving development. Through working in the government sector in tandem with obtaining the MicroMasters DEDP track, I believe that I can contribute more to policy formulation and development planning for the Philippines.” Many students also shared their story by video.

Students who successfully complete the MITx MicroMasters program are eligible to apply for a “blended” online and in-person master’s degree program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy from MIT. Admitted students receive MIT credit for their online MicroMasters courses, and continue their advanced coursework at the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts for one semester.

The MicroMasters in DEDP courses are offered three times a year with semesters beginning in February, June and September. Enrollment for the September semester is now open until October 24, 2017.  

Questions? Contact us at micromasters-support@mit.edu.

Posted by Lindsay Shanahan, Program Associate, J-PAL and Anna Schrimpf, Post-Doctoral Associate, J-PAL