The MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy provides new path to MIT

Online learning initiative provides real-world opportunity for students.

Chuka Ezeoguine is a student from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, who is majoring in computer science. Driven to help the world’s poor, he is developing the knowledge base he needs to create algorithm-based solutions to economic problems.

Camelia Vasilov recently graduated from Leiden University College and interns at the World Startup Factory. Raised in Moldova, her first-hand experience with poverty motivates her to master the analysis and application of empirical research, so she can return home to design and implement sound development policies.

Sangalore Sumit is a computer science engineer in Bangalore, India. He hopes to aid government in the development and implementation of data-driven programs that bridge the gap between public policy and public welfare.

Living and working on separate continents, these people have one thing in common: they all studied together at MIT. MITx, that is.

Studying together around the world, students in the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) are connected by digital learning technologies and driven by a common cause: to help people in their communities and developing countries overcome challenges facing the world’s poor.

MITx MicroMasters is a new way to pursue a credentialed course of study from MIT. The cost of the DEDP program is based on ability to pay, and classes are open to anyone. According to Benjamin Olken, Professor of Economics, MIT, and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL), “Whether you’re interested in a career in development policy, or interested in pursuing graduate school admissions, this certificate will signal your competence with advanced material.”

Students who successfully complete the five-course curriculum can apply to a newly-established accelerated master’s degree program offered by MIT’s department of economics. Accepted students will earn their degree in one semester while studying at the main campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“There are thousands of social programs all over the world,” says Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, MIT, Co-founder and Co-director of JPAL. “But how do you evaluate their effectiveness? How do you ensure that policies used to tackle these problems are backed by scientific evidence? And how do you determine which methods are most useful in addressing these problems and yielding the best outcomes?”

Staying true to MIT’s commitment to academic rigor, the MicroMasters program in DEDP equips students with the skills and knowledge required to assess the effectiveness of anti-poverty initiatives through data-driven methodologies. It provides a solid foundation in microeconomics, data analysis, probability and statistics, development economics, and program evaluation.

“Our goal is to create a cadre of rigorously trained development economists to engage the problems of developing the world,” says Abhijit Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, MIT, Co-founder and Co-director of JPAL.

Expand your mind. Expand your future. Learn more about the MicroMasters program and start improving the world today.

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