The Edmond Sun

Business

November 18, 2013

UCO sparks student interest in new energy economics degree

EDMOND — The University of Central Oklahoma students have a new option in preparing for a career in the state’s energy industry through the Bachelor of Business Administration in Energy Economics, offered through the university’s College of Business.

The degree program, which started this fall, is offered through the Department of Economics and International Business. The program instills the core skills all economics majors experience with an added focus on the numerous issues encountered in the oil, natural gas and electric industries. Students also learn about regulatory issues and significant quantitative analysis related to the field.

“It will be an appealing degree to students that want to serve as analysts or in a regulatory environment regarding the energy industry,” said Jeremy Oller, Ph.D., chair of UCO’s Department of Economics and International Business.

“Oklahoma is an energy driven state and a focus in not just economics but energy economics will help access that industry,” added Christopher Stiles, a major in the new Energy Economics program.

The degree is a more intensive and cross-disciplinary variant of a traditional economics education. It incorporates material from other disciplines, such as accounting or finance, which also deliver essential skills relevant to the energy industry.

“By the time a student graduates, they should be among the elite in this college with respect to quantitative and analytical skills,” Oller said.

Energy Economics is a specialized market within economics. An economist specializing in the energy industry has the tools of a practicing economist, but must also understand how energy commodities vary from traditional goods and services.

The energy industry has specific attributes, which requires professionals to have exceptional skills in microeconomics, forecasting, statistics, finance and accounting.

“An energy degree gives employers a signal that you possess certain skills above and beyond a standard economics degree,” Stiles continued.

“I know there are a lot of opportunities in the industry as a whole and this degree will help access that job pool.”

FOR MORE information about this program, visit www.busn.uco.edu/economics.

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