Business and Austrian economics
This new master’s program combines high-level economics with application-oriented courses in business and finance. Economics is thereby taught based on the foundations of the Austrian School. Entrepreneurial Economics is the first English-taught master’s program in Europe that is solidly rooted in the Austrian tradition. However, besides the Austrian focus this program also committed to methodological pluralism, since all relevant schools of thought are included in the curriculum.
Austrian economics, by its very nature, is entrepreneurial economics. No other school of thought investigates markets under the paradigm of human action and constant change. Combining classes in business and Austrian economics is thus a natural step. Together, they build a first-class education portfolio that teaches theoretical understanding, entrepreneurial thinking and independent decision making. These skills, in combination with the general analytical competence that this program conveys, lay the foundation for many promising career paths.
The core of this program is formed by a comprehensive education in Austrian Economics. This school of thought – rooted in the Vienna of the late 19th century – provides until today the most comprehensive approach to the social sciences. Humans are generally being regarded as individual entrepreneurs who influence their living conditions trough target-oriented actions.
This paradigm sharply contrasts with the model of the “homo oeconomicus”, which is central to mainstream economics. The homo oeconomicus allows for a mathematization of economics, but at the same time overemphasizes equilibrium thought, thus leaving no room for entrepreneurial actions. The Austrian School, in contrast, makes the „homo agens“ the centerpiece of analysis and thus assumes a process-oriented view. Instead of mathematical formalization the conceptual analysis of human action becomes the dominant scientific principle. Using this approach the Austrian School develops a holistic and philosophical understanding of economics.
The main goal of this program is to convey this economic understanding to students so as to shape entrepreneurial personalities who are able to think both theoretically and application-oriented. In assuming the Austrian perspective entrepreneurial spirit is stimulated immensely, since this perspective is directly linked to independent thinking and a liberal social philosophy. Beyond that, this study program comprises an application-oriented part that focuses on the relevant methods of business management and thus offers the best possible preparation for a professional career. The degree of practice orientation can be further increased if a student decides to do an internship instead of a research project or if he decides to write the master´s thesis in cooperation with a company. Also, special leadership trainings as well as extracurricular studies are offered so as to further support the development of entrepreneurial personalities.
Also from an academic point of view this program is highly ambitious. It intentionally refuses to adopt the methodological imperative that characterizes modern mainstream economics, but rather takes students to the research frontier in Austrian Economics. At the same time, however, the program does not limit itself to explaining the Austrian perspective, but also teaches competing ideas and approaches, such as, for example, the neoclassical or the Keynesian view. Thereby, the students gain a unique methodological expertise and learn to understand the originality of the respective approaches. With such knowledge they are well prepared to pursue a Ph.D., as science generally commences with an understanding of the controversies that govern the debate. In addition, having completed this program, the students also possess economic knowledge that is significantly superior to the formal training of mainstream economists.
The graduates of this program are highly qualified for various professions in the private sector. With their deep understanding of the economy the graduates of this program have a particular strategic competency and are therefore suitable for numerous tasks within consultancy firms, strategy departments, and medium-sized businesses, who all seek independent-minded people.
Such strategic competencies are especially important in the area of change management, a field that is nowadays often addressed using “Embedded Entrepreneurial Teams”. Economists with a profound knowledge of the financial and banking system are also sought after in the finance sector. The graduates of this program are well-prepared to start a career in any of these areas because they are able to critically discuss various opinions and provide strong and convincing arguments. In general, however, the graduates with a master´s degree in Entrepreneurial Economics and Management should consider themselves as entrepreneurs on their own behalves with personal business goals and ideas that they can put into practice.