The M2 EBDS track of the Master’s in Economics open to apprenticeships since September 2021

  • Formation

By Elisabeth Barthélemy, Head of communications and school administrative support at AMSE

Apprenticeship allows students to continue their studies and learn a trade, alterning between university and a company, under dual student and employee status. It is available to students aged between 16 and 29 who wish to pursue a degree while acquiring professional experience.

The M2 Econometrics, Big Data, Statistics (EBDS) track of the Master’s in Economics has been open to apprenticeships since September 2021. Apprenticeship was chosen by nearly 30% of the students enrolled in this track. Why is this access to apprenticeship good news for AMSE students? How are the apprenticeship and follow-up managed? We asked Mathieu Lefebvre, the faculty member in charge of the EBDS apprenticeship, and Marie Bruguet, a student in M2 EBDS who chose it, to tell us about their experience.


Using apprenticeship to meet personal professional objectives is a key motivation for students, as Marie Bruguet confirms “I chose apprenticeship because I thought it would be the best way to know more about what I want and what I don’t want in my future job. It is also the best way to gain experience, and that really counts when you’re looking for a job a new graduate. Another advantage is obviously the fact that you get paid and that the company pays the university tuition fees. I had already done two internships before this apprenticeship, and they help me make my decision: I liked working with a team on concrete and challenging project”. “Apprenticeship is a form of education that is increasingly in demand by students, especially those with a specific career plan” says Mathieu Lefebvre.


Thanks to the apprenticeship, students can get a foot in the ‘real world’, as they call it, without getting left behind by the school. AMSE pays close attention to the follow-up of its apprenticeship students, as Mathieu Lefebvre points out: “Apprentices receive dual supervision throughout their master: that of the company’s apprenticeship supervisor and that of a university tutor. The latter, appointed from among the AMSE teachers, ensures that the apprenticeship runs smoothly throughout the academic year and that the internship report is completed. The tutor also makes two visits to the company. As Head of Apprenticeship, my mission is to supervise students who choose to do an apprenticeship in M2 EBDS. Working closely with the CFA (apprentice training centre), I ensure that the apprenticeship contracts are signed and that the tools for monitoring the apprentice are put in place. I also ensure that university tutors are appointed. Throughout the year, I act as an interface between the students, the CFA and the company, and in the future, I will also be there to help apprentices find a company”.



Companies and public institutions increasingly need economists who understand the environment they operate in, and who are equipped to anticipate its demands. Our students meet these two criteria: not only are they economists trained in the techniques of economic analysis, but they also master quantitative methods enabling them to make the most of the mass of information available to decision-makers. The assignments offered to students are at least as diverse as the number of employers. Students can apply and carry out their work-study programme in both private and public sectors. The only requirement is that the assignment be validated by the head of apprenticeship, to ensure that the knowledge and skills of the student match the assignment proposed by the company.
Marie Bruguet is an apprentice at the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Housing and Construction within the Department of Statistics (Service de la Donnée et des Etudes Statistiques, SDES): “I am working on the national housing survey of 2020. Thousands of households were surveyed about a wide range of topics regarding their current housing but also their general experiences of housing. This produces extensive data at the end of the survey process because there are thousands of variables for each household collected from their answers. The two major statistical missions consist in: recoding the data to ensure continuity with the last survey, and attributing weights to the observations to provide a truer and more stable overview of the French housing stock. The goal is to be able to deliver a clean data base as soon as possible. I also have ancillary missions that are closer to economics, for example detecting household stability across time, constructing indicators of overpopulation, or distribution of wealth depending on type of housing, and so on. Once the database is exploitable, I hope to be able to run a more targeted econometrics study on housing, but I need to wait and see how the project will evolve over the months”.


Applying to an organisation for an apprenticeship contract requires as much determination and rigour as applying for a job. The student must prepare a CV and cover letter, and for the interview. “I found the position on the PASS website that lists all the internships and apprenticeships offered by the French civil service. I contacted the person listed in the offer, as required, by email with a c.v. and a cover letter. They answered within a day, offering me a first (remote) meeting with my current tutor. Then I had a second meeting with a supervisor from the office a few later. Both meetings were centered on explaining the project to me, to make sure it would interest me” says Marie Bruguet.
Once the apprenticeship was approved and the contract signed, like any other student-apprentice, she committed herself to behaving like a real employee, working in accordance with the existing operating procedures, being assiduous and of course investing herself in her studies. The employer undertook to allow her to obtain significant professional experience, to respect the course and examination schedule, to integrate her into the team, and naturally, to pay her a salary.


In a few months’ time, we will be able to assess this first year of apprenticeships with the students. From his experience, Mathieu Lefebvre states that “the enormous advantage for the students is experiencing greater professional integration while obtaining a diploma identical to that obtained by the other students, a concrete and often very operational application of the knowledge and skills acquired during their master’s degree. In addition, they benefit from dual company/university supervision. Students have the status of company employees, and therefore have the same rights (holidays, unemployment benefit, pension rights) as other employees. The advantage for AMSE lies in diversifying its training offer and keeping us with the significant development of apprenticeships in higher education”.
AMSE is working on opening another of its M2 tracks to apprenticeship in September 2022. To be continued!


→ This article was issued in AMSE Newletter, Winter 2021.


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