Mohammad Arsjad Anwar began his academic career at the University of Indonesia as an assistant lecturer of Statistics (1960). He earned an MBA in Operations Research at University of California at Berkeley, United States in 1966 and obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from University of Indonesia in 1983. Two years later, he was appointed as Professors of the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia (1985).
Apart from being a lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, he successively served as Coordinator of Research (1970-1973), Deputy Director of Research (1973-1978), and Director of LPEM (1978-1982 and 1988-1989), Vice Dean of academic affairs of Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia (1984-1988), Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Economics, University of Indonesia (1984-1995), Director of Intra-Faculty Center, University of Indonesia (1985-1987), and Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia (1988-994).
His knowledge on socio-economic problems of Indonesia is enriched by his involvement as a member of Policy Research Team (1968-1973) consultant of R&D unit, Department of Trade (1973-1982), member of the Technical Committee of Energy (1977-1993), main member of National Team on Public Safety and Security (Wanhankamnas) (1979 -1982), member of National Research Council (1983-1993), Director of the Center for Policy and Implementation Studies (1986-1988), Head of Consulting Team from Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia for Department of Industry (1987-1993), as well as a Member of the National Economic Council (1999-2001).
In government, he served as a staff under Deputy Chairman of Monetary and Fiscal Policy Unit of National Development Planning Agency (1967-1968), Expert Staff of Economic Research Unit under Minister of National Development Planning/Head of BAPPENAS (1994-1998) and Deputy Coordinating Minister in Economics and Finance Issues (1998-2001).