Earning an online bachelor's in economics prepares graduates for careers in many fields, including government, business, and finance. The skills that learners acquire during these programs apply to various roles, particularly careers involving market analysis and the consumption of goods and services.
The employment outlook appears promising for economics graduates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects strong growth for business and financial and management occupations between 2019 and 2029. Most of these careers provide high median annual salaries. To capitalize on these opportunities, prospective students should choose the appropriate educational pathway for their career goals.
This page can help learners better understand their degree options and potential outcomes before making a decision. For additional information, consult our bachelor's in economics program guide.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Economics Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
|1||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|2||University of Utah||Salt Lake City, UT|
|3||Oregon State University||Corvallis, OR|
|4||Utah State University||Logan, UT|
|5||Pennsylvania State University||University Park, PA|
|6||Colorado State University||Fort Collins, CO|
|7||Washington State University||Pullman, WA|
|8||University of West Georgia||Carrollton, GA|
|9||North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University||Greensboro, NC|
|10||University of Hawai'i at Mānoa||Honolulu, HI|
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology here. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Economics Programs
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
FIU's online bachelor's in economics program awards a BA and features courses in intermediate macroeconomics, measurement and analysis of economic activity, and calculus. The program concludes with an undergraduate seminar. Candidates can go on to pursue graduate programs in economics or entry-level employment in business and finance.
Major companies such as Citibank and General Electric recruit FIU's economics students. Degree-seekers can use FIU's resume critiques, networking tips, and virtual career events to prepare for a successful job hunt.
Admission requirements include high school transcripts and standardized test scores. FIU waives these requirements for transfer applicants with at least 60 undergraduate credits. FIU maintains a list of current scholarship opportunities that students can search by academic department.
University of Utah
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 70%||
The U's online bachelor's degree in economics features a required major curriculum and optional focus areas in areas like econometrics, the history of economic thought, and economic history. Degree-seekers personalize their program by completing four upper-division courses outside of the economics department.
The university's career advisors provide degree-seekers with personalized advising sessions and a detailed career guide. These services help over 90% of economics students achieve a positive career or educational outcome within one year of earning their degree.
The U admits online degree-seekers at three points throughout the year and charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all distance learners. Admission requirements include ACT or SAT scores.
Oregon State University
|Corvallis, OR||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
OSU's online bachelor's in economics program requires 180 quarter credits in topics such as public policy analysis, advanced macroeconomic theory, and introduction to economic research. The program also features two optional specializations: managerial economics and law, economics, and policy. The flexible curriculum allows degree-seekers to complete a minor.
Alumni enjoy a 90% job-placement rate within two years of graduation. In addition to maintaining a job board, OSU's career center offers degree-seekers networking opportunities and cover letter guidance.
OSU prefers applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and the program accepts up to 135 transfer credits. OSU awards merit-based scholarships to in-state and out-of-state students.
Utah State University
|Logan, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Aspiring market researchers and financial analysts can pursue USU's online bachelor's degree in economics. Students can choose between a BA and a BS. Courses in both tracks include introduction to microeconomics, statistical methods, and college algebra. Additionally, the program offers four emphasis areas: pre-law economics, economic theory, managerial economics, and international economics and trade.
Over 90% of USU's School of Business undergraduate alumni start an entry-level career or enroll in a master's program soon after earning a degree. USU's career services office provides resources through Handshake, including a job board and alumni mentors.
USU uses high school GPA and GED score cutoffs. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. Outstanding incoming learners may qualify for full-tuition scholarships.
Pennsylvania State University
|University Park, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Penn State offers a bachelor's in economics through its Global Campus. This online program features a 120-credit curriculum with required courses in statistical foundations, intermediate microeconomic analysis, and macroeconomic analysis and policy. Students can personalize the program through multiple economics electives. Learners must maintain a 2.0 GPA to graduate.
Nearly 75% of Penn State alumni find a full-time job within months of graduation. The university provides distance learners with resources like advising appointments, career fairs, guides, and webinars.
Penn State accepts applications for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Applicants to this program do not need to submit standardized test scores or recommendation letters. Full-time students receive a significant tuition discount compared to part-time learners.
Colorado State University
|Fort Collins, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
CSU's online bachelor's degree in economics uses a 120-credit curriculum, which includes 52 major credits. Required coursework covers topics like calculus for physical scientists, professional and technical communication, and intermediate microeconomics. CSU's economics alumni often find work in the fields of education and consulting.
CSU's career center helps nearly 90% of undergraduates receive at least one job offer before graduation day. Each year, the center hosts a virtual conference to teach financial skills and job hunting strategies.
Prospective students with a high school diploma or GED certificate can apply. CSU uses a 2.5 undergraduate GPA cutoff for transfer applicants. All distance students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. The university awards merit-based scholarships to Colorado residents and out-of-state students.
Washington State University
|Pullman, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
WSU's online bachelor's in economics program awards a BS and requires students to take courses in linear algebra, financial accounting, and labor economics. Degree-seekers can specialize in commodity marketing or management. Learners can also customize the degree by choosing four economics electives.
WSU's career center allows online learners to set up virtual counseling appointments through Handshake and develop their resume on Resume Worded. Students can gain professional experience by signing up for micro-internships.
Prospective students under the age of 25 must submit ACT or SAT scores, while adult learners should provide an essay and a resume. Degree-seekers who live outside of Washington pay a slightly higher tuition rate than in-state distance learners. WSU offers two scholarship opportunities to online students.
University of West Georgia
|Carrollton, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
A hybrid program that may appeal to degree-seekers living in and around Carrollton, UWG's bachelor's in economics emphasizes management, finance, and marketing fundamentals. The curriculum includes required courses in accounting and economics. Approximiatley 60% of this program's requirements can be completed online.
UWG's career services office provides learners with resources like career exploration guides, resume critiques, and internships. Additional services include social media tips, interest assessments, and an externship program.
Prospective students can apply to enroll in the spring, summer, or fall. First-year applicants must submit standardized test scores. UWG uses a 2.0 undergraduate GPA cutoff for transfer credit. Financial aid options include institutional scholarships, each of which requires a separate application. This economics program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
|Greensboro, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 53%||
N.C. A&T's bachelor's in economics program can be completed online. It features a flexible curriculum that allows students to design a custom economics specialization or pursue a minor in another field. Unique graduation requirements include a course in African American history. Learners must maintain a 2.0 GPA to graduate.
On the university's career services website, online degree-seekers can research job postings and search for internship opportunities. They can also hone essential interviewing skills through InterviewStream.
Prospective students must have a high school diploma. North Carolina residents receive a significant tuition discount. The university awards the National Alumni Scholarship — which covers all tuition costs — to outstanding learners.
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
|Honolulu, HI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
UH Mānoa's online bachelor's degree in economics features a 30-credit major curriculum that allows learners to select five economics electives. The program also features an optional specialization in quantitative economics; participants take additional courses in upper-division mathematics.
UH Mānoa's career center helps students find lucrative and fulfilling jobs by providing virtual information sessions. The center's website also provides informational videos that cover typical interview questions.
Admission requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores and English and math placement tests. All incoming learners also complete an orientation and meet with an advisor before registering for courses.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Economics Program?
To succeed in a bachelor's in economics program, students need a combination of analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills.
To succeed in a bachelor's in economics program, students need a combination of analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills. These programs usually require 120 credits, and full-time students often graduate in approximately four years.
Most bachelor's in economics programs lead to a BA degree, but students may encounter BS degrees, as well. Typically, BA degrees offer broader and more theoretical training and allow for more flexibility, whereas BS degrees focus on quantitative components and mathematics.
Consequently, the difference in these degree types can lead to different postgraduate paths. BA degrees often prepare graduates for graduate study and entry-level positions in various fields, while BS degrees better equip graduates for applied economics positions. Employers and graduate schools accept both options.
Degree-seekers can also shape their eventual career path by focusing on certain fields within the program. Concentrations in areas like data science, economic development, business, and financial economics build specialized experience and skills that can expand students' employment opportunities. Internships are another way to prepare for specific careers.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Economics Program?
Students may encounter a variety of courses depending on the school, degree type, and curriculum options. To illustrate this variety, the following list examines several popular courses for a bachelor's in economics program.
- Economic Policy
Economic policy courses look at policy development, including foundational principles, the actors and institutions involved in policy-making, and the economic rationale behind different policies. Students learn about leading economic theories and discuss problems and concerns in the field.
- International Economics
In international economics courses, learners explore economics on a global scale, covering areas like international trade, free trade, and foreign currency. Courses may focus on specific nations and industries to highlight differences in economic policies, business standards, politics, and investments.
- Income Distribution
This course covers income distribution and inequalities around the world and at home. Learners examine theories regarding income distribution, consumption, and mobility. They also acquire the tools, methods, and skills needed to analyze data and theories in this field.
- Business Analytics
Business analytics courses teach students to use data to help organizations improve their processes and decision-making. Learners examine major technologies, methods, and tools used for data collection and analysis. Learners also study methods for presenting their findings and applying them in practice.
- Healthcare Management
Healthcare management courses examine the medical economy. Covered topics include pricing, supply, and demand of medical care, drugs, and insurance. Students discuss how policies, competition, and government action can influence these components, as well as how other nations manage their healthcare systems.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
- Scholarships and Financial Aid for Online College Students
- Your Guide to College Loans
- Your Guide to the FAFSA
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Economics Degree?
Through training that applies to many industries and professions, bachelor's in economics programs provide significant employment opportunities. The BLS projects 14% job growth for economists between 2019 and 2029. This projected growth rate is much faster than the national average, but the smaller size of the field means stiff competition for positions.
Discover where a bachelor's in economics can take you. Learn more about economics careers here.
Economists provide data on economic issues and trends for governments and organizations. They study market conditions and consumer behaviors, then use their research to help organizations determine risk and opportunities and make more informed decisions. Most economist positions require a master's degree.
- Budget Analyst
Budget analysts review and assess financial data for organizations. They analyze budgets, efficiency, spending, and performance. They may report their findings in consultations, budget proposals, or public disclosures.
- Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts evaluate specific markets and demographics to determine the potential for goods and services. These professionals help identify opportunities, risk levels, and pricing and marketing strategies.
- Operations Research Analyst
Operations research analysts assess an organization's operations to identify ways of improving efficiency, cutting costs, adding revenues, and enhancing public images. They gather information from customers, clients, employees, and company data and report their findings to management.
- Financial Analyst
Financial analysts support organizations by providing guidance on spending and investments. They analyze trends, assess the organization's financial history, and review the market to identify financial opportunities and vulnerabilities.
Economics Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Economics Programs
- Is a bachelor's in economics worth it?
Yes. A bachelor's in economics can provide access to many promising careers. Equipped with analytical and communication skills, graduates can find work in business, finance, and management. The BLS projects 14% job growth for economists between 2019 and 2029.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in economics?
Graduates can pursue entry-level careers in government and business. Common job titles include financial analyst, management analyst, and budget analyst. Graduates can also continue studying economics in a master's or doctoral program. Most economist positions require a master's or doctoral degree in the field.
- Are economics majors in demand?
Yes, although certain positions can be competitive. The BLS projects 14% growth for economists between 2019 and 2029, more than three times higher than the national average. Economics majors can also apply their skills to in-demand fields like operations research analysis (25% projected growth) and market research analysis (18% projected growth).
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in economics?
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for economists is $105,020. However, most economists need an advanced degree. Bachelor's degree-holders can pursue entry-level business careers, which pay a median annual salary of $69,820.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in economics?
The top 10% of economists make over $185,020 per year, but some management careers surpass that. Sales managers, for example, earn median annual salaries of $126,640, and the top 10% earn over $208,000.