Best Online Economics Degree Programs
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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? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|#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|
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Popular Online Bachelor's in Economics Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Economics Programs
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What Is Economics?
Economics is an interdisciplinary field focusing on the tradeoff between supply and demand. Those who study economics seek to understand trends — especially around production and consumption — on a small (microeconomics) or large (macroeconomics) scale. Economics also attempts to answer questions related to the spending habits of individuals and communities.
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.
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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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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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.
The business and financial and management fields, however, also accommodate economics graduates. The BLS projects solid growth in both areas between 2019 and 2029.
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 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 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.
How to Choose an Economics Bachelor's Program
Are all bachelor's in economics programs the same? The simple answer is no. When choosing a program, it is important to note that students can earn a bachelor of arts degree in economics or a bachelor of science degree in economics. Both prepare graduates for similar careers, but there are some differences.
A bachelor of arts degree in economics features a more qualitative focus and highlights the social implications that surround supply and demand and the economy. Alternatively, focusing more on quantitative economics, a bachelor of science in economics analyzes cause and effect in the economy by examining the math and statistics around it.
Prospective students also have the option to join a traditional in-person program or pursue their bachelor's in economics degree online. Some students prefer in-person instruction, while others may enjoy the added flexibility of an online program.
How to Get Into an Economics Bachelor's Program
When applying to a bachelor's in economics program, look at each school's application requirements. Although requirements may differ slightly, most programs have a minimum GPA requirement and many ask applicants to submit their ACT or SAT scores.
Along with an application, transcripts, and test scores, colleges may also require a personal essay and/or letters of recommendations. Although there aren't any special requirements for a bachelor's in economics program, it is important for applicants to highlight experiences that are relevant to the program. For instance, applicants may include a letter of recommendation from a mathematics teacher.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor of Economics Degree?
Earning a bachelor's degree in economics in a traditional program takes full-time students four years, with programs requiring at least 120 credits. Credits include general electives and core requirements, as well as program-specific courses. Students' coursework may look different depending on whether they're pursuing a BA or a BS.
Prospective students interested in increased flexibility may find an online bachelor's in economics program to be a better fit. Some online programs offer accelerated tracks that allow students to graduate in less than four years.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bachelor's in Economics?
The average tuition and fees for a bachelor's degree cost $9,000-$35,000 a year, depending on a student's residency status (in state vs. out of state) and whether they are pursuing a degree at a private or public institution.
Prospective students can cut costs by going to an in-state school or pursuing an online degree in economics from a school that offers in-state tuition prices for out-of-state distance learners. Since the average annual cost of tuition and fees is higher at private colleges, students looking to save money should investigate public college options.
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).