Online Economics Degree

By Brandon Mario D`Souza

Updated March 16, 2024

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

On this page
Back to top

The obvious first step for those who want to work as an economist is to get a bachelors in economics degree. Although economics students have a variety of educational options for starting their careers, most employers favor applicants with a bachelor’s or higher degree in a field related to economics. Individuals can work as economists, data analysts, researchers, or management consultants, among other jobs, after completing the online economics degree. Operations research analysts, business reporters, and insurance underwriters are also career options for economics majors. Jobs for economists are expanding quickly and are expected to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030. This guide describes the online bachelor’s degree in economics and answers questions such as what does majoring in economics mean, what do economics majors do, what can you do with a degree in economics, the best graduate degrees for economics majors, and more. In this guide, you will find all details about getting an Online Economics Degree.


Best Online Economics
Degree Programs

Just as a competent body must accredit the best online economics bachelor’s degree programs, the top econ grad schools too must be recognized and valued for their infrastructure, quality & experience of the faculty, availability of student support services, graduation rates, affordability, etc. To that end, Find Best Degrees (FBD) teams have combed the country for some of the best graduate degrees for economics majors after carefully considering critical components for ranking. Accordingly, here is the list of the best grad schools for economics/best graduate degrees for economics majors in the U.S: *

San Diego State University (SDSU), founded in 1897 as San Diego Normal School, is a public research university in San Diego, California. SDSU offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and is classified as an “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity”.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
San Diego State University 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, California 92182 $8,136 76%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Online
Economics Degree Programs

So, what is an economics degree? A bachelor degree in economics is an undergraduate-level program that investigates issues such as resource allocation, supply, demand, incentives, and wealth, among other things. Economics is relevant to graduate and professional studies in fields such as business management, public affairs, and law and is helpful for a variety of career paths. Students frequently begin their studies by building a solid foundation in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and calculus, which they can apply to more advanced coursework and research opportunities.

Along with various specializations available for students to choose from, the bachelor of science degree in economics can be pursued on-campus, online, or as a blend of both, known as the hybrid model. The program usually lasts 4 years, requiring about 160-165 credits. At the end of their programs, students are generally required to complete a thesis or project.

What do you learn in economics degrees? Apart from classes that examine the principles of micro and macroeconomics included in the introductory course sequence for economics majors, students can expect the following courses in their programs:

Principles of Microeconomics

This is a typical introductory microeconomics course. It focuses on the operation of the market system, emphasizing economic interactions between individuals, businesses, and the government. Social efficiency, market failures, the role of the government in the economy, supply & demand, economic decision-making of consumers and firms, and competitive, oligopolistic & monopolistic markets are among the topics covered.

Principles of Macroeconomics

This is a typical introductory macroeconomics course. It focuses on the aggregate economy’s behavior and performance. The measurement and determination of national income, inflation & interest rates, employment, the causes of business cycles, the sources of economic growth, and how monetary and fiscal policies stabilize the economy are some of the topics covered.

Price Theory

This course examines more advanced microeconomic problems, focusing on understanding how consumers behave, how markets influence business and consumer behavior, and how companies make pricing and output decisions.

Intermediate Macroeconomics

This course investigates the factors that influence an economy’s level of aggregate income and the decision-making that leads to the identification of consumption, investment, or employment levels. Students examine the effects of various government fiscal policies and the behavior of business cycles & patterns in different countries.

Some of the other courses and electives in the bachelors in economics degree program are:

  • Economic Growth
  • Economic Development: Macroeconomic Perspectives
  • Economic and Business Forecasting
  • Strategic Behavior
  • Experimental and Behavioral Economics
  • Economic History and Development
  • Financial Economics and Investment Behavior
  • Linear Algebra
  • International Trade
  • Monetary Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Econometrics
  • Law and Economics
  • Calculus
  • Foundations of Financial Economics
  • State and Local Government
  • Health Economics
  • Labor Economics
  • Decision-Making Under Uncertainty
  • Economics of Education
  • Departmental Distinction in Economics
  • International Macroeconomic Theory and Policy
  • Theory of Industrial Structure
  • Statistical Methods
  • Economics of Regulated Industries

Degree Types for Online Economics
Degree Programs

An online economics degree is primarily of two types – the Bachelor of Arts Economics or BA Economics and the Bachelor of Science Economics or BS Economics.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics

The Bachelor of Arts in Economics or BA in Economics is largely built upon the foundation of theory. The economics bachelor of arts is the preferred program for most economics students, providing a solid background for those beginning jobs and careers immediately after graduation. The bachelor of arts and economics is also interdisciplinary in that it includes classes from the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Bachelor of Science in Economics

The Bachelor of Science in Economics or BS Economics emphasizes the science that underpins economics through more math and science courses. Being more technical than the BA degree, BS economics online students will likely have to meet calculus, econometrics, and advanced economics requirements.

Areas of Specializations in Online
Economics Degree Programs

Choosing a specialization within the bachelor’s degree in economics can lead to better job prospects and higher pay. Specializations narrow the study to one specific area within economics, allowing students to become specialists in that area. Here are a few examples of concentrations students on an online economics degree can choose from:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Predictive Analytics Degree OnlineThis specialization teaches students to predict future outcomes and performance using statistics and modeling techniques. It examines current and historical data patterns to understand whether they are likely to reappear.Graduates can work in accounting, retailing, banking, finance, sales, marketing, insurance, management, manufacturing, consulting, auditing, operations, and the public and nonprofit sectors.
Behavioral Economics Online DegreeThis specialization provides an overview of the insights from incorporating psychology into economic modeling. Students investigate the effects of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural, and social factors on individual and institutional decisions and how those decisions differ from those implied by classical economic theory.Graduates can work in retailing, sales, marketing, management, consulting, insurance, manufacturing, operations, and the public and nonprofit sectors.
Economic Development Degree Programs OnlineThis specialization focuses on the development of sustainable communities and the enhancement of local and regional economies. Students study planning & community development, public affairs, and cultural planning & urban development.Graduates can work in retailing, sales, marketing, management, consulting, manufacturing, operations, and the public and nonprofit sectors.
Health Economics Degree OnlineThis specialization analyzes the impact of a policy action on major macroeconomic variables using standard macroeconomic models. Students will be able to use advanced microeconomic models to analyze consumer and firm behavior and the impact of public policy on economic welfare.Graduates can work in the health and insurance sectors, consulting, manufacturing, urban welfare, and the public and nonprofit sectors.
Home Economics Degree OnlineThis specialization teaches real-world economic skills required for prudent personal and family finance management. It draws on several related fields in the humanities to provide its students with a broad base of knowledge.Graduates can work in retailing, sales, marketing, management, consulting, personal finance, portfolio management, stock trading, operations, and the public and nonprofit sectors.
Bachelor Degree In Economics And ManagementThis specialization examines how the economy and organizations work, as well as how resources are allocated and coordinated to achieve the organization’s goals.Graduates can work in accounting, retailing, banking & finance, sales, marketing, management, consulting, auditing, and operations and the public and nonprofit sectors.
International EconomicsThis specialization teaches students to make critical decisions and to develop the skills necessary to keep up with the volatile economic changes. It emphasizes international finance, international trade, and international development.Graduates can work in retailing, sales, marketing, management, banking, finance, consulting, insurance, real estate, construction, international trade, manufacturing, operations, and the public and nonprofit sectors.
Business EconomicsThis specialization gives students a solid understanding of how economic principles and theories apply to businesses. Students learn about supply & demand and production and how these concepts affect businesses and governments.Graduates can work in retailing, sales, marketing, management, banking, finance, consulting, insurance, real estate, construction, manufacturing, operations, and the public and nonprofit sectors.

A few more examples of economics specializations include:

  • Politics Philosophy and Economics
  • Economics and Law
  • Financial Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Labor Economics
  • Econometrics
  • Regional and Urban Economics
  • Economic History
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics

Why should I get an Online
Economics Degree?

So, what is economics major, and why should you consider it? An economics major is a degree option concerned with the creation, consumption, and distribution of wealth and investigates issues such as resource allocation, incentives, supply, demand, etc. The study of economics fosters a wide range of analytical and critical thinking skills, opening a host of career opportunities. Economic analysis improves one’s ability to comprehend and influence today’s policy debates. A bachelor’s degree in economics prepares students for a career in areas such as policy analysis, education, urban planning, journalism, the nonprofit sector, and international development, in addition to banking, business, and government. An economics degree is also an excellent choice for those preparing for graduate study.

The online economics bachelor’s degree allows students to understand how ordinary people, businesses, schools, charitable organizations, and governments make decisions with the limited resources they may have. It also provides insights on social problems such as poverty, pollution, human rights, inflation, health care, and unemployment.

Students who graduate from the best colleges for bachelors in economics will have a solid understanding of the country’s economy and be able to think critically, communicate effectively, and manage and use data. Among the many skills they would have acquired, they would have the ability to:

  • recognize the application of the scientific method to economics and create hypotheses that can be empirically tested;
  • interpret economic data, evaluate economic claims made using empirical data, and draw the right conclusions from economic studies;
  • explain economic concepts in both written and spoken form and use mathematical, graphical, or statistical techniques to support an economic argument;
  • utilize economic analysis to assess potential public policy decisions;
  • analyze how institutions and norms at home and abroad affect how economies develop and discuss the fundamental ideas that underlie comparative advantage;
  • analyze controversies surrounding the use of government tax and transfer policies to redistribute income critically from the perspectives of economic efficiency and distributional equity;
  • analyze arguments for and against government regulation’s proper reach and methods in situations where markets fail;
  • use graphs, algebra, and quantitative statistical techniques to frame and analyze economic problems in accordance with economic theory;
  • determine how supply and demand affect the distribution of income to the various producers and the allocation of resources in a market economy; and
  • identify the main macroeconomic measures used to track economic development, growth, and change.

Free Courses for Online Economics
Degree Students

Students frequently seek additional material that can provide them with more knowledge or deeper insights into a specific topic as they pursue their studies. Although some free online bachelors in economics courses are available, it is essential to note that they are not always accredited and do not always lead to certification. Here are a few free economics courses to consider:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
Topics on EconomicsOpen Culture claims to have over 1,700 free online courses from prestigious universities. Their free economics courses online can be downloaded in audio and video formats for later use.Open Culture
Topics on EconomicsedX has over 100 economics courses, many of which are free and appropriate for bachelor-level students. Economics: Consumer Demand, Introduction to Corporate finance, Finance Essentials, and other topics are covered.edX
Topics on EconomicsCoursera has over 300 courses on economics-related topics, most of which are free and suitable for bachelor-level studies. Top universities such as Yale University, Stanford University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provide content.Coursera

How to get into the Online Economics
Degree Programs?

Students must be high school graduates or have completed their General Education Development (GED) to apply for a bachelor’s degree in economics. In addition, many schools look for students who are proficient in math and English and have good academic records. Although each college and program has different admission requirements, here are some standard economics bachelor degree requirements applicants are generally required to meet:

  • Admission or Application Form with its prescribed fee.
  • Official Academic Transcripts.
  • A High School Diploma or General Education Development (GED) Certificate.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or more.
  • American College Testing (ACT) / Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Test Scores
  • Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose (varies by school)
  • 1 to 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Proof of English Proficiency (if the native tongue is or education was not in English)

How Long does it take to complete the Online
Economics Degree Programs

So, how long does it take to get an economics degree? The time it will take students to earn a degree in economics depends on the type of degree they want and whether they plan to attend school full-time or part-time. For full-time students, a bachelor’s degree in economics online can usually be earned in four years, while for part-time students, that may stretch to five to six years or more. Here is a quick overview of the duration of an online economics degree:

  • Time to complete full-time economics bachelor’s degree online: about 4 Years.
  • Time to complete part-time economics bachelor’s degree online: between 5 and 6 years.
  • Typical number of credits: 120 to 130 (varies by program).

Accelerated Online Economics
Degree Program

Several schools offering the economics bachelor’s degree online allow students to enroll in the accelerated bachelor’s + master’s degree program. Undergraduate students in these fast-paced programs must complete the bachelor’s and master’s requirements, enabling them to earn both degrees in 5 years instead of the standard 6. The University of North Dakota, Binghamton University, and Southern Methodist University are fine examples of such programs. Another option to complete a bachelor’s quicker is to transfer from a 2 year economics degree, such as an associate’s degree.

Accreditations for Online Economics
Degree Programs

Accreditation is strong evidence of a program’s quality and the school’s commitment to a student-centered teaching and learning approach. Accreditation demonstrates that a school identifies and meets the needs of students and potential employers by continuously improving academic quality. Colleges can be accredited nationally or regionally by independent organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Regional accreditation is the most common type of accreditation sought by colleges offering the accredited online economics degree in the United States, and six bodies grant it:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Economics programs may also be accredited programmatically or by agencies other than regional ones. Two of the most prominent accrediting bodies for economics schools and programs are the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Read the Guide to College Accreditation to learn more about accreditation.

How to Pay for Online Economics
Degree Programs?

Pursuing an online bachelors in economics degree can be an expensive proposition. With degrees usually costing tens of thousands of dollars, students are often left wondering how to finance them. Fortunately, several types of financial aid are available to those who may be looking for external sources of funding. The most common and popular ones are listed below:


Scholarships are popular among students because they are easy to obtain and do not require repayment. They are given to deserving and meritorious students, with academic achievement serving as the primary criterion for selection.


Grants, like scholarships, are not required to be repaid. As opposed to scholarships, which are merit-based, grants are frequently awarded based on the applicant’s financial need and can be used to pay for tuition or other education-related expenses.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs assist students in covering school tuition and fees through part-time employment. Most work-study positions are related to the student’s academic program or may include volunteer work. These programs help students earn money and help them gain valuable real-world experience.

Student Loans

Another viable option for students seeking external funding is a student loan. Many banks and financial institutions, as well as the federal government, offer educational loans on interest. Students should be aware that because loans incur interest, the overall cost of their education will be higher than usual. Read about Donors for Student Loans and Grants for Student Loans to understand how one can apply for loan forgiveness to avoid repaying student loans.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a federal financial aid application prospective and current college students must complete to determine their eligibility for aid and obtain the best financial assistance package possible. The FAFSA Student Aid guide explains more.

Read about what financial aid is and find out everything there is to know about college funding in the How to Pay for College guide.

Scholarships for Online Economics
Degree Programs

A scholarship can go a long way in reducing the costs of one’s undergraduate studies. Several individuals, families, community groups, corporates, and even educational institutions give scholarships to deserving students. It is always advisable to look for scholarships for which one may be eligible. Here are a few to explore:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
David M. Rubenstein Scholarship ProgramThe David M. Rubenstein Scholarship Program is a large-scale scholarship initiative only open to students who have graduated from D.C. public and charter schools. Each year, scholarships are awarded to bright, motivated students who have excelled academically.$20,000 x 50 awardsClosed for 2024 | TBA for 2024
National FFA Scholarship ProgramThe National FFA Scholarship Program awards scholarships to students with a wide range of higher education and career objectives, from pursuing a specialized training program to a four-year degree or higher.Up to $1,500 x several awardsClosed for 2024 | TBA for 2024
Mas Family Scholarship AwardMas Family Scholarship Award is meant for students of Cuban descent studying economics, business, journalism, communications, or international relations.VariesClosed for 2024 | TBA for 2024

FAQs Related to the Online Economics
Degree Programs

 What is economics?

The study of economics concerns wealth creation, consumption, and distribution. Microeconomics, which studies how people and firms produce and consume goods and services, and macroeconomics, which studies mass economic progress and inter-country trade, are the two major areas of economic study.

How long does it take to get an economics degree

What can I do with an economics degree?

What does an economics degree get you?

What type of degree is economics?

Is there an MBA in economics?

Where to do the best bachelors in economics?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after Online
Economics Degree Programs

What can you do with an economics degree? With the analytical and critical thinking skills they would have acquired, students who graduate with a bachelors degree in economics can pursue a variety of careers in sectors including government, education, business, international development, banking, journalism, policy analysis, and non-profit. Positions are also available in diplomacy, environmental studies, public administration, labor relations, healthcare administration, global studies, and other fields as well. Some of the typical roles across industries include but are not limited to:

  • Budget Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Project Administrator
  • Loan Officer
  • Assistant Project Manager
  • Research Assistant
  • Operations Research Systems Analyst
  • Statistician
  • Economist
  • Industry Analyst
  • Leasing Consultant
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Systems Analyst
  • State Policy Analyst

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth of 13% between 2020 and 2030 for economists – an indicator of the potential for economics graduates. Listed below are some careers a bachelors degree in economics may lead to, along with their reported median annual salaries and job growth:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Financial AnalystsFinancial analysts advise businesses and individuals on how to spend money to maximize profits. They examine a company’s financial statements to determine its value and evaluate the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.Decision-making skills, math skills, computer skills, analytical skills, communication skills, detail-oriented$81,4106% (as fast as average)
EconomistsEconomists study and analyze the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services through data collection and analysis, trend research, and economic issue evaluation. They analyze data and propose solutions to economic problems using software, statistical methods, and mathematical models.Critical thinking skills, analytical skills, speaking skills, writing skills$105,63013% (faster than average)
Financial ManagersFinancial managers oversee an organization’s financial health. They create financial reports, direct investment activities, and plan for their organization’s long-term financial goals.Organizational skills, math skills, analytical skills, communication skills, detail-oriented$131,71017% (much faster than average)
ActuariesActuaries investigate the monetary costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk of potential events and assist clients and businesses in developing policies that reduce the cost of that risk.Interpersonal skills, communication skills, analytical skills, math skills, computer skills, problem-solving skills$105,90024% (much faster than average)
Personal Financial AdvisorsPersonal financial advisors help individuals manage their finances by providing advice on taxes, mortgages, investments, insurance, estate planning, and retirement. They educate and answer clients’ questions about investment options and potential risks.Interpersonal skills, analytical skills, speaking skills, sales skills, math skills$94,1705% (slower than average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online
Economics Degree Students

Certifications are an excellent option for those wanting to improve their career prospects and earn higher salaries. They are a seal of recognition that the certified candidate has the knowledge, skill, and expertise in a specific area within economics. Bachelors in economics graduates would qualify for several professional board certifications, but it is noteworthy that most will require them to have some work experience in addition to their degrees. Here are a few certification options to explore:

Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) Certification Program

The Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) Certification Program delves into the skills required for successful economic development, such as loan packaging procedures, business credit & real estate financial analysis techniques, negotiating & problem-solving abilities, and deal structuring techniques.

American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM) Certifications

The American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM) bestows 20 distinct certifications and over 50 specialist designations to professionals with the necessary qualifications, experience, and training in economics-related fields. Some of these certifications include:

  • AFA Accredited Financial Analyst
  • AMA Accredited Management Accountant  
  • AMC Accredited Management Consultant  
  • MMC Master Management Consultant 
  • ChE Chartered Economist
  • CIPM Certified International Project Manager 

Although not required for economists, licensure is advised for many analyst positions as it shows professional competence. For example, through the CFA Institute, financial analysts can become licensed as chartered financial analysts.

Additional Resources for Online
Economics Degree Students

Since economics is relevant to almost every aspect of life, it is essential for both students and working professionals to stay current on new trends, policy changes, preferences, and consumer wants & demands. They should also network with others to broaden their knowledge and expertise in the field of economics. Here are some resources to use that might be of great benefit:

Econometric Society (ES)

The Econometric Society (ES) describes itself as a global society for advancing economic theory in its connection with statistics and mathematics. The organization has publications & journals, conducts research, and organizes scientific meetings all over the world.

National Economic Association (NEA)

The National Economic Association (NEA) promotes minority economics professionals’ professional lives. To promote economic growth, the organization creates and disseminates knowledge about economic issues of particular interest to native and immigrant African Americans, Latinos, and other people of color.

The National Association for Business Economics (NABE)

The National Association for Business Economics (NABE) is a professional organization for business economists and others who use economics in their daily work. NABE conducts surveys and events, provides publications, and certifies its members.

American Institute for Economic Research (AIER)

The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is well-known for its nonpartisan economic research and advocacy. Through advanced economic research, accessible media outreach, and educational programming, AIER is dedicated to developing and promoting pure freedom and private governance.

American Economic Association (AEA)

The American Economic Association (AEA), a non-profit, non-partisan scholarly organization, provides over 20,000 established and prospective economists with a variety of career-enhancing programs and services, including journals, publications, career support, meetings, and more.

Author Bio:

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.