Best Online Bachelor’s in Economics 2021
Updated August 22, 2022
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A bachelor's degree in economics introduces degree-seekers to topics like economic financing, supply and demand, and economic decision-making.
An online economics degree prepares graduates for careers as actuaries, financial analysts, market research analysts, and operations research analysts. Many of these career paths pay above-average salaries and have strong job growth projections.
For example, professionals with bachelor's degrees in economics earn an average salary of over $70,000 per year, according to PayScale. They can also find work as economists — a field that reported a median annual salary of over $105,000 in 2019.
Our list ranks the top online bachelor's programs in economics to help prospective students find the best fit for their professional goals. This article also introduces economics concentrations, career paths, and earning potential for economics graduates.
The Best Online Bachelor's in Economics Programs
Online Bachelor's in Economics Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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Featured Online Bachelor's in Economics Programs
What Is an Online Economics Degree?
Earning an economics degree strengthens analytical and problem-solving skills. Students complete complex assignments and projects that require economic analysis and forecasting, preparing them for many different careers.
During an economics degree, majors study economic decision-making, the role of public policy in the economy, and the evolution of financial markets. Some programs incorporate internships to help enrollees gain practical experience. Students may also specialize their coursework through concentrations or electives.
An online economics degree prioritizes flexibility and accessibility. At many schools, online learners complete the same curriculum as on-campus students. However, the distance learning format allows students to complete their coursework around work or personal responsibilities, which appeals to busy adults and working professionals seeking career advancement.
What's the Difference Between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science?
Many colleges and universities offer both a bachelor of arts (BA) and a bachelor of science (BS) in economics. Generally, BA and BS programs require the same major coursework, but differ in terms of general education requirements. At most schools, BA students complete more humanities and social science courses, including a foreign language, while BS enrollees take more math and natural sciences classes.
BA and BS degrees in economics take around four years of full-time enrollment to complete. Majors in both options build strong analytical skills, which lead to job opportunities as economic researchers, financial analysts, and forecasters.
Choosing an Online Economics Program
When choosing an online economics degree, prospective students should consider factors such as cost, degree requirements, and program length. Applicants can also research whether schools offer accelerated courses, summer sessions, and economics concentrations. Learn more about how to choose an online degree with the links below.
What to Expect When Pursuing a Bachelor of Economics Online
During a bachelor of economics online program, undergraduates take courses in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and applied economics, building strong analytical and research skills. Many programs also offer concentrations. Online learners can usually complete internship requirements locally.
- Macroeconomics: Macroeconomics studies economic systems on a large scale, including issues like economic output, financial growth, and employment. Students learn about fiscal policies, international economics, and government regulations.
- Microeconomics: Microeconomics courses consider the economic behavior of individuals and small groups, including topics like supply and demand, pricing, and behavioral economics.
- Financial Economics: In financial economics courses, students learn about financial systems and markets. They study national and international financial institutions while also learning about theories in financial economics.
- Public Economics: This course explores the impact of regulation on the economy and the interplay between the government, the financial markets, and private businesses.
- Labor and Industrial Organizations: Labor economics examines supply and demand issues, the role of taxes in markets, and the effects of minimum wage laws. Topics may also include income distribution, the impact of unemployment on labor markets, and public policy about labor.
Behavioral economics blends economics with psychology to understand how individuals and organizations make decisions. Students explore topics like optimal decision-making, rational choice theory, and how scarcity influences behavior. The concentration can lead to careers in risk analysis, market research analysis, and research.
A financial economics specialization examines the distribution of resources, including the economic theory behind financial risk, opportunity costs, and financial incentives. Economics majors learn about forecasting and decision-making using uncertain information. The concentration prepares majors for careers in financial services.
The field of industrial organization explores strategic behavior in a corporate- or industry-scale context. Learners study the impact of market competition, regulatory policies, and other factors that influence firms' strategies. Graduates pursue careers in finance, tourism, and agriculture.
Students examine the connections between the international economy and governmental policies, the role of international relations in the economy, and global policymaking. The concentration prepares graduates for careers in international business and research.
Coursework analyzes the links between policy and economic behavior. Students examine the influence of laws on individuals and organizations to prepare them for roles working in the public sector and in public policy firms.
Professional economics organizations can help students network and prepare to join the workforce. These organizations host conferences and events, offer professional development and career resources, and grant certifications.
Aspiring economists can join specialized organizations that align with their career goals, like the National Association for Business Economics, which emphasizes business economics. Similarly, the Global Association of Economics Education focuses on economic literacy for marginalized communities. Students can also benefit from the career resources offered by the American Economic Foundation.
The quantitative analysis and critical thinking skills gained during online economics degrees help graduates in many different career paths. Professionals with economics degrees can find work as actuaries, financial risk analysts, economic researchers, and data analysts.
Many federal agencies hire economics majors for careers in data analysis and economic forecasting. Economics majors can also work in the financial services industry as analysts or in marketing as market researchers.
What Kind of a Salary Can I Earn With an Economics Degree?
An online economics degree prepares graduates for high-paying careers, including management consultant, financial analyst, or budget analyst. Economists earned a median salary of $105,020 in 2019. The information below highlights the highest-paying careers available for graduates with a bachelor's degree in economics.
Highest-Paying Careers With a Bachelor's Degree in Economics
|Career||Median Annual Salary (2019)|
|Compensation and Benefits Managers||$122,270|
|Personal Financial Advisors||$87,850|
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Get an Economics Degree Online?
Yes. Many colleges and universities offer online economics degrees, including both bachelor's and master's programs in economics.
Which Is the Best Economics Degree?
A bachelor's degree in economics prepares graduates for entry-level careers as analysts, researchers, and forecasters. Some careers, including economist, require a master's degree.
Is an Economics Degree Hard?
Economics students need strong skills in math, finance, and statistics. An economics enrollee with strong analytical and logical thinking skills will thrive.
Is a Degree in Economics Worth It?
Earning an economics degree often pays off. According to PayScale, the average salary for professionals with bachelor's degrees in economics exceeds $70,000 per year.
What Can I Do With a BA in Economics?
An economics degree prepares graduates for careers like financial analyst, actuary, management consultant, and budget analyst. The federal government often hires economics graduates, as do private sector companies.
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