9 Online Degree Programs Available in Economics
All About an Online Economics Degree
You probably know more about economics, the study of the how goods and services are created, sold and purchased, than you even realize. However, if you want to learn even more about this social science, you could always pursue an online economics degree.
When working toward a credential of... this nature, you're taking a step that could lead to a career in business or academics.
At the associate's level, you typically receive an introduction to economic principals and polices, as well as the branches of macroeconomics and microeconomics. As associate's degrees in economics tend to last two years, those who wish to acquire more in-depth knowledge of this social science may want to pursue a four-year bachelor's degree. Moving through undergraduate courses in topics such as business law and finance may allow you to develop a greater sense of how economics affects the health of an organization or entire sector.
If you've earned a bachelor's degree in economics, you could take your education even further at the graduate level. Working toward a master's degree has the potential to help you enhance your career or prepare you for doctoral programs.
Of course, when you think of possible careers for economics majors, economist may be the first occupation that comes to mind. While it may be possible for you to pursue this role, which requires you to study and evaluate the production and distribution of goods, you will likely need a significant amount of education and work experience. After all, economists typically have a master's degree or a Ph.D. However, it's not unheard of for bachelor's degree holders to pursue entry-level economist jobs in certain sectors, such as the government.
With a background in economics, you may also be able to pursue a career as a financial analyst, budget analyst or actuary.
For a sense of how much you could potentially earn in these roles, you need look no further than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are the median annual wages for these occupations:
- Economist: $91,860i (14 percent employment growth expected through 2022)ii
- Financial Analyst: $76,950iii (16 percent employment growth expected through 2022)iv
- Budget analyst: $69,280v (6 percent employment growth through 2022)vi
- Actuary: $93,680vii (26 percent employment growth expected through 2022)viii
A sharp mind required
If you want a chance at pursuing a career in any one of these roles, you're going to want to make sure you possess certain skills. For example, whether you want to become an economist or a financial analyst, you'll need strong analytical skills when working with various forms of economic information.
As is the case with many business occupations, math, communication and critical-thinking skills could also come in handy. If you don't possess these qualities, you may have a chance to develop them in an online economics degree program. Be sure to consider your career goals when conducting your school search.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Economists.htm#tab-5 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Economists.htm#tab-6 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Financial-analysts.htm#tab-5 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Financial-analysts.htm#tab-6 [v] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm#tab-5 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm#tab-6 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/Math/Actuaries.htm#tab-5 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/Math/Actuaries.htm#tab-6
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