The common understanding of Economics is that it is something to do with money, jobs, stock market, etc. Many people hear the phrase ‘state of the economy’ and automatically connect it with how much money people are making. The real meaning of Economics is – knowledge about production and consumption of goods and services, wealth transfer, and affordability of goods and services in a society. Economics is a social science, and it is mainly divided into two areas: Macroeconomics, which deals with production and consumption at a global, national, or regional level. Microeconomics deals with the same but for individuals, families, and groups. Having an online master’s degree in Economics helps students in pursuing lucrative careers such as Economists, Economic Analysts, Economic Advisors, and more. Many public and private institutions only hire individuals that have a master’s for such roles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of an Economist is $105,020. We created this guide to help you chose the right program for your online master’s in economics.
Here are the top 15 online master’s programs in Economics for 2020. We used our custom formula to determine these rankings. The formula includes factors such as – qualify of each program, graduation rates, the strength of curriculum, faculty availability, flexibility of online courses, and other factors.
Affordability is a huge factor when it comes to paying for an online master’s program. Here are the 15 most affordable online master’s in economics. In rankings these programs, we used a custom methodology. The methodology includes factors such as tuition fees (in and out-of-state), availability, of course, scholarships, and other financial assistance.
Understanding an Online Master’s in Economics Program
Graduate students in an online master’s in economics program will learn about various aspects of Economics. There are several branches of Economics that students can choose from. But it is essential to choose a career goal and chose the specialization to match that goal. Here are some common specializations of Economics.
Branches of Economics for Master’s Programs
Area of Focus
Applied Economics is a branch of Economics that teaches about applying the economics theories and metrics to address the issues in a variety of fields and communicating the results. A graduate from an online master’s in applied economics can expect to have careers working in both public and private institutions solving real-world problems using economics theory.
Economic Researchers Economic Analysts Applied Economists Industry Economists
Behavioral Economics is a branch that deals with the study of psychological, emotional, social, and cultural factors that play a role in the process of the economic decision-making process by individuals and organizations. A behavioral economics online program would educate students about the theory of rational choice, nudge theory, and overall reasoning of why and how entities make various economic choices. Here are some universities that offer behavioral economics master’s degree programs online: The Chicago School
Market Research Analysts Behavioral Economics Researchers Political Scientists
Health Economics is a relatively new subject that studies about applying economic theory for the healthcare industry. Graduates from health economics master’s degree will learn how to analyze the behaviors of healthcare providers, organizations within the healthcare industry, and individuals to promote health for all.
Here are a couple of universities that offer online health economics master’s degree.
Healthcare Economists Healthcare Research Analysts Public Health Professionals Health Data Managers
Finance and Economics
Finance and Economics is a branch that deals with financial principles and economic theories for various industries. In this branch, students will learn the correlation between changes in financial metrics and their economic impact and how they both are knitted together. Graduates from a master’s in financial economics online will work across various bodies like governmental agencies, law enforcement, policy groups, private organizations, etc. Here are some universities that offer the best master’s in economics and finance online: West Texas A&M University The University of Detroit, Mercy
Environmental Economics is a branch of economics that deals with studying the economic effects of environmental policies of national, regional, or local entities around the world. A graduate from environmental economics masters online can expect to design appropriate environmental policies and measure their impact along with advocating better policies. Here are some universities that offer environmental economics masters online programs: Georgia Institute of Technology The University of Massachusetts -Boston
Difference between Master’s in Economics and an MBA in Economics
Many universities offer an Online Master’s in Economics in different formats. Some of them offer the program as an MS Economics Online: Master of Science in Economics. Some of them offer a similar program as an MA Economics Online: Master of Arts in Economics. Some universities add Economics as part of their MBA programs.
While all three formats prepare students to be economists, there are some differences between the formats. Typically, an MBA program is designed to focus on business aspects of an organization such as leadership, managerial skills, running day to day of an organization. There would be some economic-related courses in the MBA program, but the emphasis is not on Economics, but it is on business and leadership. Both MS and MA in Economics are designed to focus purely on courses and subjects in Economics. An MA in Economics focuses on the study of Economics, whereas an MS would focus on scientific principles of Economics. Some universities insist on a thesis subject in an MS Economics program, whereas MA Economic programs do not have this requirement.
Curriculum for Online Master’s in Economics Programs
An online master’s in economics involves various economics models, theories, and practical implementation of them in the real world. Students will also learn about the history of how economic theory has evolved along with learning about various country’s economies and their impact on their population. While each online master’s program has its own courses, based on the school, here are some courses that you will see in an online master’s program in economics.
Students are introduced to the economic policies of different countries around the world and changes in economies of the countries after the cold war. Some schools also go through the impact of globalization on various economies, along with an analysis of global production and consumption of goods and services.
This course teaches students about various statistical methods and their application to economic data and analysis. Students can expect to go through linear regression models, understand economic theories, and how to measure and forecast.
Macroeconomic theory teaches students about market structures, failures, and microeconomic principles and its effects in markets and larger entities. Students are introduced to consumer behavior and the impact of economic policies on society.
This course introduces students to advanced microeconomic theories and their applications. Students will look into the decision-making process of individuals in various economic situations and highlights the difference between rational and irrational decision making. Students can also expect to learn about economic optimizations models.
Economic Development exposes students to fundamental problems in economic development across the world. This course also discusses how it could be rectified by changing the economic policies of the nations for better economic growth along with analysis.
Admission Requirements for Online Master’s in Economics
Applicants to an online master’s in economics degree must satisfy certain entrance requirements that are specific to the program offering school. Although these requirements might be slightly different from school to school, a significant majority of schools need the following from the applicants.
Applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. The undergraduate degree may be in business, management, or fields related to economics.
Applicants must submit transcripts from their undergraduate degree programs or related courses completed. Most schools typically want this submission in an unopened official transcript.
Depending on the school that is offering the online master’s in economics program, an applicant may be required to have a minimum one year of related experience and Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. Letters should write by other professionals, past teachers, past mentors, seniors, etc. and they should attest to the applicant’s professional skills and character.
Online Master’s in Economics No GRE
Most of the programs that offer an online master’s in Economics require a GRE or a GMAT along with the application. If you are looking to take on these prerequisites, read through these prep guides for GRE and GMAT. But some schools do not have a GRE or GMAT requirement. These schools want to save your time but truly make you a Master of Economics without GMAT or GRE entrance criteria. It is important to consider accreditation before applying for Online Masters in economic programs that do not require GRE or GMAT requirements. A lot of schools offer such programs, but they may not be accredited and may not be recognized by professional boards.
Here are some programs that don’t need a GRE for Online Masters in Economics:
Southern New Hampshire University – SNHU is an accredited institution that offers Online Masters in Applied Economics programs that don’t need GRE or GMAT for admission. The program can be finished within 15 months by signing up for two courses per 10-week terms. The course materials are available 24/7, and there are no set class meeting times. The tuition fee is $627/credit and 36 credits needed for graduation. The application fee is $40.
Purdue University is an accredited institution that offers an Online Master’s in Economics with 4 specializations – Data Analytics, Financial Economics, Public Policy, and Advanced Theory. Purdue does not need a GRE score for admission into this program. The program is very flexible with two start dates every year, January and August.
The University of Missouri offers a Master of Arts in Economics that does not need a GRE test score for admission. The program is 100% online, with an estimated cost of $13,299.90. Online students do not pay an out-of-state fee. Students need to finish 30-credit hours for graduation.
Timeline for Online Master’s in Economics
When it comes to a graduate degree program, one of the essential questions that a lot of prospective students have is, how long does it take. An Online Master’s in Economics, just like other graduate programs, takes between 12-24 months to complete depending on the school, the background of the student, and the number of prerequisite courses. Students that have an undergraduate degree in economics can finish the graduate degree program faster.
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Economics
Accreditation is an important factor when choosing a university for your graduate program. Accreditation is a process where an independent body reviews the offered program and certifies for the quality of the program. Read the Accreditation Guide here. An Online Master’s in Economics is generally offered by business schools within a university, and most business schools are accredited by regional or national level bodies. It is essential to check which bodies are accrediting the program. If a school is offering an Online Master’s in Economics by one of the below organizations, you can be confident about the high standards in the program.
Career and Salary Outlook for Online Master of Economics Graduates
Having an online master’s in economics opens up a lot of senior roles for graduates. Corporations, research organizations, policymakers, and consulting organizations prefer individuals that have master’s degrees in economics. Whether it is an MS in Economics or an MA in Economics, the job outlook for economics graduate degrees is lucrative. The following section reviews the salaries, jobs, and outlook across various industries for graduates of online master’s in economics.
Job Growth (2018-2028)
Economists analyze the current economic environment, production, and distribution of goods, services, and resources. And Economists find trends from the data to figure out the economic issues and solutions.
Market Research Analyst
Market Research Analysts study markets and their conditions to examine the transaction of products and services. They analyze consumer behavior and help corporations produce products and services that consumers like.
Statisticians use quantitative data and apply mathematical and statistical models to solve real-world problems for businesses, corporations, countries, etc.
Financial Analysts guide businesses and individuals about investment decisions. Students with a master’s in economics can use their knowledge in economics can analyze the economic policies and their impacts, thereby making them into qualified financial advisors.
Political Scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems around the world. They analyze the policies of governments, its impacts on the economy at a macroeconomic, and macroeconomic level.
Economic Researchers study and analyze the economic problems related to the production and distribution of products and services. They also research the consumption, fiscal policies, and their impact on consumer behavior.
One of the most important factors when choosing higher education is how to pay for it. Many organizations offer various kinds of financial aid, scholarships, and assistance for online master’s students. See the Best Financial Aid Guide to find out more about financial aid and paying for online master’s programs in economics using FAFSA and other sources.
Scholarships for Online Master’s in Economics
Several institutions offer scholarships, financial aid, and other forms of assistance to online economic master’s students. Here are some of those organizations:
Dr. Helen D. Snow Memorial Scholarship Fund- Dr. Helen D. Snow Memorial Scholarship is administered by Phi Chi Theta Fraternity for masters or doctoral degree students that have enrolled in business or economics fields. Scholarship applicant must be a national member of the Phi Chi Theta. The scholarship is based on student’s contributions to the chapter, community service involvement, and scholarly achievements. The award amount is $500, and the application deadline varies.
Hsiao Memorial Economics Scholarship – The Hsiao Memorial scholarship is awarded to students that are pursuing a graduate degree in economics. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 and demonstrate a financial need. The award amount is $1,000, and the application deadline varies.
FWSF Scholarship – The Financial Women of San Francisco (FWSF) provides a scholarship for women in the San Francisco Bay Area that are pursuing an undergraduate or a graduate degree in financial careers. Students maintain a GPA of 3.4. The award amount is $15,000 for graduate students.
Government Finance Officers Association – The Government Finance Officers Association provides scholarships to part-time and full-time students that are interested in pursuing a career in state/provincial or local government in the field of finance. Eligibility factors include past academic records, work experience, the strength, of course, career goals, etc. There are multiple awards with the award amount ranging from $5,000 to $16,000.
James Kindahl Award for Excellence in Economics – The award is created by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for full-time undergraduate or graduate students that are pursuing a degree in Economics. The Department of Economics at UMASS administers this award, and preference will be given to students that exhibit a commitment to social issues, public policy advocates, and demonstrate excellent academic achievements. The award amount is $1,000. The application deadline is Dec 1.
Free Online Master’s Degree in Economics
While there are no accredited free online master’s degree programs in economics, there are some universities that provide various free courses that are part of a typical master’s in economics programs. Here is a list of free online courses in economics.
Yale University – Yale University provides several free and open access courses through the Open Yale Courses programs. For Economics, they provide teaching sessions from the past years for courses such as Financial Markets, Game Theory, and Financial Theory.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – MIT provides several free courses through the MIT Open CourseWare Program. In the field of Economics, they provide several undergraduate and graduate-level courses such as Macroeconomic Theory, Microeconomic Theory, Behavioral Economics, Econometrics, etc.
Marginal Revolution University (MR) – MR University provides many courses on economics for free. MR University was founded by economics professors from George Mason University to provide free online courses. MR provides Economic free courses that are freely accessible on the internet and also the same quality as courses in a typical on-campus or online masters in economics program. The courses include Mastering Economics, Principles of Microeconomics, Principle of Macroeconomics, Developmental Economics, etc.
Resources for Online Master’s in Economics Students
Students that are pursuing an Online Masters in Economics degree to aiming to be masters of this field. Students need to register, participate, and network with associations that are in economics. This increases the knowledge about the field but also opens up career opportunities for Economics majors. Here are some organizations that will enhance Economics careers.
International Economic Association (IEA) – The IEA is an Economics organization that enables networking with other Economists at a global level. IEA hosts several meetings and conferences, organizes economics research activities, maintains a website that has the latest information about research papers, topics, etc.
National Association of Business Economics (NABE) – NABE is a premier association for economics professionals that provides leadership in the use and understanding of economics. NABE organizes conferences, educational and career development offerings, industry surveys, etc.
American Economic Association (AEA) – AEA has more than 130 years of track record in economic research and is a non-profit organization. AEA is composed of more than 20,000 members that are professionals dedicated to economic research and teaching.
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