Online College Courses in Economics
Economics is the study of how and why individuals use certain resources, including their wealth, time, talent, equipment, and other tools, according to the American Economic Association. Much of the study of economics in college is devoted to how businesses, industries, governments, and countries allocate their resources. Anyone interested in pursuing a degree in business or political science will generally be required to take courses related to economics, and many colleges and universities require students to take at least one economics course to fulfill their general education requirements. For those who are not economics majors, this includes introductory courses in microeconomics and/or macroeconomics. Economics majors, however, will need to take a broader range of courses in the field, such as applied economic policy and analysis, labor economics, international economics, and economics of money and financial markets.
Online college courses in economics can be a good option for students who are having trouble fitting a required economics course into their busy schedule. Many online colleges offer these courses asynchronously, meaning students can log in at a time of day that works best for them, rather than logging in at specific times each week. This flexibility can be crucial to the academic success of working students. Online economics courses are also ideal for those who are simply fascinated with the subject and interested in taking an individual course to broaden their knowledge. While online courses are certainly convenient, remember that not all online courses are created equal. Make sure that the institution offering the course is accredited by searching the name of the school in the U.S. Department of Education's database of accredited postsecondary institutions. Beyond this, research the school's overall reputation. If you intend to transfer the credits you earn from an online economics course to another school, verify with both schools that the credits will transfer.
Economics and Your Career
The analytical skills and knowledge gained from taking economics courses can be applied in a wide range of career fields. If you take these courses to complete a bachelor's degree program in economics, then you can pursue careers in the corporate world, economic consulting, government, and academia, according to the American Economic Association. Economics also provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in business or law, with many academically gifted students choosing an MBA program or law school. Those who earn graduate degrees in economics may go on to teach the subject at the college level or take up positions as economists, although job growth for economists is expected to be slow between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, positions outside of economics in the business, finance, and insurance sectors are projected to be more plentiful, with job titles for those with a background in economics including financial analysts, market analysts, public policy consultants, researchers, and purchasing managers, the BLS notes.
Free Online Economics Courses:
- Applied Macro- and International Economics – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Economics Research and Communication – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Quantitative Methods for Economics – University of Cape Town OpenCourseWare
- Financial Theory – Yale Open Courses
- Introduction to Economics – Utah State University OpenCourseWare