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Economics Bachelor’s Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Sunayana Samantaray - November 04, 2021


If you love finance, business, statistics, and data, then a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics might be a great educational option for you. Read our article to find the top economics bachelor’s degree programs offered both online and in-person. We will also cover the best jobs and average salaries you can get with an economics bachelor’s degree.

What Is Economics?

Economics is a social science with two branches, macro and microeconomics, that deals with overall economic phenomena and individual economic choices. Macroeconomics studies economic variables including GDP, currency inflation, unemployment rate, and market trends to forecast national and international economic conditions.

Microeconomics examines the impact of individual or business economic choices including product prices, and resource allocation on financial and business conditions. Both the branches use tools such as statistics, consumer behavior analysis, and data analysis to draw conclusions about quantitative and behavioral economic patterns.

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An economics major can become an economic policy advisor, management consultant, or market research analyst, depending on their interests. This field offers a wide range of career opportunities across government agencies and the private sector, including IT, agriculture, and healthcare.

What Is an Economics Bachelor’s Degree?

An economics bachelor’s degree is a four-year undergraduate program that covers social sciences, business, finance, maths, and statistics topics. The primary curriculum includes financial economics, international relations, economic issues, and quantitative economics. Upon completion, economics graduates have an in-depth understanding of analytical methods, national and international economic trends, consumer demand, and market analysis.

Economics Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

The main admission requirement for an economics bachelor’s degree program is a high school diploma or equivalency. You may also be required to have a certain GPA and to submit an application, essay, or letter of recommendation.

The educational requirements for an economics bachelor’s degree will vary depending on the university and the degree program. Typically, the standard subject requirements include maths, macroeconomics, microeconomics, statistics, and finance. You will also need to take general courses and higher-level economic elective courses to meet your major requirements.

How Much Does an Economics Bachelor’s Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of an economics bachelor’s degree is $35,331 at a four-year institution. Tuition prices vary depending on your degree program, university, and living arrangements.

Economics Bachelor’s Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Economics Degree

There are several financing options for an economics bachelor’s degree program, including parent loans for undergraduate students, FAFSA grants, veterans and military benefits, scholarship opportunities, private loans, and installment payments. Be sure to consult an academic advisor to find a payment plan that suits your needs.

Best Economics Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Boston University Bachelor of Arts in Economics New England Commission of Higher Education
Carnegie Mellon University Bachelor of Science in Economics Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Columbia University Bachelor’s Degree in Economics Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Harvard University Bachelor’s Degree in Economics New England Commission of Higher Education
Johns Hopkins University Bachelor of Arts in Economics Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Bachelor of Science in Economics New England Commission of Higher Education
Northwestern University Bachelor of Arts in Economics The Higher Learning Commission
Stanford University Bachelor of Arts in Economics Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
University of California, Berkeley Bachelor of Arts in Economics Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Yale University Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Economics New England Commission of Higher Education

Best Colleges for Economics: Top Economics Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Read below to find our list of the top economics bachelor’s degree programs. Choose the economics major that suits your financial, location, and curriculum preferences.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics | Boston University

This bachelor of arts degree in economics covers all essential macroeconomics and microeconomics topics. You will learn economic analysis, quantitative methods, financial markets, economic reasoning, and data analysis. This degree in economics can open your career path as an economic analyst, credit analyst, and financial consultant.

Bachelor of Science in Economics | Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a high-ranking school with many advanced degree programs. It is particularly known for its technology and science programs. The university’s undergraduate economics program is best suited for those wanting to enter the tech-based economics job market.

This degree can help you become a data analytic economist, management consultant, and market research analyst. Its curriculum includes quantitative analysis, economic principles, statistical techniques, and financial economics.

Bachelor’s Degree in Economics | Columbia University

Columbia University is an Ivy League school that conducts world-class research in a variety of fields. The university’s undergraduate program in economics offers several concentrations in economics.

Depending on your career goals, you can major in general economics, statistical economics, financial economics, or quantitative economics. The programs cover international economics, economic issues, financial analysis, market trends, and managerial economics.

Bachelor’s Degree in Economics | Harvard University

Harvard University is a top-ranking Ivy League private university best known for its law, engineering, and technology departments. It has over 400,000 global alumni and offered around $645 million in financial aid and grants in 2020.

Harvard’s economics bachelor’s programs offer concentrations in applied maths, health economics, environmental economics, and public economics. The undergraduate degree offers courses covering international relations, microeconomic theory, economic trends, and statistics.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics | Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is a private university based in Maryland. This degree will help you master financial economics and quantitative reasoning.

You will gain in-depth skills in mathematical economics, development economics, analytical methods, and international trade. Economics graduates from Johns Hopkins can gain a competitive edge in areas including business economics and statistical economics.

Bachelor of Science in Economics | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT has world-class STEM and economics departments. The school offers a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees which can set you up for successful careers. This bachelor of science degree in economics is best suited for those who want to become a financial analyst or quantitative economist.

You will learn about game theory, market design, economic data science, networks, and financial markets. The program also offers foundational courses on the principles of macro and microeconomics.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics | Northwestern University

Northwestern University offers advanced degrees and short courses in every major academic field. For those looking to acquire analytical skills, social sciences skills, business economic skills, and quantitative skills, Northwestern’s concentration in economics is worth looking at.

The program covers the labor market, economic regulations, healthcare economics, and environmental economics. It prepares you for several careers in the business, government service, and nonprofit organization sectors.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics | Stanford University

Stanford University’s economics undergraduate program covers business strategy, government economic policies, international development, econometrics, and market design. You will study environmental economics, game theory, economic theory, and international trade. Graduates can go on to become political scientists, economic consultants, and environmental economists.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics | University of California, Berkeley

Some of the school’s economics courses include business probability, risk analysis, econometrics, macro, and microeconomics. It prepares you for multiple career options in fields such as behavioral economics, applied economics, managerial economics, quantitative economics, and agricultural economics.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Economics | Yale University

Yale University is an Ivy League private institution that offers both in-person and online undergraduate and graduate degrees in many fields. This bachelor of science is a combination of computer science and economics and covers data analysis, machine learning, and economic data. It will help you become a statistician or an economic analyst.

Best Online Economics Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Arizona State University Bachelor of Science in Economics Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Colorado State University Bachelor of Arts in Economics The Higher Learning Commission
Eastern Oregon University Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Economics Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Liberty University Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Northwestern University Bachelor of Arts in Economics The Higher Learning Commission
Pennsylvania State University Bachelor of Science in Economics Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of Massachusetts Bachelor of Arts in Economics New England Commission of Higher Education
Utah State University Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Economics Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Washington State University Bachelor of Science in Economic Sciences Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
West Texas A&M University Bachelors of Business Administration in Economics, Law and Economics Specialization Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Best Colleges for Economics: Top Online Economics Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Read below to find the top online bachelor’s degree programs in economics. You can choose the online program that suits your career goals, financial situation, and learning preferences.

Bachelor of Science in Economics | Arizona State University

The university’s WP Carey College offers this economics degree where you will learn supply chain management , data analysis, accounting, marketing, and finance. The program also covers microeconomic theory, management leadership, consumer demand, financial documents, and statistics.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics | Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers this program, you will learn about global economics, international organizations, market trends, statistics, human behavior influence, and political science. You can pursue a career as a statistical analyst, political-economic scientist, economic consultant, or economic analyst.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Economics | Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon University offers both online and on-campus advanced degrees. It offers a degree that can focus on liberal arts or science-based coursework, depending on your interests. Both paths cover statistical analysis, regression analysis, economic theory, market systems, and social research methods.

Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration | Liberty University

Liberty University offers this online college program in economics and business administration. The program is best suited for those looking to enter trade, finance, and business management careers. You will learn international market integration, economic forecasting, managerial economics, mathematical economics, and marketing.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics | Northwestern University

Northwestern University also offers an online bachelor’s degree in economics great for students who prefer online learning. Similar to their on-campus option, this program covers economic theory, international finance, consumer behavior, price determination, econometrics, public spending, and taxation.

Bachelor of Science in Economics | Pennsylvania State University

Penn State is a public research university that offers several online and on-campus advanced degrees. This degree covers mathematical, managerial, applied, behavioral, and business economics. Penn State undergraduate students can also apply for the university’s graduate degree in business administration to further their education.

Bachelor of Arts in Economics | University of Massachusetts

This Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree opens employment opportunities in economic statistics, political science, journalism, and government policy. You will learn business law, accounting, international economics, economic theory, and economic statistics.

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Economics | Utah State University

Utah State University is a public research university that offers online and in-person graduate and undergraduate degrees in applied sciences, engineering, social sciences, and natural resources. The Utah State Online school offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

The programs cover business economics, managerial economics, financial economics, and quantitative economics. Graduates can go on to build a career in market research analysis, financial analysis, and budget analysis.

Bachelor of Science in Economic Sciences | Washington State University

This university’s online economics program covers microeconomics, macroeconomics, financial accounting, and business management. Concentration areas for this degree include agribusiness, management, marketing and analytics, and supply chain management.

Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics, Law and Economics Specialization | West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University is a public university that offers online and in-person degree programs in behavioral sciences, computer sciences, business, and maths. The school’s online economics degree offers financial accounting, consumer behavior, information systems, business law, macroeconomics, and statistics courses.

What’s the Average Economics Bachelor’s Degree Salary?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for an economist is $108,350 per year. A bachelor’s degree can open up opportunities across several industries including technology, data science, business, finance, and journalism. The average salary will vary depending on your chosen field.

Top Economics Bachelor’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

A black Android placed next to a laptop with an open forex trading page. Economics Bachelor's Degrees
Economics graduates can opt for several lucrative careers in business, IT, and research.
Economics Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Economist $108,350
Personal Financial Advisor $89,330
Financial Analyst $83,660
Investment Banker $82,561
Budget Analyst $78,970
Accountant $73,560
Data Analyst $67,294
Market Research Analyst $65,810
Business Reporter $61,862
Auditor $58,914

Best Economics Bachelor’s Degree Jobs Explained

Economist

Economists study national and international market trends and analyze economic issues to predict economic behavior. They need to possess excellent critical thinking skills, data science skills, and finance and business skills. Economists also study statistical analysis, socioeconomic trends, consumer behavior, and stock market patterns to interpret market behavior.

Personal Financial Advisor

As the name suggests, a personal financial advisor deals with an individual’s assets and financial planning. Their duties include investment, accounting, taxation, banking, retirement planning, and financial advice. Some economics majors and specializations for this job include financial management, economics, or business administration.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts interpret financial data to plan the future finances of an organization. They study the company’s expenditure report, conduct variance analysis, and perform market analysis. An undergraduate economics program will help you understand financial market trends, economic issues, and business analysis which are essential for the position.

Investment Banker

  • Average Salary: $82,561
  • Job Outlook: 6%*
  • Number of Jobs: 41,000*
  • Highest-Paying States: New York, District of Columbia, Massachusetts*

Investment bankers are financial professionals who conduct market research and financial analysis to provide investment advice. Their job duties include risk management, fundraising, and financial planning. Investment bankers can find lucrative career opportunities at several private and government agencies.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts perform similar job duties to financial analysts and are responsible for designing a budget plan based on a cost-benefit analysis. This role also requires them to review budget proposals, monitor company expenditures, perform financial analysis, and forecast budget limits.

Accountant

An undergraduate degree in economics can also help you pursue a career in accounting. This job also requires work with budgets, taxes, payrolls, and economic risk analysis. Accountants are needed in all types of industry, both tech and non-tech. Their job requires them to aid business managers, human resource managers, and financial analysts with finance matters.

Data Analyst

Economics majors can also pursue a career in data analysis. However, know that you will need additional training in data analysis methods and data science fields. Data analysts are responsible for data collection, interpretation, organization, maintenance, and analysis. These professionals need analytical, statistical, and quantitative skills for this position.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts support companies with their product marketing strategies by analyzing consumer behavior, economic trends, and industry trends. Their job requires extensive knowledge of data analysis, UX/UI design, and product management. A business, economics, or statistics degree will help you start a career in this field.

Business Reporter

If you have excellent public speaking, interpersonal, and analytical skills, then a career in business reporting could be for you. Depending on your goals, you can work for private or public news corporations. Your job responsibilities include explaining market trends, covering financial news, and analyzing business development in news reports.

Auditor

  • Average Salary: $58,914
  • Job Outlook: 7%
  • Number of Jobs: 1,392,200
  • Highest-Paying States: District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey

Auditors are essentially investigators in the financial department who work to connect the company’s cash flow and expenditures. Their job includes examining financial risks, assisting the company’s legal team, and protecting the company’s assets.

The standard education requirement for an auditor is a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, but a solid foundation in economics will also qualify you for the position.

*Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Financial Analysts

**Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Operations Research Analysts

***Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

Benefits of an Economics Bachelor’s Degree

  • Standard requirement. Whether you want to become a management consultant or an economist, the standard requirement across the field is usually a bachelor’s degree.
  • High median salary . A bachelor’s degree can qualify you for a position where you’ll earn a median annual salary of $108,350. A bootcamp certificate only qualifies you for entry-level associate jobs that often do not have a high compensation rate.
  • Various areas of study . A bachelor’s degree in economics covers a wide variety of advanced and foundational courses in business, social sciences, and natural sciences. You can also double major in economics and computer science, or economics and business administration, to open up a variety of career paths for yourself.
  • Access to several career paths . With a general economics degree, you can pursue several career paths including financial analysis, budget management, data analysis, and statistical analysis
  • Reputable programs . Many of the best universities in the country offer top rated Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics, including Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and Yale. Getting a degree from these institutions will improve your job prospects.

Should You Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics?

Yes, you should get a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics if you wish to pursue a career as an economist, business manager, financial manager, financial analyst, or auditor. This undergraduate economics degree helps you penetrate several fields including journalism, finance, agricultural, political science, and IT.

Economics Bachelor’s Degree FAQ

Is a degree in economics a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts?

You can find both Bachelor of Science in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in Economics, depending on the university. The main difference will be whether the coursework focuses on a specialized, science based curriculum or a more general, liberal arts curriculum.

What Is the annual wage of an economist with a bachelor’s degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of an economist with a bachelor’s degree is $108,350.

What jobs can I get with a bachelor’s degree in economics?

A Bachelor’s Degree in Economics can help set you on a wide variety of career tracks, including economic consultant, financial analyst, statistical analyst, accountant, and investment banker.

What are the best economics bachelor’s degree colleges?

Some of the best economics bachelor’s degree colleges include Columbia University, Penn State University, Harvard University, and Yale University.

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Sunayana Samantaray

About the author: Sunayana is an experienced content writer. She has written about topics such as career changes, education, tech, sustainability, business, and data science. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Business and Human Resource Management from the University of Oklahoma.

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