How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Economics
If you have always been fascinated with money, then pursuing an associate’s degree in economics may be productive for you. Most people with an economics degree go into financial planning. This usually entails managing other people’s cash by investing it for them and making it grow. While it sounds like an exciting career, it does involve a lot of responsibility, which is why having an education in the field helps.
At the associate’s level, you will get a brief overview of the important basics of economics. You will learn to look at our current economy, where it’s going, and make financial decisions based on the information you are assessing. Additionally, you will study many business and finance issues in depth. With an economics associate’s degree, you will get an idea of how wages are calculated, and get a glimpse of the theory of competition, for example.
Most students don’t stop at the associate’s level, because the big bucks don’t usually roll in until you graduate with at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Big firms nowadays only consider applicants with at least a bachelor’s degree because the field is so complex and comes with a ton of responsibility. Companies will definitely want to make sure that their employees know exactly what they are doing before they start handing you clients. By going to school, you will be one step closer to proving you’ve got the skills and work ethic.
An associate’s degree generally takes around two years to complete. It can be obtained at most accredited community colleges, but if you are juggling other things in life and require a flexible schedule for school, a distance learning program from an accredited college is a great option to consider.
Online learning is a great alternative to traditional classroom learning because it can allow students to complete classes quicker, while taking advantage of many of the same resources as traditional classes, like tutoring or faculty assistance when needed. It does, however, requires potential students to be dedicated independent learners needing little to no hand-holding; after all, most (if not all) material will be taught entirely online. With that said, you would be expected to keep track of class schedule and complete assignments on your own time. The great benefit of online learning is that you can head to your virtual class in your pajamas, and essentially work anywhere and anytime that works best for you. Earning an online degree can be a productive way to balance school with other obligations, such as employment.
Common Associate’s in Economics Curriculum
At the associate’s level, you will get a good foundation of economics on a broad and general level. Some classes you can expect to take include but are not limited to:
- Financial planning
- Budget analysis
- Economic analysis
- Budget planning
- World economy
- Environmental economics
- Economic geography
Depending on the school that you attend, coursework may vary slightly, but all are designed to prepare you for the working world and higher education, if you choose that path.
In addition to economics-related courses, students will also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes are usually not directly economics related. They are designed to give students the opportunity to explore other fields while getting a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in helping them understand real-life situations and succeed in whatever career they choose to be in. For example, students may have an introductory course in math, science, history, language, and fine arts, to name a few.
Associate’s in Economics Careers
With an associate’s degree in economics, you can apply for an entry-level business position. As mentioned earlier, there aren’t as many career options to choose from with an associate’s degree alone. To become an actual economist, research analyst, economic consultant, or beyond, you will most likely need at least a bachelor’s degree. After completing enough education, you may eventually qualify for one of these higher level jobs.
If financial planning does not sound that appealing to you, then there are other careers to consider. For example, you could be a research assistant, teach, work with the government, work in a commercial bank, or eventually start your own business as a consultant. You could even get involved in the insurance industry, help with market research, and much more.
Getting an associate’s degree in economics is a smart move because it provides you with a great foundation required for success in the working world and will prepare you for the next step in education (bachelor’s degree). Having a four-year degree will prove to potential employers that you know what you are doing and have the work ethic to be responsible with clients’ money.