If you are good at math and have an interest in money and how it affects the economy, you may want to put your skills to good use as an economist. Economic issues have plagued the United States and the rest of the world in recent years, making it a relevant degree and career choice. In fact, during the 2008-2009 school year, 26,299 bachelor’s degrees in economics were awarded – the highest number since 1949.
Economics programs are easy to find – most business schools and universities offer them. The hard part is choosing one that fits your career goals, which is why many students choose the distance learning route. Distance learning offers many opportunities for education in many areas of education, including economics.
Types of Degrees
Many community colleges offer associate’s degrees in economics. However, for someone who is passionate about the field and wants to pursue a career in economics, a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum education level – and that’s for an entry level position. To work for the federal government, a bachelor’s degree is required. However, those with advanced degrees have more career options. Many employers may require a master’s degree for specialized positions. For those who want to teach, a Ph.D. is almost always required, although a master’s degree may suffice for teaching positions at the high school level.
Salaries and Career Potential
Many people may be surprised that there are actually many career opportunities for those with an economics degree. Because economics involves a high degree of financial planning, research and analysis, these skills are transferrable to many jobs. Although most people who receive economics degrees become economists, they can also use their degrees to work as financial analysts, market analysts, auditors, purchasing managers, research assistants, consultants and even insurance underwriters. Opportunities are plentiful because they exist in many sectors, such as business, insurance, government, academics, finance and private industry.
The median pay for an economist is $89,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are many types of economists, such as microeconomists, macroeconomists and international economists. The demand for economists is starting to decrease as government entities reduce expenses due to budget cuts. In addition, many economists are moving to other industries such as business and finance.
Purchasing managers earn a median salary of $89,160, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most work for companies and enterprises but the highest salaries can be found in the specialized design services field.
The median salary of a financial analyst is $74,350 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These positions are expected to grow at a rate of 23 percent due to the increased need and interest for financial products. Most financial analyst positions require a master’s degree.
Why Choose Distance Learning
Distance learning is a convenient and beneficial way for students to learn. It opens up many educational opportunities that they otherwise may not be able to access. Distance learning helps those with a full-time job and family obligations earn a degree in their spare time without having to sacrifice a career or family life. There is no need to move to another city or state to attend the program of your choice. You can learn from home, at the coffee shop, beach or anywhere that has an Internet connection. If you are self-motivated and are good at using computers, distance learning may be the right choice for you.
What to Look For
When choosing an online economics degree program, be sure the school and program are accredited. You many also want to look at tuition costs and the experience of the faculty. If you are choosing a specialization, the school of your choice should have a program that follows your intended career path.