Economics Master's Degree Benefits:
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Does an economic swing put your investigative mind into overdrive? Do you see the world through a mathematical lens? Do you draw dotted lines between local and global markets and the current events that surround them?
If you're the type of person who enjoys solving tough problems and working with numbers, a Master of Science in Applied Economics may be for you.
Economics is the weaving together of science, sociology, history, philosophy and mathematics to forecast futures and apply understanding to the past. Quite simply, economics is the ability to make informed decisions based on data.
Learn how to:
"It all comes back to decision making," said Sutton Puglia, an adjunct instructor at SNHU and a government economist. "Economists want to understand why things are happening and why people are making the decisions they do."
Online master's in economics students will explore diverse theoretical schools of thought and focus on the analysis of economic variables and the efficient use of resources. Students will emerge from the program with a balanced understanding of microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometric theory.
"In pretty much every field, there is going to be a place for economists," said Sutton Puglia.
That's because economists study the reasoning behind decisions people make and are interested in using data to boost profits, create better public policy or conduct research.
As a student in the online master's in economics program, you'll develop necessary workforce skills like:
And because economists are responsible for so much of an organization's strategy, it's no wonder that the need for economists is on the rise. Projected job growth for economists is 8% through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which noted in 2019 that those with at least a master's degree can expect the best prospects and a median annual salary of $104,340.2
According to the BLS, the largest employers of economists2 in 2018 were:
With your master's degree in economics, some career roles you may want to consider include:
"The nice thing about economics is that you can build your skill set, grow and make a field for yourself in any number of industries," Puglia said.
As a candidate for the master’s in applied economics degree online at SNHU, you'll acquire both the interpretive and scientific skills needed to become an expert decision-maker and thought leader in your chosen profession – whichever path you choose.
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 12 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, Southern New Hampshire University has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate your industry. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
See why 96% of students would recommend SNHU.*
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials – with no GRE or GMAT required.
Master's degree candidates must also submit a personal statement. Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. Based on educational background, some Master of Arts provisional students may be required to take SNHU 501 – Introduction to Graduate Studies – which will provide students with the scholarly tools to be successful in their Master of Arts program of study.
To apply, use the online application.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions, and walk you through the application process, which includes:
The faculty team for SNHU’s online master’s in economics is replete with experts who bring their real-world experience to the classroom.
From corporate vice presidents with prestigious certifications and PhDs working in global marketplaces to certified small business advisors and government consultants, this cross-section of know-how is among the best in higher education.
The online master's in economics offers an exciting curriculum. A course in game theory allows you to grow confidence in negotiations and conflict resolution. Your mathematics and statistics class shows you the methods used today in the economics field. And your capstone gives you the opportunity to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills you've developed throughout your online master's degree program at SNHU.
Plus, you'll also have the chance to focus on other areas of economics through 4 elective courses, which are included to round out your program. Combine your passion for the environment with a natural resource economics class, or dive deep into global markets with an international corporate finance course.
Don't have an economics or business background? SNHU offers foundation courses for students who have neither an economics degree nor a business degree. Depending on your background, you may be required to take courses like:
Total Credits: 36
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
There are as many definitions of economics as there are economic theories. Paul A. Samuelson, widely considered the father of modern economics, calls it “the study of how men and society choose, with or without the use of money, to employ the scarce productive resources which have alternative uses, to produce various commodities over time and distribute them for consumption now and in the future among various people and groups of society.”
In similar terms, the American Economic Association (AEA) defines economics as the study of scarcity, how people use resources and respond to incentives, and how we make decisions. It involves wealth and finance, says the Nashville, TN-based nonprofit publisher of economics research, but it’s not all about money.3
In the broadest sense, economics weaves together science, sociology, history, philosophy and mathematics to forecast futures and apply understanding to the past. Increasingly, modern-day economics is the ability to make informed decisions based on data.
The American Economic Association (AEA) cites a wide variety of positions held by economists. They are professors, government advisors and private sector consultants. They use theoretical models or empirical data to evaluate programs, study human behavior and explain trends. Their work impacts everything from global public policy to everyday household decisions.3
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many economists work in federal, state, and local governments. Federal government economists collect and analyze national economic data, including employment, prices, productivity and wages. Corporate economists look at consumer demand and sales to help businesses foresee how the economy will affect their profits. Economists also work for international organizations, research firms and think tanks in both the public and private sector.2
In October 2019, Business Insider, the largest business news site on the web, reported on the future of economics.4 It said the majority of the world's top economists agree on the vital role economics will continue to play in solving the world's biggest issues. It also identified 4 trends most likely to affect the field of economics, including:
In her book "The Economics of Enough," British economist Diane Coyle discusses a wide range of issues destined to shape the future of economics, including debt, climate change and the demographic challenges of an aging population.5
The BLS forecasts 8% job growth for economists through 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.2 Economists with a master’s degree or PhD, strong analytical skills and experience using statistical analysis software have the best job prospects.
"Having analytical capabilities and understanding big data analysis is a strong selling point, especially with the way our economy operates and in today's job market," said Sutton Puglia, a government economist and an adjunct instructor at Southern New Hampshire University. "Economics gives you those skills that you can take and develop in any field."
The BLS cites two factors for the high demand:
Several factors can affect cost, including tuition and fees, time to completion, financial aid and whether you study online or on campus. The price tag for online programs is typically less than on campus programs, partly because online programs eliminate costs like room and board.
At $627 per credit hour, Southern New Hampshire University’s 36-credit online master's in applied economics is one of the nation’s most affordable. The university offers a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members as well as the spouses of those on active duty.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that most economist jobs require either a graduate or post-graduate degree. Further, many positions in business, research or international organizations promote an advanced degree plus work experience. Coursework in statistical analysis software can be particularly helpful.2
While bachelor’s degree candidates may qualify for entry-level positions, they may need an advanced degree for career advancement.
It’s a matter of choosing a general degree over a specialized one, and your career interests have everything to do with it. To help prospective graduate students sort out the differences, U.S. News & World Report asked business school experts to weigh in.6
The consensus: An MBA, online or on campus, builds broad-based business skills with select coursework in economics. A specialized economics degree is for those who want deep expertise in a specific area, such as game theory or statistical analysis.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
This program and its concentrations are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Student achievement data can be found on College Navigator.
*According to a survey of over 12,000 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2018.
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
3 American Economic Association, on the internet, at: https://www.aeaweb.org/resources/students/what-is-economics (viewed March 6, 2020).
4 Business Insider, on the internet, at: https://www.businessinsider.com/sc/the-future-of-economics-will-look-like-this-2019-10 (viewed March 6, 2020).
5 The Library of Economics and Liberty, on the internet, at: https://www.econtalk.org/coyle-on-the-economics-of-enough/ (viewed March 6, 2020).
6 U.S. News & World Report, on the internet, at: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2013/04/25/decide-between-an-mba-and-ms-at-business-school (viewed March 7, 2020).