Home > College Rankings > Top 5 Online Associate in Economics Programs for 2017
College Rankings

Top 5 Online Associate in Economics Programs for 2017

An online associate degree in economics prepares students to enter postsecondary programs with training in basic financial principles and markets. Graduates can pursue entry-level jobs in fields such as accounting, banking, insurance, and real estate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for associate-degree holders is $51,050, compared to $37,110 for high school diploma holders.

Associate degree occupations are projected to rise 8.7% by 2024. An associate degree in economics holder is prepared to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, and economics, providing greater employment and salary potential.


How to Choose an Online Associate in Economics Program

An online associate degree in economics requires students to complete approximately 60-credits, which typically takes about two years. The curriculum includes coursework in micro and macroeconomics, statistics, accounting, budget analysis, and financial planning. Students are expected to complete general curriculum coursework in English, natural science, and the humanities. An online economics degree prepares students for entry-level positions and to earn an advanced degree. Many schools have articulation agreements with four-year institutions, which allows students to easily transfer credits. Learners should figure out what they need from a program. Some online program might have on-campus requirements or synchronous components. Students with a busy schedule should look for asynchronous, completely-online programs.

Educational Paths

An online associate degree in economics provides the foundation for numerous bachelor’s programs, which can lead to careers in business, accounting, economics, and public administration.

  • Economics

    A bachelor’s degree in economics would require an additional two years of coursework. Upper division economics courses are specialized and delve into aspects of economic theory, market analysis, and legal and philosophical principles of finance.

  • Business Management

    An online economics associate degree provides a foundation for an advanced business management degree. Bachelor’s degrees in business management vary and can include an emphasis in economics, finance, organizational behavior, international economics, entrepreneurship, and computer technology in economics.

  • Accounting

    A bachelor’s in accounting trains students in analytical and managerial aspects of accounting. The knowledge in financial principles and business practices obtained from an online associate degree in economics usually fulfills general education requirements for a bachelor’s program.

  • Public Administration

    A bachelor’s degree in public administration prepares students for careers in public policy and management and includes coursework in financial leadership, policy analysis, and regional planning.

Career Paths for Economics Graduates

Graduates of an online associate degree in economics enjoy occupations in banking and finance, as well as in entry-level business fields. Bank, audit, and accounting clerks benefit from earning an economics degree and are able to acquire experience relevant to their field. Entry-level sales, marketing, and office positions are also available to economic associate degree earners. All of these positions allow for upward mobility and opportunities for continued study.

Job Outlook and Salary

An online associate degree in economics opens opportunities for career advancement and the degree is ideal for students who already hold a job in the field.


An economics degree online allows students to obtain experience through an entry-level position. Experience generally leads to higher pay, as illustrated by the table below.

To determine the best online associate in economics programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 10 best online associate in economics programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.