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Are you interested in learning more about the most affordable online masters in economics? If so you are in the right place! There is a growing need to have accelerated online Master’s in Economics degrees available to professionals in the field. With more and more employers requiring that professionals earn at least a graduate degree, it is becoming clear that working adults who are already in the field need to make the commitment to further education. The best way to do that is through online education.

Working professionals need degrees that match their needs. From flexible options that offer on-demand courses to finding accelerated tracks that see students complete their degree requirements in two years or less, working economists need degrees that fit around their schedule. This ranking will showcase some of the best two-year degrees that can be found in this field.

Featured Schools:

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Economics Master’s Accelerated Programs

The editors of Fast Online Master’s have made it their mission to point students to accelerated online master’s in economics programs that are worth the effort. The programs we have ranked here are accredited and trusted. They are featured in order of their current IPEDS tuition rate. 

1. Purdue University

Purdue University’s MS in Economics is one of the most affordable Masters of Economics programs available. In addition to its affordability, it also offers versatility and flexibility with its 100% online program. In this program, students learn the economic and analytic skills they’ll need to make accurate predictions about the economic market. Students can also choose an area of specialization. 

Purdue University is known for its innovation. In fact, it’s one of the most innovative schools in the United States. Purdue University empowers student achievement, and it’s a great choice for business, technology, economics, and similar degrees. That said, Purdue also thrives when it comes to arts and culture, so it provides a well-rounded education. Purdue’s MS in Economics is the #2 best online master’s in economics, according to 

Degree: MS in Economics

Format: Online – 20 months

2. West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University offers an MS in Finance and Economics. This degree, which is one of the most affordable Masters of Economics programs, is a highly ranked degree program. It’s garnered a lot of respect in the economic field. In this program, high-achieving students are challenged. They learn about financial policy, analytics, and communication. 

West Texas A&M University offers a lot of benefits. For instance, it’s one of the safest schools in Texas. It also offers career-focused learning, including degree programs and professional training. West Texas A&M offers lots of flexibility in its online and hybrid programs, and it provides plenty of resources for non-traditional students. West Texas A&M’s Finance and Economics program has earned several top recognitions and rankings. 

Degree: MS in Finance and Economics

Format: Online

3. North Carolina State University

North Carolina State’s MA in Economics degree is one of the most affordable Masters in Economics programs in the United States. Students may choose from a terminal track and a PhD prep track. The terminal track provides a more applied approach, while the PhD track takes a more research-centered approach. Students may also choose from one of four fields of concentration. The pacing of this program comes with a lot of flexibility. Students can complete the program in a year, 18 months, or two years. 

North Carolina State University provides an education that helps students flourish and thrive in their future careers. NCSU is a very engaged community of learners. Students participate wholeheartedly in their educations. NCSU provides a good education at an equally good value, and its commitment to research and innovation means that students get the latest knowledge in their classrooms. Money has ranked NCSU the #1 public school in North Carolina for value. 

Degree: MA in Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

4. SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College offers an MA in Community and Economic Development. This degree blends community and economic development so that learners can see how the two topics overlap. It also combines theory and practice, so learners get the best of all worlds. In this program, students take a close look at the public policy process, learning how they can make a difference within it. Finally, this program is one of the most affordable Economics Masters available for today’s students. 

SUNY Empire State College focuses on students of all stages of life. It’s a great choice for continuing education, adult learners, and other nontraditional students. As part of the broader SUNY system, this university provides lots of resources and opportunities for connections and networking. It also offers the flexibility that busy students need. More than half of SUNY Empire State students have children, and at least 85% work part-time. Furthermore, at least 40% of SUNY Empire State students are first-generation college students. 

Degree: MA in Community and Economic Development

Format: Online


UCLA’s Master of Applied Economics has changed its name to Master of Quantitative Economics. The name change better reflects the needs and expectations that students will find in the market today. The program can be completed in as little as 12 months, and it provides a big-picture view of economics. Students also learn how to forge their own place within the economic world. Finally, this program is one of the most affordable Masters of Economics programs. 

UCLA is a bustling, urban school where students can make connections. This school is well-known and easily recognized, which helps students as they get started in their careers. UCLA provides a challenging and worthwhile education. It thrives in all areas from business to the arts. 15 Nobel laureates have come from UCLA. 

Degree: Master of Applied Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

6. Louisiana State University

The MS in Financial Economics from Louisiana State University can be completed in as few as 10 months. However, students can also take longer to complete the degree if they choose to do so. Either way, it’s one of the most affordable Economics Masters degree programs. This program is fully online, so it provides lots of flexibility for those who need it. The program is rigorous and intensive, preparing students for the challenges that come with economic careers. 

LSU is the flagship university of Louisiana. It combines challenging academics with top-level research. This school has lots of resources for its students, including several libraries, academic collections, and online resources. LSU remains a top choice for non-traditional learners thanks to its flexibility and excellence in online learning. LSU awards $300,000,000 in financial aid every year. 

Degree: MS in Financial Economics

Format: Online – 10 months

7. Florida State University

Florida State University’s MS in Applied Economics can be completed in as few as 12 months, and it’s one of the most affordable Masters of Economics programs. This program is highly ranked among similar programs. In it, students learn the basics of economics as well as the software tools they’ll need in the field. Students in the program enjoy small class sizes, so they get plenty of one-on-one attention from professors. 

Florida State University is known for its science and research. For example, their National High Magnetic Field Laboratory holds the most world records for the most powerful magnets on earth. FSU’s research benefits its students since those students enjoy the latest techniques and information in the classroom. FSU offers high-quality academics to go with its high-quality research. It’s a large university with excellent resources. FSU’s MS in Applied Economics was ranked #6 among similar programs in the United States, according to the TFE Times. 

Degree: MS in Applied Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

8. University of Houston

The University of Houston offers a Master of Applied Economics. It’s one of the most affordable Masters of Economics degrees in the region, and it can be completed in 12 months. This program is designed to help students meet the needs of an increasingly-growing field. Students learn data, forecasting, critical thinking, and leadership. They prepare for a variety of job opportunities across a variety of industries. 

The University of Houston’s faculty and leadership are proud to call this university a powerhouse. It empowers students to learn, develop their careers, and become leaders. The University of Houston is home to lots of innovative research, and it’s known for degrees that pay off. The University of Houston has a diverse student population, and students benefit from encountering many different worldviews. US News and World Report ranked the University of Houston among the best colleges for 2021. 

Degree: Master of Applied Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

9. Georgia Tech

At Georgia Tech, students can earn an MS in Economics in 12 months. It’s a STEM-certified degree and one of the most affordable Masters of Economics degree programs available. Students in this program learn how to examine economic data and then make use of that data. Students become strategic thinkers as a result. 

Georgia Tech University makes a great choice for students who want to go into STEM fields. It provides training for some of the most in-demand STEM careers of today. Georgia Tech is a forward-thinking university that produces a lot of innovation. Georgia Tech students thrive both in online classes and on-campus classes. Georgia Tech University is a top 10 public research university. 

Degree: MS in Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

10. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s MA in Economics is one of the fastest economics degrees available. It can be completed in as few as 10 months. It’s also one of the most affordable Masters of Economics degrees. This STEM-designated program provides rigorous economic training. Students learn a full spectrum of economic topics. It’s a high-quality degree for those who want to go into economics or bring an economics background into a related field. 

UT Austin empowers students by offering degrees that change the world. It’s a top public research university with affordable degree programs, and it welcomes students from all walks of life. The research from UT Austin produces real solutions that benefit people all over the world. UT Austin’s MA in Economics is one of the top-ranked terminal economics degree programs in the United States. 

Degree: MA in Economics

Format: Online – 10 months

11. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University’s MS in Applied Economics is one of the most affordable Economics Masters programs in its region. Aside from its affordability, this program also provides the knowledge and skills needed to respond to major economic changes. This program provides a foundation of core economics knowledge, and it reinforces flexible thinking and leadership skills. Students in this program apply their skills and tools to all kinds of business situations.  

Georgia Southern University is a large university with a personal touch, providing the best of both worlds. It imparts skills and resources that help students reach their career goals. Georgia Southern has many programs for adult learners, military students, and others who may need a lot of flexibility. This school also produces research that gets recognized around the world. Georgia Southern University has been named a Military Friendly School for ten years in a row. 

Degree: MS in Applied Economics

Format: Online

12. University of Missouri

The University of Missouri’s MA in Economics ranks among the most affordable Economics Masters in the country. In this program, students grow to understand the globalization of big data. They learn how to use and analyze data to help leaders make important financial decisions with confidence. This program is 100% online, so it offers plenty of flexibility for busy adult learners. 

The University of Missouri has a thriving online campus. Missouri’s online classes provide all of the quality of their in-classroom counterparts, but they also provide a level of flexibility that students wouldn’t get from inside of a classroom. The University of Missouri helps students move beyond their own expectations and limits so that they can invest in their own futures. 48% of University of Missouri students graduate with no debt. 

Degree: MA in Economics

Format: Online 

13. Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University has an MA in Community and Economic Development. This program combines both community development and economic development because, in the business world, these two concepts have significant overlap. This degree program doesn’t ask students to choose between one and the other. It’s also one of the more affordable Economics Masters programs, and it’s designed for working adults who need a lot of flexibility. 

Western Illinois University is all about turning potential into purpose. It’s a high-value school that provides a lot for the tuition money. Learners benefit from a low student-to-faculty ratio, and most faculty members are full-time teachers. As a result, Western Illinois University makes a top choice for students who want a personalized education. Western Illinois University is a Military Friendly school. 

Degree: MA in Community and Economic Development

Format: Online 

14. Clemson University

At Clemson University, students can earn an MA in Economics in 12 months. The program teaches students how to apply economic theory to real-world situations. Students learn how to pull important information from different sets of data and make economic predictions from that data. After graduation, students pursue jobs in economics, business analysis, law, and more. Plus, this program is one of the most affordable Economics Masters degrees available. 

Clemson University values hard work, and it helps students harness their passions through that hard work. Clemson also helps students make connections that can help them in their careers. Classes are taught by widely-recognized faculty members. This school thrives in many areas, including STEM and business. Clemson University has a long military history. Student veterans receive a lot of support at Clemson. 

Degree: MA in Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

15. Ohio State University

The Ohio State University has a Master of Applied Economics that students can complete in 12 months. It’s a two-semester program that takes a practical approach to learning. This way, students can apply their learning to real-world situations. In fact, this program remains hands-on at every step. Even in the classroom, students see how their educations apply to today’s organizations. And since this program is one of the most affordable Economics Masters programs, students can rest assured that they’re getting a great return on their investment. 

Ohio State provides the tools and resources students need to make the most of their college experiences. This school helps students meet their career goals. It boasts of a strong academic foundation for life after college. Because Ohio State is a widely-respected college, its name can help students go far and make connections along the way. Ohio State University has multiple research centers and initiatives. 

Degree: Master of Applied Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

16. California Polytechnic State University

The MS in Quantitative Economics from CalPoly takes can be earned in 10 months. This program is one of the most affordable Economics Masters degree programs in the state. It takes a structured, step-by-step approach to empirical data and teaches students how to do the same. The program allows students to either move forward in economics careers or move into a PhD program. This degree also has small classes taught by talented faculty members. 

California Polytechnic makes a great choice for students who want to pursue STEM degrees. Here, students learn by doing. In fact, learning by doing is a core part of CalPoly’s core philosophy. Research from this school has an impact on California and beyond. Students get to take part in solving some of the world’s biggest issues. CalPoly has earned a “Best in the West” ranking from US News and World Report. 

Degree: MS in Quantitative Economics

Format: Online – 10 months

17. Georgetown University

Georgetown University has three of the most affordable Economics Masters in its region: an MA in Applied Economics, an MA in Political Economy, and an MS in Economics. Each option can be completed in 12 months, and each one teaches a solid foundation of economic concepts. With these three options, economics students can build their educations to fit their desired careers. Plus, students get to make connections with people who are already working within the industry. 

Georgetown University is a Jesuit Catholic university in Washington DC. Because of its DC location, it makes a good choice for people who want to gain a political perspective. It provides a front-row seat to major policy changes in the US. In every major, students learn leadership and communication skills. They receive an education that blends academics with social justice. That’s why Georgetown is a popular choice for students who are passionate about change. Georgetown University is the oldest Jesuit Catholic university in the United States. 

Degree: MA in Applied Economics, MA in Political Economy, MS in Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

18. Tufts University

The MS in Economics from Tufts University is one of the most affordable Economics Masters programs in its region. Students may choose either the course-based track or the research-based track. Through this program, students learn economic theory and get to work with practical tools to engage that theory in the real world. Graduates from this program go into a wide range of careers. Their economic backgrounds give them an in-demand set of skills that can be leveraged in virtually any setting. 

Tufts University is a diverse, research-centered school that helps students reach their academic and career goals. It’s a solid choice for those who want to go into either technology or business. That’s because this school is deeply focused on innovation and forward-thinking. As a result, students get to use their knowledge and training to make a difference in the world. They apply the skills they learned in the classroom to real-world situations. Tufts University has six libraries and plenty of other resources for research-minded students. 

Degree: MS in Economics

Format: Online – 12 months

19. American University

American University’s MA in Economics is a 20-month program. It’s also ranked among the most affordable Economics Masters programs in its region. This degree acknowledges that a healthy economy requires economists with the right knowledge and skills to support it. These economists will need to understand economic analytical skills and learn how to apply those skills. American University’s training helps students gain these skills so that they can deliver real results. This program also teaches leadership and communication skills so that students can make a difference with their knowledge. 

American University is a Washington DC school for students who know that they want to make a difference in the world. It’s a top choice school for public policy and other careers that make a lasting difference in the United States and beyond. American University has a strong online learning platform that delivers just as much excellence as its on-campus counterparts. The DC backdrop informs even the online classes, giving students an inside look at American politics.n The Princeton Review consistently recognizes American University students as some of the “most politically active” students in the country. 

Degree: MA in Economics

Format: Online – 20 months

20. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University has an MS in Applied Economics that students can complete in as little as 15 months. However, it’s designed to be completed at the student’s own pace, so one could take more than 15 months to complete the degree. It’s one of the most affordable Economics Masters programs available to today’s students, and it helps students prepare for a career that comes with a lot of job growth. Students study both local and global markets. 

Southern New Hampshire University offers strong academics, both for its online learners and for its on-campus learners. No matter the learning format, SNHU provides affordable degree options with high-quality learning experiences. This school is one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States, and it’s an excellent choice for tech and business degrees. SNHU offers easy admission, with no GMAT or GRE requirements. 

Degree: MS in Applied Economics

Format: Online – 15 months

How Do I Save Money on a Master’s in Economics? 

Education is vital if you want to advance in your career, but the cost of a quality master’s degree in economics prevents many from reaching their true potential. The cheapest masters in economics programs are typically found online. The average online student pays only $100-$400 per credit hour, plus you often don’t have to pay other costs associated with traditional programs, such as textbooks. Completing your course online not only allows you to receive a cheap masters in economics, but you can also complete the coursework on your schedule. That way, you can continue to work and take care of your other responsibilities, while you advance your career. Plus, a cheap masters in economics doesn’t mean it’s low quality. The cheapest masters in economics programs are designed to equip you with the knowledge you need to advance in your field, without all the fluff and unnecessary information often packed into college courses. All you have to do is take your time and do your research to find a high-quality program at an affordable cost.

What Are Some Jobs in Economics with a Master’s Degree?

Earning your master’s degree in economics can be a rewarding experience that will help you advance in your career. Masters in economics jobs are often high paying and come with benefits. Some of the top jobs with a masters in economics include economists, data scientists, professors, data analysts, and financial analysts. Master of economics jobs can be found at consulting firms, banks, government agencies, tech companies, startups, and a variety of other quality employers. Masters degree in economics jobs are highly competitive, yet comes with high salaries and plenty of perks.

If you’re thinking about what kind master in economics jobs make sense for your skills and interests, you should take stock of whether you’re looking to advance in your current career or make a change. You can find quality jobs with a masters degree in economics, but you have to be able to apply your knowledge to the particular industry you’re working in. Masters of economics jobs in tech are not quite the same as jobs for a masters in economics at a pharmaceutical company. Economics is a complex field that can be used in a variety of different settings, but to secure the top masters degree in economics jobs, you’ll have to understand how the study applies to your particular industry.

Master in economics jobs are everywhere if you know where to look. Jobs with a masters in economics often come with important responsibilities and influence within an organization, which means recruiters are only looking for the best talent. Before you start your search for masters in economic jobs, you should take stock of your own career goals and decide what makes sense for what you’re looking to achieve. Jobs with a masters in economics can be challenging, yet rewarding. You’ll have more success finding masters in economics jobs if you know your strengths and weaknesses before applying. Jobs for a masters in economics often have rigorous hiring standards, so it’s important to know what you’re after, so you don’t waste your time applying for the wrong position. Master of economics jobs can be among the most competitive of professions, so it’s important to be prepared.  

How Much Demand is There for Economists?

Job opportunities for masters in economics are everywhere — you just have to know how to network and know what you want out of your career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, economist jobs are expected to increase by 6% by 2026. Economics is a field that applies to nearly every industry and therefore many top companies are looking for skilled economists. Masters in economics job opportunities are found most often in institutions that handle money — such as banks, financial firms, and government agencies. However, you can easily find job opportunities for masters in economics in fields like healthcare, tech, marketing, and many others. To find masters in economics job opportunities, you can look on job boards, network with business associates, look within your organization or start your own consulting firm and market your skills directly to organizations. 

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Economics? 

The salary for masters in economics is typically quite comfortable and comes with a range of benefits. The median master in economics salary is around $114,000 per year. Even the masters in economics starting salary is relatively high and lands somewhere around $75,000 per year. Some of the top positions that yield a high masters in economics salary include marketing directors, economists, and senior financial analysts.

A masters in applied economics salary can also be quite high. Applied economics refers to the practice of taking general economic theory and applying it to everyday life. The average masters in applied economics salary is around the same as the median pay for all economists, however, it offers more opportunities across a wide range of industries.

Overall, the salary for masters in economics graduates is well worth the time and energy you’ll put in. If you’re looking to get an even higher masters in economics starting salary, you should consider a dual major or learning other skills on the side. For instance, the salary of a qualitative analyst is typically higher than any other master in economics salary but requires more in-depth math skills that may require a separate degree. But, no matter what field you choose to pursue, a masters in economics salary will allow you to live a comfortable life and work in a dynamic and competitive industry.

What are the Career Options for an Accelerated Online Master’s in Economics Degree?

  • Economics
  • Corporate Analyst
  • Chartered Certified Public Finance Accountant
  • Data Scientist
  • Actuary
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Business Reporter
  • Financial Risk Analyst
  • Policy Analyst
  • Compensation and Benefits Manager
  • Lawyer
  • Economic Consultant
  • Budget Analyst
  • Credit Analyst
  • Management Consultant

How Much Can You Earn in This Field?

The median salary for a professional in economics depends on the type of degree they have. Individuals who have earned a Master of Arts will earn about $87,7623. Professionals with a Master of Science degree will earn roughly $76,000. The salary range for this field ranges from $36,000 to $167,000. All salaries are accounted for, including private and public sector positions, jobs that require further education, and fluctuations in salary based on where the professional lives.

What are the Various Disciplines of Economics?

Economics is an umbrella field that encompasses trade and all of the disciplines that inform it. For example, professionals will have a strong foundation in finance, accounting, politics, history, the law, and more. They will also have strong communication, critical thinking, and writing skills.

The field tends to be broken down further, however, into sub-disciplines. This can include the three major sub-disciplines, which are microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics, which all have their own disciplines that inform the field. It can also include specialization areas such as political economy, behavioral economics, public economics, public choice, international economics, and more.

Economics is a field that affects everyday people’s lives. From the political climate to the business climate, most things in this country are directly tied to, or influenced by, the economy. It should come as no surprise that the field is growing and evolving to meet the needs of its professionals, especially as the economy becomes more globalized. This means that most professionals are required to have a graduate degree in the field and an accelerated online Master’s in Economics is the best way to achieve that goal.


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