How Do I Choose the Best Online Economics Classes?

J. Beam
J. Beam
Students enjoy convenience and flexibility when they enroll in online classes.
Students enjoy convenience and flexibility when they enroll in online classes.

Online education options are abundant and choices include undergraduate degree programs, graduate degree programs, and certificate programs in an array of fields and areas of study. Due to its direct correlation to business, economics is a popular area of study. Online economics classes range from refresher courses to full-out graduate degree programs. The basis for which online economics classes are chosen will likely depend on the individual student’s goals.

The rules of an employer's tuition reimbursement program should be considered when choosing a program.
The rules of an employer's tuition reimbursement program should be considered when choosing a program.

Most undergraduate degree programs in business or economics consist of classes that include math, micro- and macro-economics, and similar core courses. Further study in the area of economics includes a much more diverse range of specialties and may include theory of economics, international trade and business, and other related subcategories. Individuals interested in pursuing an online degree in economics or business should research accredited schools that meet their expectations regarding cost, time constraint and specific area of study. The online economics classes offered should be reviewed by the prospective student for content.

Reviewing content is an excellent way to compare online economics classes and can be done by viewing the syllabus for each class. This information can typically be viewed on each school’s respective website, giving the student a better idea of the subjects covered and the expected outcome. The value of comparison holds true for both degree program courses and continuing education. By determining the expected outcome, it is easier for the student to determine if the class or classes offered will suit their educational needs. Online economics classes shouldn't differ greatly in content from those offered in traditional settings.

Students looking for refresher courses, pursuing personal or professional development, or interested in learning more about a specific area of study before committing to a program may want to research open courseware available from various schools. Yale, MIT, and Berkeley are examples of well-known universities that offer open courseware online courses in various areas of study, including economics. These classes are free to download and may consist of videotaped lectures, reading material and other useful class resources.

If you are seeking a degree program in economics, in addition to comparing curriculum, scheduling, and cost, it is equally important to compare accreditation. If you are interested in any online classes transferring to another school, it is essential that you research transfer options. For example, many community colleges have credit transfer agreements with major four year universities, but they are not all equally reciprocal. It is often less expensive to take specific classes, especially core courses, through a community college than a four-year institution. Students pursuing an online degree may be able to save money by taking online classes from one school and transferring them to another down the road.

For those who are interested in professional development, be sure to ask about tuition reimbursement policies at your place of employment. This information should be available through your employer’s human resource department. Make sure you understand the guidelines and requirements and verify that any classes you take are subject to reimbursement before enrolling.

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    • Students enjoy convenience and flexibility when they enroll in online classes.
      Students enjoy convenience and flexibility when they enroll in online classes.
    • The rules of an employer's tuition reimbursement program should be considered when choosing a program.
      The rules of an employer's tuition reimbursement program should be considered when choosing a program.