How to Choose a Masters in Applied Economics Degree + Online Option

This article describes the masters in applied economics degree program, some of the subjects and courses that the degree covers, and why the degree provides excellent opportunities for career advancement. It also highlights an online masters in applied economics program that you may want to consider.

What Is a Masters in Applied Economics?

The masters in applied economics equips students with the skills and knowledge about the fundamentals of the effects of economic principles on businesses, governments, and international corporations, and economic analysis. Typically, student directed research, lecture based courses, and experiential learning opportunities, including work experiences and internships, are required for completion of this degree.

Different schools set different requirements for acceptance to a masters in applied economics program. However, typically, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as statistics or economics is required, as is previous coursework in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and statistics. It usually takes around two years to complete such a degree.

During the program, students learn how to collect and analyze economic data and how to use this to solve real-life situations. The courses will focus on advanced economic theories, generally with a focus on a particular field of interest. This includes things, such as practical corporate finance training and further economic theories. Because economics affects every element of society, students are usually encouraged to undertake a specialization in fields, such as the economics of developing nations, corporate economics, and public policy. It is also common to see a core curriculum consisting of:

  • Macroeconomics Theory
  • Microeconomics Theory
  • Consumer Behavior and Price Theory
  • International Economics
  • Economic Model Building
  • Introductory Econometrics

Why Earn a Masters in Applied Economics?

There are numerous economic positions in which a certification or license is required, although this does depend on the specialization or industry. For instance, those who work in the securities industry must be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). At times, it is required to hold a graduate degree to become licensed or certified.

Completing a Masters in Applied Economics degree can also give you the opportunity to pursue a doctorate degree. This will give you the opportunity to conduct research, or you can become a faculty member and teach the next generation of economists. However, a PhD is rarely required for economic positions.

The masters degree provides people with the practical and theoretical economic training required to become advanced professionals in this field. Since most degrees require a specialization for completion, graduates are recognized as experts in their field. They can get to work in virtually any organization, both private and public. In government sectors, they can work in companies covering international trade, urban economics, utilities, transportation, labor, finance, business, or agriculture. In private sectors, they can work in academics, sales, budgets, data management, marketing, real estate, or banking. Federal positions are available with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Department of Transportation, the Department of Commerce, Fannie Mae, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and so on. Graduates can also work in nonprofit sectors, think tanks, or international assistance, to name but a few.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that economists had a median salary of $101,050 per year as of May 2016. The BLS has also reported that there will be a 6% growth in demand for economists from 2014 to 2024, which will translate into some 1,200 new jobs.

Online Option for Masters in Applied Economics

Southern New Hampshire University

Those interested in a master’s in applied economics may opt for the Master of Science in Applied Economics offered by Southern New Hampshire University. This degree is designed for those with an investigative and mathematical mind, who understand the links between global and local markets and the impact of current events.

The degree is weaved together mathematics, philosophy, history, sociology, and science and enables students to make future forecasts by having a greater understanding of the past. Simply put, graduates are able to take data and use this to make informed decisions. The program takes 36 credit hours to complete, and is delivered online.

Economics is where the sociological and the political meet. Graduates learn to observe and to empirically explore these dimensions and use this to solve problems. It is not, therefore, an exact science. This is why the degree program combines the sciences with the arts. Graduates are known for their scientific and interpretive skills that are needed to be able to make the important decisions needed in the economy.

Students look at a range of different schools of thought, and they learn how to analyze different economic variables and how to efficiently use resources. Graduates are respected for their knowledge and understanding of econometric theory, macroeconomics, and microeconomics. Specifically, they learn the critical skills required for communication and presentation of findings, econometric and empirical analysis, formulating problem statements and hypotheses, investigative questioning techniques, data processing, and data collection.

Southern New Hampshire University is a highly respected university. It is known for its affordability, its convenience, its efficiency and flexibility, its expert instruction, its networking opportunities, and its student support. The faculty are known for their expert economical knowledge and real-world experience. They include those who have PhDs, those with prestigious certifications, and corporate vice presidents. All have real-world, global experience, ranging from government consultants to certified small business advisors. This makes them the best of the best in higher education. They can properly communicate the different economic principles, risks, findings, and problems in a way that is highly effective. They also show students how to integrate the various economic principles and theories and how they can use this to analyze real-world political, social, and organizational issues.

The degree teaches students to design and implement research studies that appropriately and effectively incorporate quantitative data analysis and other key economic methods and tools including econometrics. They know how to incorporate ethical decision making, precision, and accuracy into how they analyze and report on various pieces of economic data. Finally, students learn how to evaluate how different external and internal factors impact governmental, professional, and even personal decision-making.

The core curriculum of the degree includes:

  • Introduction to Graduate Economics
  • Mathematics and Statistics for Economics
  • Microeconomics Theory and Analysis
  • Macroeconomics Theory and Analysis
  • Game Theory and Industrial Organization
  • Applied Econometrics


By earning a masters in applied economics, you can greatly advance your career in any industry and any field. Economics influences everything in the world, and there is a huge demand for those who have the advanced skills and knowledge to understand and manage this. Furthermore, you will set yourself apart as an industry leader, something that you can take a great deal of professional pride in.


Economists. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from

MS in Applied Economics. (n.d.). Retrieved from