In A.A. programs in economics, students learn to identify economic trends and explore how political and social changes can affect them. The training they receive promotes critical thinking skills, problem-solving techniques, analytical processes and communication proficiency. All of the skills gained from this program are necessary for further study and careers in economics.
Most programs take two years to complete, and some are offered online. While enrolled, students are required to maintain a minimum GPA. In order to apply, prospective students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
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Associate of Arts in Economics
Because the field of economics encompasses a variety of topics, programs generally provide students with a solid foundation of economic basics along with elective offerings in some specialty areas. Many classes are math-intensive. Students may be required to take courses such as:
- Business-related calculus
- Financial accounting
- Business-related statistics
- International business
Popular Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree is needed to enter the economics field, though some employers may require a master's or doctoral degree (www.bls.gov). An associate's degree in economics can provide students with the groundwork upon which to continue their studies. Entry-level careers for those with bachelor's degrees might include:
- Research assistance
- Finance consulting
Employment Outlook and Salary Statistics
Employment prospects for market research analysts are expected to improve by 19% from 2014 to 2024, and the average annual salary for these workers was $70,030 in 2015, as reported by the BLS. Data from the BLS also shows personal finance advisors earned an average salary of $118,050 in 2015, and job availability in this field is predicted to increase 30% over the 2014-2024 time frame.
Continuing Education Information
At the bachelor's level, students may be able to choose a concentration in mathematical economics, financial analysis or business. Completing a master's or Ph.D. program can qualify one for more prestigious administration and research-based jobs. A variety of emphasis areas are available at the graduate level. These include international economics, law and economics, econometrics, economic development, financial economics and constitutional economics.
An A.A. in economics can provide the first step toward a career in economics. Most graduates transfer into bachelor's degree programs, which can led to job opportunities or more advanced studies.