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What is an MBA in Economics

The Master of Business Administration in Economics combines both the theory of business with the technical expertise of financial systems. The MBA in Economics is a macro-level view of the world’s financial systems and how it affects the marketplace. By studying the interplay between micro and macroeconomics to business, marketing, and finance, students will learn to strategically analyze data for the sake of better understanding how our national and global economies function.

The MA in Economics is a specialized master’s degree equipping graduates with the advanced knowledge and quantitative skills required for an economic analyst in the business world, the consulting industry, a central bank or government. Whether you want to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics or work for a top financial institution, students with an MA in economics will learn fundamental economic principles, application of mathematical methods and modeling, and the use of computer software for large-scale data analysis. The foundation of any economics graduate program begins with four courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, and econometrics.

When you combine an MBA in Economics with Public Policy coursework, the B-Students has created a gateway into the business economics/public policy field. This field specializes in bridging the gap between governmental regulatory agencies like the Federal Reserve and private corporations. The economic and social foundations of government programs and regulatory activity are studied to establish a basis for developing and evaluating effective business responses.

Students in a Master’s in Economics will benefit from strong in-depth training in micro- and macroeconomic analysis and economic impacts of policy decisions on public, private, and not-for-profit organizations. Economics graduates are poised for a leadership position in major Fortune 500 companies, will have ample opportunity in the banking sector, and are prepared to enter the legal profession.

A solid understanding of political systems and institutions, particularly the U.S. federal government is a big part of an MBA in Economics programs. A B-Student in Economics is up-to-date on the latest in fiscal policy, political reform, and the impact of the Federal Reserve. This understanding includes recognizing the impact the federal government has on supply and demand, our monetary system, and our free marketplace. An MBA in Economics highlights how private interests drive political decision-making in Congress and in federal agencies.

More than a monetary discipline, economics is a powerful tool for understanding society. Microeconomics examines the powers of supply and demand at the individual, household, and organizational level. Macroeconomics, on the other hand, examines the larger system that affects how individuals and companies make choices and how those decisions impact our national/global economy.

MBA in Economics students are introduced to the following concepts: general equilibrium models of foreign trade; consumption as a function of permanent income; the economics of human capital, information, incentives, invention, and innovation; and the monetary approach to international finance.

Businesses and organizations across many industries use economic analysis and quantitative methods to analyze and forecast business, sales, and other economic trends. Demand for economists should come from the increasing complexity of the global economy, additional financial regulations, and a more competitive business environment.

Through 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employment opportunities for financial analysts are projected to grow by 23%, and pricing analyst positions will grow by close to 27%. Market research analyst jobs will increase by 41%. Demand for executives will rise by 8%. All of these opportunities will be available to graduates of an MBA in Economics program.

How Much Do Economists with an MBA Earn

The median annual wage for economists is $101,050. The lowest 10% earned less than $55,150, and the highest 10% earned more than $181,060.

The median annual wages for economists in the top industries are as follows:

Sector Avg. Salary
Finance and insurance $124,660
Federal government, excluding postal service $111,310
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services $110,900
Scientific research and development services $102,000
State government, excluding education and hospitals $69,170

What Can I Do With an MBA in Economics

  • Research and analyze economic issues
  • Conduct surveys and collect data
  • Analyze data using mathematical models and statistical techniques
  • Prepare reports, tables, and charts and present research results
  • Interpret and forecast market trends
  • Advise businesses, governments, and individuals on economic topics
  • Design policies or make recommendations for solving economic problems
  • Write articles for publication in academic journals and other media sources

Where Do Economists with an MBA Work

Graduates of an MBA in Economics program will have the ideal educational background for employment in banking, insurance, data analytics, forecasting, labor arbitration, regulation and urban and regional planning. Graduates will also have the opportunity to further their studies in Ph.D. programs in economics, statistics, or additional studies in business or law. An Actuary serves as a professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk. Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs. Actuaries are in high demand and the profession is always on the cutting-edge of the newest risk management technologies.

Sector Description
Econometricians Econometricians are typically employed by the federal government and are responsible for the design, development, maintenance, evaluation, and replication of short and long-term economic models, to develop economic forecasts or simulations.
Financial Analysts Financial Analysts guide businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.
Mathematicians Mathematicians conduct research to develop and understand mathematical principles. They also analyze data and apply mathematical techniques to help solve real-world problems.
The Professor of Economics A Professor of Economics will be a member of both the University and the college community. He or she will be part of an intellectually stimulating research community which performs at the highest international levels in research, publications, and lectures.
Statisticians Statisticians use statistical methods to collect and analyze data and to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.

What Skills Do Successful Economists with an MBA Need

A master’s degree or Ph.D. is required for the most highly coveted economist jobs. Positions in business, research, or international organizations often require a combination of graduate education and work experience.

  • Analytical skills: Economists must be able to review data, observe patterns, and draw logical conclusions. Economists, for example, are responsible for analyzing historical employment trends to make future projections on jobs.
  • Communication skills: Economists must be able to explain their work to others. They may give presentations, explain reports, or advise clients on economic issues. They may collaborate with colleagues and sometimes must explain economic concepts to those without a background in economics.
  • Critical-thinking skills: Economists must be able to use logic and reasoning to solve complex problems. For instance, they might identify how economic trends may affect an organization.
  • Detail oriented: Economists must pay attention to details. Precise data analysis is necessary to ensure accuracy in their findings.
  • Math skills: Economists use the principles of statistics, calculus, and other advanced topics in mathematics in their economic analyses.
  • Writing skills: Economists must be able to present their findings clearly. Many economists prepare reports for colleagues or clients; others write for publication in journals or the news media.

MBA in Economics Vs Master Degree in Economics

The main difference between a master’s degree and an MBA is highly specialized coursework versus the comprehensive study of business. Master’s degrees offer students highly specialized and theoretical knowledge of economics while the MBA includes coursework like business law, operations management, marketing, financial management, statistics. Students in a Master’s in Economics program will take the full breadth of economics coursework including microeconomics, macroeconomics, applied econometrics and mathematical economics. Depending on your career aspirations, you may want to weigh your options. If you plan on entering academia, the Master’s degree in Economics may be the best route. On the other hand, if you plan on working for a large bank, you may want to develop a more balanced understanding of business principles prior to entering the corporate world.

  • An MBA in Economics provides a broad swath of business knowledge, and may be the best choice for those who want to work in a managerial capacity.
  • A Masters Degree in Economics is for students who want to continue their education and attain a Ph.D., or who want to work in the fields of research, public policy or consulting, a Master’s in Economics may be the better choice.

 Typical Classes for an Economics MBA Program

Using economic theory as a tool to help organizations achieve goals is the primary concern of business economics. Specifically, business economists deal with firm behavior in response to the market and determine how it will affect operations, today and tomorrow. Business economists are concerned with pricing policy, monetary policy, predicting economic impacts, measuring demand, and applying economic models to management decisions. Courses in business economics emphasize capital markets and macroeconomic policies, international business economics, forecasting, and business decision making.

  • Macroeconomics – This course analyzes the economic performance of the US and other national economies. How the government and its policies shape the rules of the game for business activity and influence the economic performance of businesses and nations are stressed. Specific topics include measuring national economic performance, the determinants of productivity and output growth, consumption and investment, labor markets and unemployment, inflation and monetary policy, taxes and government spending, and economic fluctuations.
  • Microeconomics – This course will provide students with an understanding of the basics of microeconomic theory and their application to business decisions. Topics include the theory of consumer choice and demand; production and the behavior of firms; market power and market structure; the efficiency of competitive markets; factor markets; externalities; the economics of information, and behavior under uncertainty.
  • Money and Banking – This course examines the role of money and credit in the economy, with an eye toward understanding government regulation of financial markets and Central Bank operations. The economics of the financial system with a special emphasis on the theories and history of payment and credit instruments and the management of risk by financial intermediaries is considered. Building on the foundations of money and credit, we will investigate the macroeconomic consequences of government involvement in financial markets, and the policies of the Federal Reserve in particular – from promoting financial stability to the management of the business cycle.
  • International Financial Policy – This course will help students develop an understanding of issues in international macroeconomics that are important for managers operating in the global marketplace. It will cover theories of the determination of exchange rates and interest rates, the management of foreign exchange risk, international capital flows, debt and currency crises, international monetary and exchange rate regimes, the roles of the international financial institutions in developing countries, and other characteristics of international financial markets.
  • Advanced Microeconomic Analysis – Topics to be covered include supply and demand, consumer behavior, capital markets, cost and production, competitive markets, and choices under uncertainty. The emphasis of the course will be on understanding the basic principles of microeconomic theory and learning how to use these principles to analyze real-world problems.

Cost of Tuition for MBA Programs in Economics

The average in-state tuition for on-campus programs in Economics is $32,158.06 compared to the average out-of-state tuition of $48,280.17. The average in-state tuition for an online MBA in Economics is $29,780.71 compared to an average out-of-state online tuition of $46,424.58. With a tuition range hovering between Lowest In-State Tuition: $9,882.00 and $91,748.00, it may be worthwhile to attend a highly reputable in-state program instead of crossing the border. This may be the difference in a $10K plus tuition hike due to your residency status. As an Economics graduate student, you will learn the importance of fiscal responsibility. You may want to opt for a more affordable degree programs instead of taking out student loans for B-School tuition. A savvy student also realizes that attending an online MBA program reduces textbook, transportation and living costs.

Campus Tuition

Online Tuition

GMAT Scores for MBA Programs in Economics

It’s important to note that not all MBA programs require a GMAT Score for admissions, but most reputable programs do. With that being said, if you have your eye on a list of competitive programs, it’s best to boost your GMAT Score accordingly. Outside of a solid GMAT Score, B-School admissions departments look at a candidate’s undergraduate GPA, professional experience, letters of recommendation, CV, and personal statement. A strong undergraduate performance may offset a sub-part GMAT Score. The average GMAT Score for on-campus MBA programs in Economics is a 566.31 compared to an average online MBA program score of 570.65. It is recommended that each B-School applicant take a GMAT diagnostic test in order to determine whether or not further study and/or a prep course is needed to boost your score.

Campus GMAT Scores

Online GMAT Scores

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA Programs in Economics

A low Student/Faculty ratio for any MBA may have more of an impact on students wanting smaller classrooms and greater networking opportunities with professors and fellow classmates. For students who thrive in lecture hall environments and do not require the individual attention/one-on-one mentorship from a B-Schools faculty, then a high Student/Faculty ratio may not be an issue. The best MBA Student/Faculty ratio for on-campus programs in Economics is 0.07 compared to the worst Student/Faculty ratio of 6.55. The best MBA Student/Facult ratio for online programs in Economics is 0.08 compared to the worst Student/Faculty ratio of 4.83. Once again, this is truly a matter of preference and a prospective B-Students should analyze their optimal learning style prior to making a decision to enroll in their MBA program.

Campus Student/Faculty Ratio

Online Student/Faculty Ratio

 Enrollment for MBA Programs in Economics

The importance of networking, whether it’s by way of campus job fairs, student organization members, or faculty mentorship, should not be understated. The average MBA enrollment size has a direct impact on your studies, your job prospects, and your ability to define your career goals. The average full-time MBA enrollment for on-campus programs is 325 compared to the average enrollment of 277 students for online programs. The average part-time enrollment is 327 compared to the average part-time enrollment for online MBA’s of 335. With the technology around eLearning platforms and Blackboard courses drastically improving, the collaboration between students and faculty has reached an all-time high online. The traditional on-campus MBA program provides its students with the option of taking online classes. There is no quality lost taking a traditional on-campus MBA course versus an online MBA course. It’s more of a matter of one’s individual learning preference.

Campus Enrollment

Online Enrollment

 Global Enrollment for MBA Programs in Economics

Global competition for Economists will make having a diverse international student population an important asset when entering, maintaining, or growing a market outside the U.S. B-Students who plan on pursuing an MBA in Economics must have a firm grasp on the global economy. Having access to alumni from other countries can become a valuable asset for networking and getting introductions or other connections. The value of collaborating with international students can translate nicely as an Economist, especially if you plan on working with international exchanges, foreign currency, or investment banking. The average number of MBA students from the U.S. is 79.30% for on-campus programs compared to 82.39% for online programs.

Campus Global Enrollment

Online Global Enrollment

Faculty Information for MBA Programs in Economics

An MBA program is only as strong as the background of its professors. If an Economist decides to pursue academics, they most likely complete a terminal degree in Economics. Some of the best business professors have a nice balance of industry experience and teaching in an academic setting. They have the ability to back their in-class lesson plans with real-world application. That is a powerful combination for someone entering the field. The average number of full-time faculty for on-campus MBA in Economics programs is 99 compared to 118 part-time professors. The average on-campus MBA in Economics program has 84 professors with doctorate degrees. This number is similar (83) to the average number of doctorates in online Economic programs. Knowing that your professor is an industry influencer and has extensive teaching experience in the field of Economics is a clear sign that a program delivers high quality education.

Campus Faculty Numbers

Online Faculty Numbers

List of Campus and Online MBA Programs in Economics

  • The number of on-campus MBA Economics programs offered: 57
  • The number of online MBA Economics programs offered: 25

Whether you want to attend an online Executive MBA program, a traditional on-campus full-time program, or a part-time hybrid between online and on-campus classes, the choice is entirely up to you. B-Schools, in order to stay competitive, are offering their MBA programs with a variety of scheduling options and in flexible formats. There are 57 on-campus MBA in Economics programs in the U.S. compared to 25 online programs in Economics. The traditional program may offer the option to take a few online business courses while the flexible online program may have a residency requirement for its B-Students. Only you can determine your preferred learning style, whether or not to attend full-time or part-time, and what type of classroom experience you are best suited for.

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About Michael J. Marquis

Michael J. Marquis is a Portland, Maine-based freelance copywriter and MBA-graduate who loves writing about disruptive technology. When he's not exploring interesting parts of the world, you can find him at either Gillette Stadium watching his beloved New England Patriots or at a local Portland coffee shop working on his next copywriting assignment. Feel free to find Mike on Twitter @MarquisInteract.