The 12 Best Online Economic Courses (2022 Reviews & Rankings)

The best online economics courses can help you better understand economic policy, the principles of micro- and macroeconomics, and the inner workings of the global economy.

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The benefits of studying economics are numerous.

Understanding economics can help you make more informed decisions in your personal life, better understand the issues affecting society and the economy, and give you the critical thinking skills to tackle real-world problems.

Whether you want to study economics online to boost your career prospects or simply satisfy your curiosity, there’s an online course for you.

Online courses offer the flexibility to study at your own pace and around your commitments.

They also tend to be more affordable than traditional courses.

We’ve reviewed and ranked the best online economics courses based on a number of important factors, including the instructor’s credentials, course content, cost, and student satisfaction.

 

What are the Best Online Economics Courses?

Here are our top picks for the best economics classes you can take online…

 

1. Thinking like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making (The Great Courses)

Thinking like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making (The Great Courses) Thinking like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making (The Great Courses)

Learning how to think like an economist in your everyday life can give you newfound power over a wide range of financial and personal situations you encounter.

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Price

  • Instant Video: $14.95
  • DVD for $19.95
  • Subscribe & Stream 500+ Great Courses Starting at $7.50/month (Free 14-Day Trial)

Duration

12 lectures, each about 31 minutes

Today, economics is a major part of our lives. Not only does it exist in monetary transactions, but also in places we might not even be able to fathom.

This course, taught by Randall Bartlett, sheds light on how and where economics is present in our daily lives.

It focuses on how minute changes in behaviors and perceptions of an individual daily can help make effective judgments leading to cost and time-saving along with optimization of outcomes.

Moreover, the professor lays out six concepts in his tool kit. These, along with his diverse scale of examples from around the world, help one understand the implication of every decision he makes from an economic point of view and how maximum utility can be derived from each decision.

What You Will Learn

  • How economics exist in our daily lives
  • How to use tools that help us make the best choices
  • How the concepts learned in books can be applied to us
  • The concept of rationality, marginal analysis, and optimization
  • The economic implication of events that took place in real life
  • How information can be used to manipulate other people’s decisions
  • The concepts of real VS nominal and present VS future value

 

2. Capitalism vs. Socialism: Comparing Economic Systems (The Great Courses)

Capitalism vs. Socialism: Comparing Economic Systems (The Great Courses) Capitalism vs. Socialism: Comparing Economic Systems (The Great Courses)

In this course, you'll get a full breakdown and side-by-side comparison of capitalism and socialism as economic systems.

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Price

  • Instant Video: $39.95
  •  DVD: $59.95
  • Subscribe & Stream 500+ Great Courses Starting at $7.50/month (Free 14-Day Trial)

Duration

24 lectures, each about 30 minutes

The debate about different economic systems is still crucial today. Economists are still questioning the tradeoff between freedom from capitalism and the security derived from socialism worldwide. However, it is important to note both these economies have pros and cons.

So, in this course, Edward F. Stuart delves into this argument in detail. With him specializing in comparative economics and his travel exposure, this debate also takes a personal dimension. Different measures of success are discussed, like inflation, employment and GDP, along with the implications of these metrics.

Furthermore, this course will tour different theories, their origin, and how they developed, quoting various examples of famous personalities and events that shaped economic thought today.

What You Will Learn

  • The different kinds of economies and how they developed
  • Equilibrium of freedom versus security
  • Some of the important metrics to measure the success of economies
  • Do economies with good metrics indicate a ‘good’ economy
  • The origin of capitalism and its drawbacks
  • The contradictions that exist in economic systems
  • How different types of economies fared during the specific historic period
  • The concept of comparative economics

 

3. History of the U.S. Economy in the 20th Century (The Great Courses)

History of the U.S. Economy in the 20th Century (The Great Courses) History of the U.S. Economy in the 20th Century (The Great Courses)

This course teaches the most important lessons of the US economy over the past century and offers guidance for understanding the current economic situation.

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Price

  • Instant Audio: $12.95
  • Subscribe & Stream 500+ Great Courses Starting at $7.50/month (Free 14-Day Trial)

Duration

10 lectures, each about 45 minutes

Studying history is important for understanding any area of study. It helps us comprehend problems and learn lessons. Indeed, what happened previously might not be relevant to the current problems; however, a deep understanding of history is a great way to determine a direction.

In this course, Timothy Taylor divides the previous 100 years into 10 lectures that elaborate on the economic developments and how the U.S. economy was affected by outside forces. Economics deals with individual lifestyles as well as different nations and their interaction with each other; thus, components that influenced the U.S. economy are also discussed in detail.

Along with these, we also examine different events, like the World Wars and Great Depression, and learn about the policies implemented during these eras. The consequences of these policies are also discussed.

What You Will Learn

  • The history of the U.S. economy
  • How the government tackled different crises
  • The consequences of policies implemented
  • The significance of historical policies to policies being made today
  • How ordinary people lived their lives: their work, consumption, and education
  • How the U.S. government allocated their budgets, made policies, employment and inflations, and their interactions with different countries

 

4. Introduction to Economic Theories (Coursera)

Price

Get started free (paid upgrades available)

Duration

8 weeks (approximately 41 hours)

Economies are difficult to understand sometimes. It is concerning when an economic crisis occurs as they lead to a country being worse off in terms of employment, inflation, and wages. However, these crises are not easy to predict.

This course, taught mainly by Irene van Staveren, introduces 4 theories: Social Economics, Institutional Economics, Post Keynesian Economics, and Neoclassical Economics. She expands on these theories, which help understand the thought process of economists from several different perceptions. These also help us understand why economic crises are not easily predictable.

With the pluralist viewpoint of economics being taught, theories and methods are given importance and paired with tables, equations, charts, and diagrams to help understand the concepts more effectively.

Furthermore, professors from the school of business help better understand the perspective of an economy’s actors, like governments and firms.

A flexible deadline makes this course easy to follow and you also receive certification upon completion.

What You Will Learn

  • The different economic viewpoints
  • How economic thought develops
  • Understanding the basic economic calculations
  • 4 different economic theories
  • The pluralist perspective of economics
  • The actor’s perspective
  • Why is it so hard to foresee an economic crisis

 

5. Econ 101: The Complete Intro to Economics For Beginners (Udemy)

Price

$94.99

Duration

4.5 hours of on-demand Video

Ever wondered what economics is about? How does the world of finance work? How does economics come into play during business transactions?

Well, Chris Benjamin takes you on a journey into the world of economics. From the basic principles of ‘limited resources, unlimited wants, and ‘scarcity’ to macroeconomics and microeconomics, all are discussed in this 4.5-hour course.

Furthermore, this course also highlights the different structures of industries, i.e., monopolies and oligopolies, and how these industries tend to be different in their behaviors and pricing decisions. Interest rates and recession are also discussed, and their concepts are clarified.

In addition, this course also provides 2 downloadable resources and an article, along with a certificate when the course is completed.

What You Will Learn

  • What are economics and its fundamentals
  •  The concept of optimization
  • What affects demand and supply
  • What are macroeconomics and microeconomics
  • The concept of Game Theory
  • Different types of competition in different industries
  • Recession and Interest rate
  • The economic forces working around you in real life

 

6. Economics and Society (Masterclass)

Price

Masterclass pricing is $15/month billed annually for access to all Masterclass courses

Duration

22 video lessons (3 hours 56 minutes)

Economics deals with a lot of irrelevant and fake news. Knowing how to understand which news you come across is appropriate, and influences society is important.

With the help of Nobel- prize winner Paul Krugman, this course aims to develop your analytical and critical thinking skills. It intends to help you think like an economist and understand the world around you better, as only then will you be able to bring change in this world.

You are taken into the world of economics through this course, with the focus being on building a thorough understanding of the subject and its principles. Moreover, you will also be introduced to different theories and how they have affected the practical world, the effects of rapid globalization, problems in healthcare systems, their solutions, and other critical social issues.

What You Will Learn

  • What does economics deal with, and how to think like an economist
  • The fundamental principles of economics
  • How economic thought progressed
  • What is macroeconomics
  • Inequality existing in societies today and how the gap is increasing
  • Economic crisis and its solutions
  • Healthcare problems and their solutions
  • What exactly is tax, and how it works
  • How the hyper-globalized world works

 

7. Macroeconomics for a Sustainable Planet (edX)

Price

Get started free (paid upgrades available)

Duration

13 weeks (2-4 hours weekly)

We often come across concepts of inflation, unemployment, globalization, and fiscal deficits in our economic textbooks. However, these concepts and their real-life implications are important to understand to survive on a planet that is becoming increasingly fragile.

Under the guidance of Jeffrey Sachs, a senior U.N. advisor, and Felipe Larraín, a former Minister of Finance in Chile, a special emphasis on sustainable development is given in this course. It deals with rapid globalization and macroeconomics in a world so interdependent. While building the concepts of macroeconomics, the course aims to enlighten people about economic indicators, their measurement, and the problems existing in the current world.

It mostly hopes to help anyone taking this course grasp how economic growth can be attained sustainably in a world that is on the verge of collapse.

What You Will Learn

  • Concept of macroeconomics
  • How to measure well-being in an economy
  • How the Labor Markets are changing
  • Role of Central banks and the concept of money
  • How do banks affect an economy and their role in an economic crisis
  • What are some of the economic players in society and their implications
  • Effect of globalization
  • How can growth become sustainable

 

8. Economics of Money and Banking (Coursera)

Price

Get started free (paid upgrades available)

Duration

13 weeks (approximately 33 hours)

As the institutions in the monetary system progress, there is a need for evolution in theories and analytical approaches that govern the understanding of this system.

This course aims to provide a starting point for developing economic thought. This is done using existing theories of economics and developing them to match the current world’s requirements. To do this, Perry G Mehrling provides us with an in-depth analysis of banks and their role in society in the present as well as historically. The financial crisis of 2007-2008 is given special attention, along with the role of banks in this crisis.

Additionally, the growth of international banking and how it differs from normal banking is also discussed, with derivatives being examined in detail as well.

What You Will Learn

  • Crisis of 2007-2008
  • Key analytical tools in economics
  • Banks as a clearing house and a market maker
  • Concept of international banking and how it works in our system
  • How do derivatives work in the world today and their importance to the financial world globally

 

9. Behavioral Finance (Coursera)

Price

Get started free (paid upgrades available)

Duration

3 weeks (approximately 5 hours)

Every day, we make numerous decisions, from what to eat to when to sleep. These decisions are made by our subconscious mind, which makes our choices very predictable. However, these choices tend to lead to errors sometimes, which are also foreseeable.

Similarly, behavioral finance deals with such subconscious financial decisions made on our part and their errors. These decisions are likely to be taken due to some bias present within ourselves. Thus, this course is designed by Emma Rasiel to assist us in understanding the thought process behind financial decisions. It aims to help us eliminate such mistakes, leading to better investing, saving, and spending decisions.

What You Will Learn

  • What is the economic model used to understand consumer choices
  • How does the economic model assumes people behave and how they behave
  • How does a human mind work when making decisions
  • How to improve financial decisions to avoid expected errors

 

10. Effective Policy Making to Build the Impact Economy (FutureLearn)

Price

FutureLearn pricing starts at $27.99 a month

Duration

8 weeks (3 hours weekly)

As much as businesses are important for the economy, they are also one of the leading factors of the climate crisis. Thus, as the environment around us deteriorates, the need for sustainable models of business increases.

With the help of Juliet Cornford and Angelina Twomey, this course will help you understand the role policymakers play in countering the climate crisis. It explains the importance of policy-making, so businesses use alternative sustainability models. By using case studies and examples from the real world, this course will aid you in becoming a more socially aware individual.

What You Will Learn

  • Climate crisis the world is dealing with
  • Sustainable models that can be used instead
  • Importance of policymaking to counter the climate emergency
  • Importance of social enterprising
  • Policies for sustainable growth and the challenges attached to them
  • How can policymakers incorporate inclusion and diversity to encourage sustainability

 

11. The Politics of Economics and the Economics of Politicians (FutureLearn)

Price

$27.99 per month

Duration

3 weeks (3 hours weekly)

Ever wondered about the role economics plays in politics? How does economics influence politicians? This course aims to answer all your questions regarding the relationship between economics and politics and help you understand how they are interlinked.

Some prominent economists at the University of Nottingham, along with Sir Vince Cable, aim to help you understand these concepts and relationships. With the help of real-life examples, you will be able to develop your way of thinking and understand the importance of economic theories and their impact on politics.

What You Will Learn

  • Framework to understand economics
  • How economics impacts politics
  • How politicians have historically incorporated economics into their agendas
  • Political leaders who changed economic history
  • How politicians helped in developing economic thought and theories
  • How these theories related to our lives today

 

12. Economics: Consumer Demand (edX)

Price

Get started free (paid upgrades available)

Duration

4 weeks (4-6 hours weekly)

Demand essentially means how much of a product is required by an individual at a particular price. It is a key concept that needs to be understood if you want to know how markets function.

To understand demand, it is important to understand several factors that influence it. Thus, John Korsak’s focus in this course is to help you get familiar with the concept of demand and its determinants. It elaborates on the concept of elasticity, measuring and incorporating policy changes into demand, and how consumers make decisions.

What You Will Learn

  • What is Demand
  • The relationship between quantity demanded and price
  • The determinants of demand
  • The concept of elasticity
  • What different policies and strategies by businesses influence consumer demand
  • Relationship between changing conditions of the markets and elasticity of demand

 

A Final Word on the Best Online Economics Courses

If you’re someone who’s interested in studying economics, there are lots of great courses you can take online.

Online classes offer a number of advantages over traditional, in-person courses. They’re more affordable, more flexible, and more widely available. You can usually take them at your own pace, and they’re often shorter than traditional courses.

Whether you’re looking to learn about macroeconomics or microeconomics, game theory, or any other facet of economics, there’s an online course out there for you.

So, what’s the best online economics course for you? It really depends on your individual interests and goals. But we hope that this list has given you some ideas about where to start your search.

Have any questions about our guide to the best online economics courses? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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