Top Ten Free Online Courses in Economics With Certificates in 2022

Over the years, economics has proven to be an excellent career option because almost everything we do revolves around economics, including business, health, research, and spending. Economics influences everything we do; hence, experts in economics will continue to be in high demand with a competitive salary. To back that up, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13 percent increase in the employment of economists from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. 

Therefore, if you want to pursue a career in economics, you can begin by enrolling in free online courses in economics, which come with a certificate of completion and are offered by prestigious universities such as Yale University, University of Illinois, and Columbia University, to name a few.

This article covers what economics is all about, the career outlook for economics, and the free online courses in economics.

Let’s delve in!

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Top Ten Free Online Courses in Economics With Certificates

What is Economics?

Economics is a branch of social science that deals with the manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It investigates how individuals, businesses, governments, and nations make resource allocation decisions.

Additionally, it investigates the supply and demand for resources, goods, and services by gathering and analyzing data, researching trends, and assessing economic issues. Also, economists apply qualitative and quantitative financial analysis to various topics, including education, health, development, and the environment.

Types of Economics

Economics can generally be broken down into two are they are:

1. Microeconomics:

It is a field that analyzes what’s viewed as essential elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets and their interactions.

2. Macroeconomics:

Analyzes the overall behavior of the economy, including production, consumption, saving, investment, and the factors that influence it.

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Why Should You Have a Career in Economics?

Studying economics will help you develop the skills required to understand complex markets and develop highly sought-after skills and the necessary business acumen to succeed in the professional world. The following are some reasons you should consider a career in economics.:

1. Increase Demand and Financial Benefits

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, states that the employment of economists is expected to grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. It also forecasts approximately 1,600 openings for economists per year on average over the next decade. Furthermore, in 2021, the median annual wage for economists was $105,631. With all of this, it’s clear that a career in economics is lucrative and will remain in demand.

2. It Prepares You for a Constantly Changing World

Economic study helps us to understand our surroundings. As a result, you’ll better understand people, businesses, markets, and governments and thus respond to the threats and opportunities that arise when things change.

Therefore, a career in economics can lead to opportunities in law, risk management, actuarial science, finance, foreign affairs, public administration, politics, policy analysis, health administration, entrepreneurship, market analysis, and journalism, among others.

3. Provides You with Transferable Skills

While studying economics, whether you are enrolled in offline or economics online courses, you’ll develop transferable skills like critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and analytic and decision-making skills during your studies. Because employers are looking for individuals with such skillsets, having these skills will increase your job prospect.

4. You’ll Learn How to Leverage Economic Tools

Economics will teach you the basics and give you concrete tools for analysis. For example, conjoint analysis is a statistical approach to measuring consumer demand for specific product features. This tool will allow you to get at the surprisingly complicated quality versus price tradeoffs that consumers make every day.

5. It’ll Help You to Control Your Spending Habits

A career in economics will teach you how your organization and its market behave; you’ll also gain insight into your spending habits and how to control them. Furthermore, through Studying economics, you will gain insight into concepts such as your Willingness to Pay (WTP), and the maximum amount employer is willing to pay for services. Hence, learning about similar concepts will help you decode your own purchasing habits and allow you to make economically sound decisions.

6. You’ll Be Better-Prepared for Graduate School

In addition to helping you make better decisions in your personal and professional life, learning economics is also beneficial if you’re considering a graduate business degree. Studying economics can equip you with the problem-solving skills and technical knowledge needed to prepare for an MBA.

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How Do You Become an Economist?

Your exact path to becoming an economist will depend heavily upon the specialization you’re most interested in and what industry you choose to work in. That being said, you can become an economist in the following steps:

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

After graduating from high school, the first step to becoming an economist is earning a bachelor’s degree. There is no requirement for what you should major in, but making a degree in economics or one relevant to economics, like accounting, finance, or mathematics, can benefit you in the long term.

Bachelor’s degrees in economics come in two main categories: the bachelor of arts in economics (B.A.) and the bachelor of science in economics (BS). B.A. degrees in economics tend to focus on theory and social sciences.

Step 2: Seek Internship Opportunities

While studying for your bachelor’s degree, you should seek internship opportunities related to economics. Many future economists choose to commit one to two years to build their competencies through internships. Not only do internships can help you gain relevant work experience, but they can help you build a strong foundation of skills. 

These internships also include working alongside full-time employees and working at the entire pace of operations, providing valuable hands-on experience for later applications to graduate programs or other full-time jobs.

Step 3: Pursue a Master’s Degree

Many economists earn master’s degrees to hone their skills further and build differentiated knowledge sets. Comparatively, pursuing either an M.A. or M.S. can help you build a deeper understanding of economics and prepare you to work in more specialized fields of economics.

You can decide to pursue one of three degrees to become an economist—a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Arts in Economics (MA), or a Master of Science in Economics (MS). Each of these degrees comes with its specialized benefits.

Step 4: Consider Earning a Doctoral Degree

Some economists choose to earn their doctoral degrees to pursue academic research opportunities and more specialized education. However, the type of classes and workshops you will take in a doctoral program will depend on the field you’ve chosen to work in. Despite this, the most exciting part of postgraduate programs for most degree candidates is completing a comprehensive research project and dissertation in their field of study.

Top Ten Free Online Courses in Economics With Certificates in 2022

The following are our best picks for free online economics courses with certificates:

1. Introduction to Economic Theories

Introduction to economics is the first on our list of free online courses in economics. If you’ve wondered why economists have not predicted severe financial crises? or are shocked by economic assumptions of human behavior as self-centered and focusing only on what can be measured. Or you’re asking yourself if there are no sensible economic alternatives to free markets? Then you are at the right place to learn economics! 

This free economics course will illustrate economic pluralism not only in substance but also in form. Consequently, you will see a pop-up Prof of the Erasmus University business school who illustrates the actor perspective of firms, government, and civil society. In addition, you will meet other online students based in Greece who will help you through the tutorial videos, which will explain key concepts, tools, and techniques.

The goal of this course is twofold. First, to help you understand various economic viewpoints linked to important economic thought traditions and basic financial concepts associated with these theoretical perspectives. Second, you will be able to perform some basic financial calculations that are useful in everyday life, such as calculating an inflation rate and economic policies.

Provider: Coursera

Subject: Introduction to Economics 

Duration: 41 Hours

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

2. Globalization, Economic Growth, and Stability Specialization

One feature that distinguishes this course from the best economics courses online is the opportunity to put everything you’ve learned into practice. Hence, you must analyze the best economic indicators for a given country and present an outline of that country’s best monetary policy trends and milestones.

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In addition, you must link the macroeconomic indicators to the policies chosen by governments in each case and indicate whether or not the procedure was appropriate. Finally, you will present your findings and emphasize the potential risks of failing to implement the right policy. The is provided by the I.E. Business School.

Provider: Coursera

Subject: Globalization, Economic Growth, and Stability Specialization

Duration: 5 Months

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

3. Microeconomics Principles

Most people mistakenly believe that economics is simply the study of money, this free economics course will debunk that myth. Students will address the questions raised concerning the environment, love and marriage, crime, labor markets, education, politics, sports, and business.

By the end of this free economics online course with a certificate, you should be able to understand how economists think and how to use this analytical system to answer questions about not only these and other critical human issues but also about anything else you do with your life after this class.

Provider: Coursera

Subject: Microeconomics Principles

Duration: 33 Hours

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

4. Econometrics for Economists and Finance Practitioners Specialization

Econometrics also ranks high on our list of free online courses in economics because it provides rigorous training in econometric methods by exploring theoretical concepts and real-data examples and applying econometric techniques to industry-relevant questions.

This Specializations’ methodologies are essential for making informed economic and financial decisions. This course will teach you:

How to put economics and finance theories and hypotheses about variable relationships to the test.

Examine how prices, returns, growth, and unemployment behave.

Analyze and forecast the impact of macroeconomic changes on economic growth and performance.

Furthermore, you will be prepared to use these successfully and navigate the associated risks due to a thorough examination of the modern techniques, applications, and possibilities available by the most recent advances in econometrics, as taught by the Queen Mary University of London.

Provider: Coursera

Subject: Econometrics for Economists and Finance Practitioners Specialization

Duration: 4 Months

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

5. Economics of Money and Banking

Economics of Money and banking is another highly rated among the free online courses in economics. The institutions that comprise the modern monetary system have evolved dramatically over the last three or four decades. As a result, the financial crisis of 2007-2009 is a wake-up call that we need a similar evolution in the analytical apparatus and theories that we use to understand that system.

This course, produced and sponsored by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, is an attempt to start the process of new economic thinking by reviving and updating some forgotten traditions in monetary thought that have become newly relevant. 

Provider: Coursera

Subject: Economics of Money and Banking

Duration: 33 Hours

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

6. Behavioral Finance

Every day, we make thousands of decisions. Should I cross the street now or wait for the oncoming truck? For lunch, should I have fries or a salad? What should I give the cab driver? We usually make these decisions almost instinctively, relying on what psychologists call “heuristics” – rules of thumb that help us navigate our lives.

Many daily choices would paralyze us if we did not have these mental shortcuts. However, these shortcuts result in predictable errors in certain circumstances – predictable if we know what to look for.

In this free economics certificate course offered by Duke University, learners will examine these predictable errors and discover where they’re most susceptible to them. The goal of this course is to help participants make better financial decisions. 

Provider: Coursera

Subject: Behavioral Finance

Duration: 5 Hours

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

7. Managerial Economics and Business Analysis Specialization

This is another highly rated course on our list of free online courses in economics. Managers and leaders must now understand the market characteristics and economic environment they operate to manage and run a business effectively.

In this free online economics certificate course, you will understand the market operation and the macroeconomic environment in this specialization with real-world examples. Additionally, you also identify firm and country-level economic factors that influence business decisions, create an analytical framework using statistical tools, and apply economic theory and data to analyze the business environment and trends to make effective business decisions which make this course ranks on our list of best economics courses online.

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Provider: Coursera

Subject: Managerial Economics and Business Analysis Specialization

Duration: 7 Months

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

8. Central Banks and Monetary Policy

One of the reasons why Central Banks and Monetary Policy makes it on our free online courses in economics is that is aimed at providing you with an understanding of central bank policies and how such policies affect financial markets and the economy. 

This course will provide insights into the macroeconomic relationships between interest rates, inflation, and unemployment, allowing you to assess central bank actions and understand how they affect the economy.

Also, you’ll learn how to extract relevant information from the financial market and economic data about the macroeconomic environment and central bank actions, which will be helpful in your decision-making in your professional career and your personal financial choices.

Provider: Coursera

Subject: Central Banks and Monetary Policy

Duration: 17 Hours

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

9. The Economics of A.I.

The Economics of A.I. is another highly rated free online course in economics. As a result, the course will introduce you to cutting-edge research in the economics of A.I. and its implications for economic growth and labor markets. Students will begin by investigating the nature of intelligence and information theory. Then, in economics, connect analysis to modeling production and technological change and how A.I. affects these processes.

Following that, you’ll see how technological change drives aggregate economic growth with a look at various scenarios, including the possibility of a growth singularity.

Furthermore, you will investigate the impact of AI-driven technological change on labor markets and workers, determining whether or not fears of technological unemployment are justified. Finally, you’ll assess the potential for transformative A.I. progress to result in significant disruptions and investigate how humans can control brilliant A.I. algorithms.

Provider: Coursera

Subject: The Economics of A.I.

Duration: 28 Hours

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here

10. Financial Markets

The last on our list of free online courses in economics is the financial market. This course will give you an overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that enable human society to manage risks and foster enterprise, focusing on financially-savvy leadership skills.

It will also introduce you to risk management and behavioral finance principles to understand the real-world functioning of the securities, insurance, and banking industries.

Provider: Coursera

Subject: Financial Markets

Duration: 33 Hours

Start Date: Self-Paced

Apply Here


Economists play an essential role in various industries because they analyze various economic issues and historical trends to forecast future societal and financial outcomes. Also, they use advanced critical thinking, analysis, and communication skills to assist others in understanding the efficient allocation of resources.

If you want to become an economist, you can either gain admission to a higher institute or enroll in any free online economics courses that we’ve shared. We hope you found this article useful. P.S. If you have friends who might be interested in reading this article, please feel free to share the link with them.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Free Online Courses in Economics

Can you study economics online?

Yes! You can study economics online and earn a certificate of completion from prestigious universities.

Where can I learn economics for free online?

You can enroll in free online economics courses with certificates from the following institutions: University of California 
Columbia University 
Yale University
University of Illinois
Erasmus University business school

How many years does it take to become an economist?

The educational requirements to become an economist are extensive; many jobs in the field require a master’s degree and a Ph.D. As a result, finishing your education can take four to twelve years.

What is the highest paying job in economics?

The following are the highest paying jobs in economics:
Personal Financial Advisor
Financial Manager
Financial Analyst
Management Analyst
Market Research Analyst
Operations Research Analyst


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