10 Fastest Master’s in Economics for 2020

one year masters in economics

Earning an accelerated Masters’ in Economics degree will provide you with multiple advantages over the course of your economics career. Accelerating your degree program shortens the amount of time you have to spend in the educational process. It not only allows you to obtain your degree faster, it also enables you to join the workforce with the knowledge you are steadily gaining and give you opportunities for advancement that will allow you to move up much faster than if you completed your degree program in the regular amount of time.

In the world of economics, advancement is always available, but the higher-paying jobs will always go to the person who has the most hands-on experience or the most up to date degree program. An accelerated degree program puts you on the fast track to get a better-paying job.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Economics Master’s Degree Programs

Working professionals who want to advance their career want to to see results quickly, which makes an accelerated master’s in economics a useful tool. However, just because a program is fast, that doesn’t mean it’s good. Great Business Schools has ranked the best accelerated programs not just by speed, but by their cost, reputation, and salary expectations for a total value. Only reputable, accredited programs were considered.

1. California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University offers an MS in Quantitative Economics. This accelerated masters in economics prepares students to become highly-paid economists. The program includes causal inference, advanced econometrics, data analysis, and economic theory. Students gain hands-on learning experiences that help prepare them for careers that require analytical skills. Graduates are prepared to take on challenging careers in the world of economics or pursue their PhDs.

The Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly makes students’ careers its top priority. Students have access to career placements services from the beginning. Cal Poly graduates frequently land prestigious jobs from top-tier companies around the world. The school has a 97% job placement rate at 90 days following graduation. Graduates of the Orfalea School of Business are highly recruited by top employers in Silicon Valley, such as Google, Apple, and Oracle.

Highlight This program can be completed in 10 months.
Degree MS in Quantitative Economics – 10 months

2. University of Texas at Austin

The Department of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin offers a STEM-designated MA in Economics. The program has a challenging curriculum that features quantitative economics training. Students progress through the program as part of a cohort. A degree in economics is not required to enter the program, but students are expected to have taken some courses in economics. Courses include mathematics for economists, econometrics, markets for electricity, economics of auctions, labor economics, and game theory.

The University of Texas at Austin is ranked among the top 50 universities in the world, and its MA in Economics is one of the best of its kind in the United States. The school has outstanding faculty members who care about their students. The College of Liberal Arts encourages students to think independently and critically in order to help them excel beyond the classroom.

Highlight This accelerated masters in economics can be completed in 10 months.
Degree MA in Economics – 10 months

3. Louisiana State University

The E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University offers an MS in Financial Economics. This accelerated masters in economics consists of 36 credit hours and provides a challenging curriculum that takes less than a year to complete for full-time students. Students learn the skills they need to be able to make good financial business decisions. The program covers communication skills, analytics, quantitative techniques, and financial theory. Graduates are prepared to become leaders in their field.

The E.J. Ourso College of Business is the flagship business college in Louisiana, having been founded in 1928. The school produces the entrepreneurs and business leaders of the future by constantly updating and improving its course offerings. Students can take advantage of resources such as the Office of Business Student Success, which helps students find internships and graduates find employment.

Highlight This is an accelerated program that can be completed in 10 months.
Degree MS in Financial Economics – 10 months

4. Clemson University

Clemson University offers an MA in Economics that teaches students to collect data, apply economic theory, test hypotheses, and estimate econometric models. Student learn to use inferential statistics to gain insights on markets, government policy, and human behavior. Graduates are prepared to tackle jobs in management, business analysis, government regulation, law, and economics. Clemson offers a flexible curriculum, and the program can be taken with a thesis option if desired. The non-thesis option includes more challenging courses in the core curriculum.

The Clemson Graduate School aims to be a “high seminary of learning,” producing graduates who will benefit the public through their good works. The school seeks to make the world a better place through curiosity, creativity, scholarship, and education. Clemson believes that diversity is one of the things that makes the world better—bringing people with different backgrounds and perspectives together to create new ideas for a brighter future.

Highlight This accelerated masters in economics can be completed in 12 months.
Degree MA in Economics – 12 months

5. Florida State University

Florida State University offers an MS in Applied Economics that is one of the top applied economics programs in the nation. This accelerated masters in economics is a one-year program with small class sizes. Students gain hands-on experience using SQL, Python, Tableau, REMI, STATA, and SAS. The program is designed for students who plan to continue their education beyond the master’s level. However, there is much more emphasis on practical application than on theory. There is a capstone project at the end of the program.

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University produces the leaders of tomorrow by engaging students with challenging coursework and other educational opportunities. Students are inspired, engaged, and transformed into dynamic leaders who offer creative solutions to the world’s problems.

Highlight This program can be completed in 12 months.
Degree MS in Applied Economics – 12 months

6. Georgetown University

Georgetown University offers not one, but three, accelerated masters in economics. Students can choose from an MA in Applied Economics, MS in Economics, or MA in Political Economy. The core courses for all three programs include macroeconomics, microeconomics, and data analysis. The Applied Economics degree is designed for students who plan to dive straight into a career in economics, while the Economics degree helps prepare students to pursue their PhDs. The Political Economy degree is offered in partnership with the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and is focused on applying economics to political policy.

The Department of Economics at Georgetown University is home to the Georgetown Center for Economic Research (GCER), which encourages inquiry into the problems and issues related to economic policy. The GCER supports Georgetown’s role in informing economic policy. The Department of Economics produces graduates who possess the knowledge and skills needed to become successful economists and leaders.

Highlight All three programs take one year to complete.
Degree MA in Applied Economics, MA in Political Economy, MS in Economics – 12 months

7. Georgia Tech

The School of Economics at Georgia Tech offers an MS in Economics that emphasizes economic modeling, applied economic theory, quantitative methods, and economic analytics. Students receive top-notch training in a flexible time format. The program is designed for students who have an academic background in economics, students with a background in science or engineering who want to learn economics, and working professionals who want to enhance their quantitative and analytical skills. The faculty is committed to seeing students succeed.

Georgia Tech’s School of Economics focuses on solving human problems in a way that is sustainable and cost-effective. The school combines economics, technology, and social concerns to create solutions that improve the human condition. Georgia Tech’s economics program combines innovation and technology with a strong liberal arts foundation.

Highlight This accelerated masters in economics can be completed in 12 months.
Degree MS in Economics – 12 months

8. North Carolina State University

At North Carolina State University, the economic graduate program offers a lot of options. Students can choose a terminal track or PhD track. They can choose to complete a thesis or coursework only. They can also choose from four concentrations: economic policy, natural resource and environmental economics, international trade and development, or financial/macro econometrics. Students can attend full-time or part-time and finish the program at their own pace. Most of the courses are offered both online and on-campus, for yet another choice.

North Carolina State University is a public research university that got its start as a land-grant institution. The school is a leader in math, engineering, technology, science, natural resources, business, textiles, education, agriculture, and veterinary medicine. NCSU emphasizes hands-on learning and produces graduates who do things. They start companies, do research, lead successful careers with top companies, and serve their communities.

Highlight This accelerated masters in economics can be completed in 12 months.
Degree MA in Economics – 12 months

9. Ohio State University

The Ohio State University offers a Master of Applied Economics that takes two semesters to complete. This accelerated masters in economics is designed for students who want to learn to apply data analysis advanced economic theory to solve problems in society. The faculty is engaged and cares about its students, and the school has partnered with businesses to provide hands-on learning experiences for the students. Graduates are ready to compete in the job market with their knowledge of empirical methodology and advance microeconomic theory.

The Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics (AEDE) is all about making an impact. The department’s outstanding faculty members provide world-class research and teaching in economics, with concentrations is regional and urban economics, international and development economics, environmental and resource economics, and agricultural economics and agribusiness. The Ohio State University is one of the top 20 public universities in the nation.

Highlight This program can be completed in 12 months.
Degree Master of Applied Economics – 12 months

10. Tufts University

Tufts University offers an MS in Economics that gives students a thorough understanding of the empirical and theoretical foundations of economics. Students learn to use quantitative tools that are needed for research. There are two program options: the research-based track, which requires a thesis, and the course-based track, which doesn’t. Regardless of track, students learn about econometrics, statistics, macroeconomic theory, microeconomic theory, and mathematics.

The Department of Economics strives to teach students to think critically and to apply their knowledge of economics to solve political, economic, and social problems such as income inequality, economic growth and development, housing, and environmental issues. Economics majors learn concepts such as opportunity cost, scarcity, comparative advantage, efficient resource allocation, price system, government failures, and market failures. They gain an understanding of monetary, fiscal, and regulatory policies and learn to apply economic theory to a variety of issues.

Highlight This accelerated masters in economics can be completed in 12 months.
Degree MS in Economics – 12 months

What are the Advantages of an Accelerated Masters’ in Economics?

Accelerated Masters’ in Economics programs are often completed online. Online coursework is completed and turned in over an online portal. This type of coursework is designed to allow you to work when it is most convenient for you and study whenever you can so that you can better retain the information. It also allows you to complete your studies in such a way that the information you gain can assist you in your current job. Not only do you get the advantage of learning online, you can also apply it as soon as you have a firm understanding, reinforcing the concept and giving you additional support when it comes to your education. An accelerated learning program does not compromise the learning process. Instead, it streamlines it making it easier for you to move ahead much more efficiently.

Will a Certification in Economics Help My Career?

Having a certification in economics will definitely help your career, especially if you plan on continuing to pursue your education and eventually earn your degree. Certification in economics programs is designed to provide you with vital information that you need upfront to reach your educational goals and move forward in your career while you are still taking classes. While the certification does not carry the same weight as a full degree, it does show that you have skills and talents worth considering when it comes to hiring you for a specific position. Certifications can be the stepping stone you need if you plan on going back to school at a later date but need something to prove your value now. By receiving a certification, you have the opportunity to get the jobs you want now and continue to work on getting the degree that you want.

A certification in economics offers students something tangible to show for their efforts. This is why many degree programs will offer a certificate to students who have completed specific classes within their degree program. By offering the certification, students have something to show for all of the hard work they have put into earning the education and employment opportunities. Many companies will give extra consideration to an employee who is applying for a management position if they have a certificate to back up there skills and talents. The agreement may be that they can get the job using the certification, but to move forward, they must return to school and earn their Masters’ degree. This is advantageous on many levels and will keep you moving forward, as you continue to work through the learning process.

What If I Already Have a Degree?

If you already have a degree, earning a certificate in economics is a way to keep up on advancements within the industry that are relevant to maintaining your position in the company. Over time, policies, protocols, and best practices change. This means that how certain tasks are performed may also change. With today’s technology advancing at an alarming rate, keeping up can be extremely difficult. By returning to school to upgrade your education, receiving a certificate in economics may be just what you need if you plan on continuing to advance within your career. Already having a degree is great, but at some point, the knowledge you have gained will eventually be outdated. Continuing education classes make it possible for you to learn what’s new and receive a certification that you can use to show you have completed the class and are not up to date.

Already having a degree in economics is a great foundation. Adding to that foundation through the attendance of specific certification programs is an ideal way to stay up to date and on task. It also provides employers with an incentive to provide you with bonuses or pay raises, especially if you continue to make it a point to learn as much as you can about upcoming trends in various economic sectors. Certification programs offer you that opportunity.

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl