How to decide between an online economics degree masters or MBA

SOURCE: Photo by Olivier Douliery / AFP
Gita Gopinath, IMF Chief Economist and Director of the Research Department, speaks at a briefing during the IMF and World Bank Fall Meetings on October 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo by Olivier Douliery / AFP

By U2B Staff 

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Are you looking to further your career with an advanced online degree but can’t decide between an MBA and online economics degree masters? 

Given the current pandemic and economic situation affecting industries worldwide, many professionals are looking for a career switch or upskilling opportunities.

Both the MBA or Master’s in Economics can provide you with the tools you need to take your career to the next level and can qualify you for a range of jobs in different industries, but it ultimately comes down to your career goals. 

The online economics degree masters provides specialised knowledge in economic theories and principles which can help you become a leader or key decision-maker in companies, non-profits, think tanks, and government agencies. 


If you already have a Bachelor’s degree in this field and want to pursue managerial roles, or perhaps become a professor of Economics, then a Master’s in Economics is suitable for you – and you can even take it online.

You’ll also be qualified for a range of jobs – such as consultant, economist, policy analyst, marketing researcher, or even data scientist.

You could also work in industries that are currently seeing plenty of demand such as healthcare, technology, and finance by choosing electives in this field when doing your Master’s degree.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of economists is projected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects should be best for those with a master’s degree or Ph.D., strong analytical skills, and experience using statistical analysis software. The median annual wage for economists was $105,020 in May 2019.”

Conversely, if it’s a business career you want to focus on, the MBA is probably a better choice for you. 

The MBA provides students with a more broad view of business while providing them with the chance to develop skills such as leadership, agility, and entrepreneurial thinking.


Felix von Wendorff, an international student blogger who studies econometrics, wrote, “The single biggest problem when you study economics is that it can be too broad, and too theoretical. It gives you very few skills that are immediately applicable within the workplace. Meanwhile, business degrees specifically give you the skills need to help run a business. But as anyone with real business experience will tell you, university education does not really prepare you for leading a business – you need to learn on the job.”

So you’re interested in starting your own company or focusing on a business-related career, but can’t afford to take time out from your job or other commitments, then the online MBA is most probably the best choice for you. 

If you have a background in Economics and want to start your own company in this field or in a managerial role, then you can always take electives such as microeconomics or economic policy while pursuing your MBA, or choose an MBA Programme with a specialisation in Business Economics. 

Either way, taking an advanced degree online is an ideal way to save time and money while upskilling yourself.

However, be sure to identify your career goals and what you intend to achieve after you’ve graduated – this can help you decide between the online MBA or Master’s in Economics.