How good is an economics degree

Economics degree

Table of Contents

Why study economics?

The degree in economics combines the subjects of business administration (BWL) and economics (VWL). During your studies you will therefore deal with economic issues and processes at the level of individual economic units as well as at the level of society as a whole. On the other hand, you deal with the economic relationships and processes in companies in particular. At the end of your studies you will have broad economic knowledge and are thus qualified for a variety of professional fields.

What study options do I have?

The study of economics is offered almost exclusively by universities. Universities of applied sciences and private universities tend to concentrate on specialized courses such as business informatics or business administration. You can study economics mainly as a full-time variant. The following table gives you an initial overview of the various options for studying economics:


In the university course, the scientific-theoretical examination of economics is in the foreground. If you are aiming for a scientific career, studying at a university is therefore recommended. As part of the switch to the Bachelor-Master system, some universities have firmly integrated internships into the course of study in order to offer a stronger practical relevance.

University of Applied Sciences

The Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences is currently the only university of applied sciences to offer a degree in economics. Traditionally, universities of applied sciences place more value on orienting their courses in a practical and application-oriented manner. However, the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences deliberately refrained from a compulsory internship in its economics course in order to keep the study time as short as possible. At the end of your economics studies, the University of Applied Sciences will award you a Bachelor of Arts, unlike most other universities.

Distance learning

The FernUni Hagen offers the possibility of part-time distance learning for professionals who want to study economics alongside their job. As part of a 9-semester part-time course, you can acquire a Bachelor of Science here. You can find further distance learning courses in business and suitable providers on the evaluation portal or the information portal

Study abroad

Experience abroad used to be the icing on the cake, but today it is almost a matter of course for a university graduate. Especially for future business executives, who later often have to operate in a global market, international experience during their studies is almost indispensable. Many universities therefore encourage students studying economics to spend a semester abroad.

If that's not enough for you, you can also complete your entire degree abroad. The study of economics and various specialized economics courses are just as widespread abroad as in Germany. So you are spoiled for choice when it comes to studying abroad. For linguistic reasons, the German-speaking and English-speaking countries are particularly popular for studying abroad. Here you can find under the names "Economics"or"Economic Science"corresponding courses of study.

Am I suitable for studying economics?

To start studying economics at a university, you usually only need the general university entrance qualification or the subject-specific university entrance qualification. You can also apply to universities of applied sciences with the advanced technical college entrance qualification. In addition, under certain conditions it is possible to study economics without a high school diploma.

Some universities set additional admission requirements for their courses - such as a numerus clausus (NC) or a self-test. As a personal prerequisite for studying economics, you should have analytical thinking, an interest in economic contexts and an understanding of mathematics.

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What can I expect from studying economics?

The bachelor's degree in economics has a standard period of 6 semesters. Most of the time, the course conveys business and economic fundamentals at the beginning before deepening these contents in the following semesters. In the last semesters, a specialization in one or more areas is on the schedule. Depending on the university, you can choose from various compulsory elective modules. The Bachelor's degree in economics usually ends with a Bachelor of Science.

The range of courses in economics is huge. On you will find over 300 different courses and experience reports from the field of economics.

Course content

Studying economics gives you a wide range of knowledge in economics and business administration. In addition, the acquisition of key competencies is also on the curriculum. The course content includes:

  • Economic theory
  • mathematics
  • statistics
  • Business English
  • Commercial law
  • Economic policy
  • Sales economy
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Tax theory
  • Financing and Investment
  • Micro and Macroeconomics
  • accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • marketing
  • Corporate governance
  • Computer science

Specialization opportunities

After the introductory semester, most universities offer students from the 4th or 5th semester the opportunity to set their own priorities in their studies. Depending on the university, different specializations are possible, including:

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Accounting and auditing
  • Technology and process management
  • Corporate management and controlling
  • Insurance industry
  • Computer science

If you already have a certain specialization in mind before starting your studies, you should check whether your chosen university offers it.

Which degrees can I get?

You finish your studies in economics with a written thesis, the so-called bachelor thesis. With this you prove that you are able to work on an economic question independently with scientific methods.

If you have successfully completed your bachelor's degree, the university will award you a Bachelor of Science or, more rarely, a Bachelor of Arts, depending on the content of the course. With the bachelor's degree, you receive a professional qualification, which also enables you to take up a postgraduate master’s degree. If you also complete this in economics, you will usually receive the Master of Science.

After studying economics

After successfully completing your bachelor's degree in economics, you can start your professional life straight away. Your studies qualify you for a variety of activities. A lot is possible, from business consulting to an academic career. However, studying economics is no longer a guarantee of a job. After studying economics, you have a good chance of finding a job quickly if you already deal with starting your career during your studies. Various measures can improve your chances of finding a job. These measures include:

Which professional fields are suitable for me after graduation?

Studying economics gives you a broad knowledge, from various economic theories to corporate management methods. With this knowledge, you can work in companies of all kinds after your studies, for example in industrial and service companies, credit institutes or public institutions. You can work in the following areas, among others:

  • Controlling
  • Finance and accounting
  • Business cycle and financial market analysis
  • Company valuation
  • Business consulting
  • Asset advice
  • marketing
  • distribution

How do you start your career?

The bachelor's degree has meanwhile established itself on the job market among economists. Larger companies in particular are prepared to accept applications from Bachelor students. Economists often start their careers via a trainee program, but direct entry, for example as a clerk, is also possible. Economists often find jobs in controlling and sales.

What career prospects do I have?

Basically, you can expect good career prospects after your studies in economics. After the crisis years of 2008 and 2009, the Federal Employment Agency recently recorded an increasing number of advertised positions for economists. Once you have arrived at your job, your career prospects depend above all on your willingness to perform. Economists often expect long working hours and a high workload in their professional life. Management consultancy in particular is notorious for its long working hours. Those who can cope with this workload can go a long way professionally and move up to the executive floor. Even if your chances of advancement depend primarily on your commitment and not on your degree, it is advisable to acquire a master’s degree if you are aiming for a management position.

What salary do i earn?

Your salary as an economist largely depends on your professional experience. When starting their careers, economists earn an average of € 3,600 gross per month. The industry in which you work also has a decisive influence on your earnings. Management consultancies, for example, pay particularly well. Entry-level salaries of up to € 5,000 gross per month are possible here. In contrast, you earn a comparatively low salary in marketing. In addition to work experience and location, the state, company size and gender also play a role in your salary. The following table shows exemplary salaries that economists can earn in various professions.

activityAverage salary *
Business consultant4.800 €
Controller3.700 €
Financial advisor4.000 €
Sales manager4.000 €
Marketing speaker3.200 €

*) gross / monthly