Best Macroeconomics Course

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 5, 2020

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Macroeconomics, the study of how the overall economy operates on a large scale, is a complex concept that can take you time to fully understand. You might want to consider taking a macroeconomics course If you want to understand what causes unemployment or inflation. An online course can give you basic knowledge about the economy.

Quick Look: The Best Macroeconomics Courses

What Makes a Good Macroeconomics Course

The macroeconomics course you choose will depend on your aspirations and individual needs. You might want a more basic course that teaches you terminology and theories or you might want a more advanced course that dives deeper into complex theories.

Most people might be afraid of these courses because they can be so complex, but you must remember that everything you learn starts small. Move at your own pace, reread and rewatch content as much as you need and ask questions or use Google to gain further insight.

A good macroeconomics online course will meet the following criteria. 

Course Material

A basic macroeconomics online course will likely cover specific areas of the economy or one particular school of thought. For example, some courses might be taught by a classical economist, which believes that rates, wages and prices are flexible. Others might teach Keynesian economics, which explains that there are certain truths in the economy, like stick prices that prevent the clearing of supply and demand. Before you sign up for a class, see what type of macroeconomics is being taught and make sure it aligns with your goals and needs. 

Clear Content

Macroeconomics can be difficult to grasp, especially if you don’t have an economics background. Search for an instructor who delivers the course material in a clear, succinct manner. Read reviews of past students to help make a decision. 

Knowledgeable Instructor

An instructor with an advanced degree in macroeconomics isn’t always necessary, but you do want one who has a solid macro background. Look at the teacher’s profile to get a better understanding of his or her credentials and qualifications. 

Our Top Picks

There are different macroeconomics courses you can take. We’ve found the best ones from the following sources: 

  • Udemy
  • Columbia University
  • University of California — Irvine
  • MIT
  • Harvard University

Many of these classes come from reputable universities and share their information for free. We’ve split the classes up into 3 categories: beginner, intermediate and advanced. 

Macroeconomics Course for Beginners

These classes are best for people who have little to no macroeconomics experience. Beginner macroeconomic courses teach you the fundamentals and terminology that you need to build a basic understanding of macroeconomics. 

Principles of Macroeconomics by Udemy

  • Who it’s for: Beginners
  • Price: $19.99

Delivered to you by Udemy, this 4.5-hour course is best for people who are interested in learning about the fundamentals of economics. You’ll learn more about how GDP, inflation and unemployment are used to measure macroeconomic performance. 

You’ll be able to explain cross-country differences in income per capita, analyze police responses to business cycle shocks and determine how unemployment can measure macroeconomic performance. 

Get this course.

Fundamentals of Macroeconomics by EdX

  • Who it’s for: Beginners
  • Price: Free

You’ll learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of markets during this 6-week course. You’ll also be able to understand important economic questions, like: 

  1. Why some societies thrive for centuries and others don’t. 
  2. Why some successful economies experience occasional setbacks that compromise the quality of life of the population. 
  3. The effects of inflation and unemployment. 

The course creators suggest that you spend 2 to 3 hours a week on the course. It’s free, but you can choose to add a verified certificate for $50. It’s a good idea to have taken high school algebra, have a basic understanding of math concepts and be able to read basic graphs.

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Strategic Business Management — Macroeconomics by the University of California Irvine

  • Who it’s for: Beginners
  • Price: Free

This course combines business strategy with the principles of macroeconomics. The 40-hour course will give you a better understanding of the different functions of business, management, operations management, marketing, organizational behavior and more. 

The highly-rated course uses videos, readings and quizzes to help make sure that you understand the material better. Some of the reviews from the course highlight how well-organized the course is and the easy-to-understand manner of the information is presented.

Get this course. 

Intermediate Macroeconomics Course

You’ll be able to gain a deeper understanding of more specific topics in our next level of courses. These intermediate macroeconomics online courses are best for people who already have some experience or knowledge of the macro. 

Macroeconomic Management in Resource-Rich Countries by edX

  • Who it’s for: Intermediate learners
  • Price: Free

This course, taught by instructors at the International Monetary Fund, explains the policy issues and challenges that resource-rich countries face. Throughout the 7-week course, you’ll analyze multiple resource-rich countries in Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to understand the policy challenges and can apply these issues to your own country. 

The instructors also show you how to assess economic performances in resource-rich countries, evaluate the design of fiscal regimes and frameworks and apply simple fiscal benchmarks. Some of the exercises in the course do require that you know how to use Excel. 

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The Power of Macroeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World by the University of California — Irvine 

  • Who it’s for: Intermediate learners
  • Price: Free

This online macroeconomics course (with a 4.6 rating) helps you understand macroeconomics throughout U.S. history and in real-world economic situations. This course is normally taught in a semester class to college undergraduates or MBA students, but you can take it for free through Coursera. 

The 25-hour course will help you learn how to apply macroeconomic principles in a wide variety of situations. Some of the modules cover topics like the aggregate supply-aggregate demand model and the differences between classical economics and Keynesian economics.  

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Economics of Money and Banking by Columbia University

  • Who it’s for: Intermediate learners
  • Price: Free

This course has more than 700 reviews with an average rating of 4.9 — you know you’re getting engaging and informative class material. It expands your knowledge of monetary and fiscal policies related to macroeconomics. 

The economic situation has changed dramatically since the Great Recession. This course ushers in a new age of economic thinking by reviving some monetary thought traditions that are now relevant again.  

The 44-hour-long course takes about 13 weeks to complete but you can set deadlines to fit your schedule. 

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Advanced Macroeconomics Course

Do you understand the basics of macroeconomics? Can you describe the relationship between unemployment, inflation and the economy? You might want to choose from 1 of the 3 courses listed below. They’ll explore complex models and theories of macroeconomics. 

Macroeconomics: The IS-LM Model by Udemy

  • Who it’s for: Advanced learners
  • Price: $29.99

This short class on Udemy can help you understand and formulate economic policies. It shows you how to construct the IS-LM model, which stands for investment-savings (IS) and liquidity preference-money supply (LM). It is a Keynesian macroeconomic model that explains how the economic goods (IS) market relates to the money market or the loanable funds market (LM).

The hour-long course breaks down the IS-LM model and then shows you how to use the model in real-life scenarios to interpret policy effects on the economy. People who have taken the class highlight the helpful visuals that the instructor uses to explain difficult concepts. 

Advanced Macroeconomics I by MIT

  • Who’s it for: Advanced learners
  • Price: Free

You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to get an education from MIT instructors. This Advanced Macroeconomics I course can be accessed for free by students online. It is part one in a series. To finish the sequence, you can study Advanced Macroeconomics II

This is a very intensive course and was first taught to second-year Ph.D. students at MIT. During the course, you’ll learn how to formulate and solve optimal policy issues. You’ll also learn more about monetary and fiscal policies. During the second half of the course, you’ll learn more about business cycles and financial crises and the shifts in beliefs that occur. The MIT instructors will use real-world examples to illustrate the course material. 

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Macroeconomic Theory by Harvard University

  • Who it’s for: Advanced learners
  • Price: $1,840

This instructor-led course is hosted through the Harvard Extension School and you can earn degree credit for it. The course will teach you different theories and explain economic growth and business cycles. You’ll also learn more about GDP, consumption, employment and investment. 

By the end of the five-month course, you will be able to explain how different macroeconomic policies affect the general population’s lives. There is also a section in the course that talks about how the business cycle in America affects people. But, if you are also interested in learning about macroeconomics throughout the world, you’ll be able to explore the differences in the standard of living in a variety of countries. 

Get this course.

Get the Best Macroeconomics Course for You

Luckily, you can find many macroeconomic courses online, often for free or at an affordable price. Each course listed above will emphasize a different area of macroeconomics, so make sure you find one that fits your academic needs best.

Some courses focus on a certain theory or on a specific country, so make sure you read the syllabus carefully before signing up. Through online macroeconomic courses, you can master economic concepts at your own pace at an affordable price. 

Moreover, you can take the information from these courses and apply it to the assets you have found on Benzinga or to the trading strategies you’ve built. As you grow as a trader, you should screenshot and save as much information as possible so that you can build a library of data you can use in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do you need to learn macroeconomics to invest?


No, you do not need to learn macroeconomics to invest, but your understanding of the subject will help inform your investments.


Should you take a macroeconomics course if you want to be a day trader?


If you plan to turn trading into a career, you should take a macroeconomics course that will teach you more about how the global economy works.

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