How To Learn Economics Without Schooling (With 6 Methods and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 25, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many professionals use economic principles to help them make business decisions and plan financial strategies. Studying economic principles can help a company's leadership team understand more about consumer trends and government regulations. Learning about economics outside of secondary education programs can help you improve your decision-making, critical thinking and financial skills. In this article, we discuss why learning about the market is important, review how to learn economics without schooling and explore some tips to help you learn.

Why is learning economics important?

Learning about economics can help you understand more about companies, business markets and the government. This understanding can help you predict market trends and make effective personal and professional decisions. It can also help you develop problem-solving and analytical skills, which are useful in a variety of career fields. Common careers that value these skills and knowledge include:

  • Bank teller: Bank tellers help customers perform a variety of financial transactions. They also provide customers with account information and educate individuals about bank products or services.

  • Legal secretary: Legal secretaries help support the operations of a law firm or other legal business. They schedule meetings, draft legal documents and answer customer or client questions.

  • Real estate agent: Real estate agents assist customers with buying or selling residential, commercial and industrial properties. They also negotiate sales contracts, draft legal documents and advise customers about real estate sales.

  • Payroll assistant: Payroll assistants help conduct and issue payroll within an organization. These professionals review payroll documents, verify financial reports and issue payroll checks to salary and hourly employees.

  • Benefits specialist: Benefits specialists help employees understand more about company benefits and assist employees with benefit enrollment. These professionals also negotiate company benefit plans and advise company executives about employee benefit programs.

  • Account manager: Account managers communicate with a company's customers to maximize customer satisfaction. They identify customer issues, recommend solutions and educate customers about company products and services.

Related: Economics 101: How To Calculate Average Cost

How to learn economics without schooling

Review these steps to help you discover how you can learn about economics without schooling:

1. Watch instructional lectures

There are many instructional videos available on popular video-sharing websites that cover economic concepts. Many of these videos also provide examples to help you expand your understanding of these concepts. This method of learning is useful because many online video formats are available at low or zero cost. It's a good idea to find videos that have individuals with market experience or formal education because they have experience with economic concepts.

Related: Accounting vs. Economics: What's the Difference?

2. Complete massive open online courses (MOOC)

Massive open online courses have a variety of course options available to individuals wanting to learn more about general economic concepts or niche market topics. Some courses available to viewers include:

  • Macroeconomics: This course helps you learn about macroeconomic terminology. It also discusses the roles and functions of macroeconomic institutions, reviews key causal relationships and analyzes contemporary policy issues.

  • Microeconomics: This course details microeconomic principles and concepts. It also discusses how to use market data, apply economic theories and evaluate proposed outcomes.

  • Behavioral economics in action: Taking this type of course can help you learn about behavior change and how it affects market demand and consumer decision-making. It also covers how to evaluate and interpret economic experiment results and how to design decision tools to influence consumer behavior.

  • The economics of energy transition: This type of course helps individuals learn how energy markets operate. It also commonly includes topics, such as why energy transition is important, how to stimulate energy transition, policies and regulations and how to assess economic policies.

  • Environmental and natural resource economics: This subject educates individuals about the environment, natural resources and agriculture. It also educates people about how economic policies and growth affect environmental, natural resource and agriculture markets.

3. Read economics books

There are many economic books for individuals who learn better reading information. There are many books individuals can choose from, including ones that provide a high-level overview of economics and ones that offer more detailed explanations of market theories. Audiobooks are also useful tools for those individuals who prefer audio learning over visual learning techniques.

Reading textbooks can also help you learn about micro or macroeconomics in a structured format. Some subjects to search for when finding an educational book include:

  • Introduction to microeconomics

  • Introduction to macroeconomics

  • Supply and demand

  • Market incentives

  • Scarcity

  • Ration resourcing

  • Costs and benefits

4. Research economics articles

Reviewing articles about economic topics can help you understand more about concepts and industry trends. This can also help you learn more about the language used in economics, which can help you better understand market concepts. Consider also reviewing concepts about industries or finance, which often provide insight into trends in the economy.

Related: Demand: Definition in Economics and 7 Types of Economic Demand

5. Discuss concepts with economics professionals

Discussing economic concepts with others who are in finance, accounting or stock market careers or are familiar with these concepts can help you further your understanding. This also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about certain subjects. Discussing these concepts and networking with industry professionals can also help you gain employment referrals and professional recommendations.

6. Join learning communities

Joining learning or professional communities can help you network and discuss economic concepts. This can also help you find valuable learning resources to further your education. Some communities you might consider joining include:

  • Learning Forward

  • American Economic Association

  • World Economics Association

  • Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory

  • National Association for Business Economics

  • National Economic Association

  • National Education Association

Related: Economics vs. Finance: What Are the Differences?

Tips for learning economics without schooling

Review these tips to help you discover methods to help you learn about economic fundamentals:

  • Take notes: Taking notes during classes or videos can help you remember important concepts covered during the course. It can also help you reference that information if you want it later.

  • Ask questions: Asking questions can help you expand your understanding about certain topics. It can also enable instructors or other professionals explain concepts in a different way to help you understand better.

  • Develop complementary skills: Honing additional complementary skills can help you effectively use economic concepts. Developing your math, critical thinking and decision-making skills can help you improve your economic skills.

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