Economists use and apply their understanding of micro and macroeconomics, econometrics, and mathematical and financial economics, to business situations. A wide range of employers value economists' skills of numeracy and analysis and their ability to understand and communicate broad socio-economic and political concepts to a wider audience.
Undergraduate and postgraduate economics degrees are popular with a wide range of recruiters, e.g. strategy and management consultants and investment banks in general, as well as a broad range of other commercial enterprises, public sector and not for profit employers. Transferable skills, e.g. analytical, quantitative and modelling skills, are often as important as an economics qualification.
Where can you work?
- Banks – institutions such as the Bank of England have an economist stream within their graduate development programmes. To find out more about the banking sector, visit our Careers in Banking and Investment page.
- Other financial services companies – including insurance and accountancy firms. To find out more about the financial services sector, visit our Careers in Financial Services page.
- Consultancies –if you’re looking for a role where you can apply your economic knowledge more directly, economic consultancy may be worth exploring. Some of the large consultancies such as Deloitte and PWC have specific economic consulting streams and within the UK there are many consultancies specialising solely in economics, such as NERA, Frontier and Cornerstone Research. Economic consultancies often specialise in certain sectors, such as financial services, telecommunications, or utilities. They will also provide particular kinds of consultancy expertise, such as competition policy, regulation, or market analysis. To find out more about a consultancy career, visit our Careers in Consultancy page.
- Government departments – the Civil Service is a major employer for Economists and many work within the Government Economic Service, Financial Conduct Authority and HMRC. The Government Economic Service is the UK's largest recruiter of economists, recruiting over 100 new graduates into assistant economist posts each year.
- International organisations – to find out more about international organisations, visit our Careers in International Organisations page.
- Research institutes and think tanks – typical employers include, Adam Smith Institute (ASI), CESifo Group, Deutsches Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW), Centre for Economic Policy Research, Institute of Economic Affairs, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), National Institute for Economics and Social Research (NIESR), Overseas Development Institute (ODI), New Economics Foundation (NEF) and RAND Corporation.
What's changing in the sector?
The economist's skill set continues to be highly valued in the labour market. Behavioural economics is a growing area, with the establishment of the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team in 2010 and the USA’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team in 2015.
CareerHub – jobs board targeting LSE students, including events and networking opportunities.
Jobs.ac.uk – research positions in the UK.
Econ jobs – economist job vacancies.
Economist jobs – job vacancies.
Policy jobs – LSE Careers subscribe to this specialist jobs site and sister sites (including Political jobs) so you can access it for free.
Working 4 an MP
Societies and bodies
Society of Professional Economists – useful resource for insights into working as an economist in a business. Includes news and jobs board.
Economics and Social Research Council
The International Consulting Economists' Association
NERA, Oxera, Frontier Economics, Vivid Economics, RBB Economics, Alix Partners, Cornerstone Research, Oxford Economics, and Compass Lexecon.
Research Institutes and think tanks
Institute of Economic Affairs – includes useful information on a wide range of topics including student competitions/internships.
ODI fellowship scheme – offers postgraduate economists and statisticians the chance to work in developing country public sectors as local civil servants.