Economic Consultancy

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Sector Overview

This page has been written by Pamela Andrew, the relevant Careers Adviser for this occupational area. To see how you can meet Pamela, or any of our advisers, go to our website to view how and when you can meet them. 

Is it right for me? - further information on this career area, including skills/attributes required and tactics for success (pdf)

Economic consultants use their economic expertise to advise others. They may be members of a consultancy firm or they may offer their expertise within their own organisation which will either be large, eg Deloitte, or specialist, eg Government Economic Service. The number of specialist consultancies is small at around 50 in the UK. However, many management and social research consultancies also employ economists whose work is focused around economic analysis.

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How to get experience

Try to arrange work shadowing and longer placements or internships as this can help you to decide on your career choice and is a real advantage when applying for jobs. You can also adopt a speculative approach - see our networking section on the Careers Centre website and speculative applications for more advice.

Some paid internships are only open to penultimate year students so if you are in first or second year you could also consider work-shadowing and working voluntarily or a speculative approach to smaller employers - see below for advice on finding employers.

The following websites include listings of numerous internship opportunities, and may include some in Economic Consultancy:

Organisations which offer internships in Economic Consultancy include:

  • Accentureregularly look for penultimate year students as part of their Summer Vacation Scheme.
  • The Adam Smith Institute recruit interns 4 times a year, not just in the Summer. Shorter periods of work experience can be gained by joining their ASI's Next Generation group on Facebook.
  • Frontier Economics offer internships to final year students of your degree in economics.
  • Chatham House have limited internship opportunities, but have advertised for Economics students with an interest in international economics.
  • Government Economic Service advertise options for Summer internships, 12 month "sandwich" placements as well as a list of contactcs for short periods of work expereience.
  • NERA Economic Consultancy have opportunities worldwide for internships.
  • Oxera provide internships built around the interests of their interns.
  • PriceWaterhouse Coopers offer 3 different types of internships available to penultimate and final year students as well as graduates.
  • Social Market Foundation are a Think Tank that have internships for economists interested in public policy.

See also the employers listed in the next section - check their websites to find out if they are offering internships.

Professional bodies and trade associations can be a good source of employers - look for their member or partner listings, which you can often search by location. See links below.

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How to find a job

To get an economic consultancy position, there are some key sources of information you can use. Our website advertises a number of vacancies through the year. However, to reach smaller economic consultancies you will need to be more proactive as outlined above.

Look in The Guardian on Tuesdays for vacancies with an education focus and Wednesdays for those with a development or health focus. Also look at the Financial Times, in The Economist and look at the links below.

Applications should normally be made by CV and covering letter, but do check with any graduate recruitment literature produced by the company first. In particular the economic consultancy arms of some of the large chartered accountancy firms normally have their own application forms.

Selection procedures normally combine Interviews and technical exercises. Be prepared to be closely questioned on your economic and commercial knowledge. You should also be prepared to sit numeracy, verbal reasoning and comprehension tests. You can prepare for interviews by reading any economic journals produced by the organisation you are applying to, by reading The Economist, The Financial Times and specialist journals.

Don't underestimate the value of making speculative applications or the importance of networking. Be sure to have an up-to-date profile on Linked In.

Professional bodies and trade associations can be a good source of employers - look for their member or partner listings which often have direct links to the employers’ web-sites. See links below.

A selection of employers by sector (this is not an exhaustive list!) NB. Some of these employers may not offer graduate positions every year so check their websites for the latest vacancy information.

Economic Consultancy Employers
Private Sector
Public Sector

US Economic Consultancy employers

Key Links and Resources

Careers Centre resources

The Careers Centre has the following free take-away brochures which contain careers information and listings of graduate opportunities in Economics:

  • eFinancial Careers: Careers in Banking & Finance
  • Inside Careers:
    • Banking, Securities & Investments
    • City & Finance

Useful Background Information

Finding an Economic Consultancy Job

Professional Bodies, Trade Organisations & Journals/Magazines


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