What do economists do?
Economists provide specialist advice to organisations in the public, finance, manufacturing political and other sectors. They apply economic theory and knowledge to analyse data, forecast future trends and recommend ways to improve efficiency or plan future activities.
For detailed profiles of an economist, see:
How do I become and economist?
You will need:
- A Bachelor's degree in Economics (single-honours or joint honours containing at least 50% of economics modules), ideally with a strong quantitative element
- A degree in another subject plus one of the postgraduate “conversion courses” listed below
- plus (ideally)
- A Masters degree in Economics
A large number of economics’ graduates will find employment in the Government Economic Service. Economics graduates are also employed by banks, think tanks, NGOs, insurance/ accountancy firms and multinational companies and consultancies. Most economic consultancies will require a postgraduate degree and a much higher proportion of Masters graduates will enter specialised economist roles.
A list of organisations which have in the past advertised posts for graduates for work in economic research, policy and consultancy can be found here
- Bank of England
- Government Economic Service
- Society of Business Economists - The Society exists to help all those who use economics in a business environment - whether in industry, commerce, finance, consultancy or public service. The site includes some careers advice.
- Inomics - Economics jobs in all subject and geographical areas at all levels: the site also includes a directory of economics-related organisations, including consultancies, with links to their websites
- EDIRC - A list of Economics departments, institutes and research centres around the world, arranged by specialisation
- Economics Jobs
- Economics Network - one of the world's leading economics education sites, with links to UK Economics departments
- The Royal Economic Society - professional association which promotes the encouragement of the study of economic science in academic life, government service, banking, industry and public affairs.
Find out more
Conversion courses for non-Economics graduates
- University of Kent: Economics Conversion M.Sc. - If you have an undergraduate degree in a subject other than Economics, the Conversion programme offers you a two-year route to our Economics MSc programmes. During the first year, you take the Diploma in Economic Analysis (DEA). This brings you up to the standards required to continue with MSc study. Students who pass the DEA with 60% and above then proceed to one of our MSc programmes
- Birkbeck, University of London: Graduate Diploma in Economics - If you have an undergraduate degree in another subject area - however distant from economics - but wish to switch to economics, the Graduate Diploma in Economics provides rigorous and intensive training, spread over 1 or 2 years
- University of Bristol: Graduate Diploma in Economics - A conversion course designed for students who wish to move into Economics (or Finance) and who have both a good degree in another subject and appropriate mathematical skills
- University of Cambridge. Advanced Diploma in Economics - A nine month taught course for students with a good mathematical background whose first degree contains little or no economics
- University of Essex: Graduate Diploma in Economics - If your first degree is in a subject other than economics, or your economics training does not provide sufficient technical experience for direct entry on our MSc courses, we offer a full-time, 9-month Diploma in Economics. If you obtain your Diploma with Merit or Distinction, you can then automatically register for one of our MSc courses
- University of Nottingham. Economics (Conversion) - This conversion course offers a route into the MSc programme for those who did not specialise in economics at the undergraduate level, but who have some background in economics or quantitative subjects
- Royal Holloway, University of London: MSc Economics 2-year programme - Designed to bring you up to the entry standard for the Master's degree if you have graduated from disciplines other than Economics
- African Studies, University of London - This one-year diploma provides a solid understanding of the main topics in economics. It is a programme largely at an undergraduate level, designed both as an entry qualification for postgraduate study and as a bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate work
- University of Warwick: Diploma in Economics - Aimed at those without a background in the subject, and provides training in the core components of modern economic analysis and appropriate quantitative methods. The Diploma 1+1 variant is ideal for you if your academic background is outside Economics but you want the option to proceed to MSc level in the discipline