Routes into economic consultancy

Typical career paths

Many economic consultancy firms run graduate programmes for those new to the sector, which can vary in length from six months to two years.

Graduate entrants are typically called analysts or research analysts, and will work on a variety of projects, including data collection and analysis, background and theory research, economic modelling, client liaison, and drafting reports with senior colleagues.

Beyond that, graduates will become consultants or economists, and you are likely to develop a specialism in a particular sector or type of consultancy practice.

Some economic consultants study for PhDs, though it is important to recognise that the level of highly specialised research required for a successful PhD in Economics or Finance does not have much in common with the more practical modelling and analysis that is essential in this sector.

Work experience

To get a graduate position in economic consultancy, it certainly helps if you have already completed an internship, though it’s not essential.

Many economic consultancies, such as Frontier Economics and NERA, run programmes in the summer vacation and the deadlines for applying usually come in the early spring.

Don’t leave it to the last minute to apply: recruiters tend to look at applications as they receive them, rather than reviewing them altogether after the deadline has passed.