Careers Service Occupations

Economics & Statistics

Economics and Statistics

About

Economics and statistics graduates can offer a range of skills highly sought after by employers.

Careers advice

Industry news

Publications for the sector include The EconomistFinancial Times and Royal Statistical Society.

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The main professional associations for this sector include:

Find professional bodies outside of the UK on GoinGlobal by selecting ‘Professional and Personal Networking’ on each of the individual country guides.

Making contacts

Making contacts is essential for success in this sector. Many jobs come through networking and speculative applications.

You could start with:

  • NCL Spark – our online mentoring platform, with graduates happy to give you advice about the kind of work they do
  • Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what our graduates did after graduation and contact them for advice.

Social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. Find out more about how to use social media for your career.

Events

Recruitment events, open days, employer and sector insights and other events can provide opportunities to make useful contacts. Regular events for this sector include The Economics Network and PSI's Medical Statistics Careers Event

For more events for this sector, see Careers Service Events.

Related sectors

You may also be interested in Accountancy and TaxBanking and FinanceManagement Consultancy and Actuarial, Insurance and Pensions.

See our other Explore Occupations pages for more options.

Roles

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties and entry requirements.

Economics

Economist

Health economist

Skills employers look for

Employers are looking for:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to explain complex information
  • strong research skills and the ability to analyse complex information
  • organisational and time management skills
  • the ability to prioritise tasks, work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • the ability to work well in a team and build good working relationships
  • an excellent understanding of business and economics, as well as IT, statistical and numerical skills

Statistics

Clinical data manager

Financial risk analyst

Statistician

Skills employers look for

Employers are looking for:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to influence others
  • the ability to explain complex information to non-statisticians
  • excellent statistical, analytical, mathematical and IT skills
  • an ability to work in a team and on your own, taking responsibility for prioritising workload to meet deadlines
  • high levels of accuracy and attention to detail
  • good problem solving skills

Gaining Experience

Finding a job in economics and statistics is competitive. Relevant work experience is invaluable in developing expertise and demonstrating commitment.

Opportunities are available in a wide range of organisations, including government bodies, economic consultancies, banks, financial services, utilities and healthcare companies.

The UK's largest recruiter of economists is the Government Economic Service (GES), which employs over 1,500 economists across more than 30 government departments and agencies. The GES offers summer internships and placement years to penultimate year students.

Other organisations which recruit economic students and graduates include: 

  • banks - for example, the Bank of England offers a range of work experience opportunities, including industrial placements, internships and PhD internships
  • financial service companies and consultancies such as Deloitte, EY and PwC
  • think tanks and policy institutes, such as Chatham House, which offers internships. The site w4mp often advertises internships with thinktanks, research bodies, charities and political parties
  • international organisations, such as NGOs and global economic groups
  • media, including financial newspapers and websites. The Economist offers paid internships

Applications for internships and placements with larger employers generally open around August - September the year before the work experience starts. Closing dates are as early as October and November. The majority of advertised opportunities are aimed at penultimate year students.

Work experience with smaller companies is not always advertised. You may need to contact the employer with a speculative approach.  See Finding companies below to help you search for relevant employers.

Finding work experience 

Use the following sources to find advertised opportunities:

See Internships, placements and shadowing for more sources of vacancies.

Finding companies

Smaller organisations often don’t advertise opportunities, but they may consider an application on a case by case basis. Find organisations that interest you and get in touch - with a named contact where possible. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for.

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. If you haven't had a response after around a week or two, try following up with a polite phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Use the following resources to help you find companies to approach:

  • MyCareer - click ‘Search' then 'Organisations’ to find companies the Careers Service has worked with. Can filter by keyword, sector and region
  • researching employers via company profiles, business directories and databases
  • LinkedIn: Alumni tool - try using the keyword search to find relevant companies and explore graduates' career paths - what kind of experience did they have, where else have they worked etc
  • SPE Membership directory - full details are available to members only, but you can see the name of the employers

Other ways to gain experience

For more ways to develop skills, or if you have difficulty finding relevant experience:

Finding Jobs

Competition is strong, especially for entry-level positions.

Use the following resources to find advertised vacancies. You can also use them to research employers for speculative applications:

Economics

Statistics

For opportunities in data science and analytics, see Information Technology: Finding jobs.

To find opportunities outside the UK, see GoinGlobal and International Jobs.

Finding companies

Not all jobs are advertised. You can approach employers or find work through networking in the industry.

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show you’re keen.

Specialist recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies often advertise graduate and entry-level positions. They also have a wealth of industry knowledge, eg Datatech Analytics.

Search Agency Central for a list of specialist recruitment agencies.