Economic consultants deploy their experience to conduct research, survey business conditions, analyze policy and offer expert testimony. Their work involves data analysis and preparation of charts, reports and other materials. Clients include corporations, law firms and government agencies. In an increasingly complex global economy, economic consultants help bring clarity to this complexity, facilitating better decisions by their clients.
The complex and global nature of the modern economy carries a range of challenges for business and government organizations. Economic consultants can apply their expertise in economics and quantitative analysis to help business, government and legal clients cope with challenges.
For corporations, economic consultants survey market conditions, study competitors and prepare forecasts of economic conditions that could affect the company's operations. They may further help corporations by studying new government laws and regulations, gauging their effects on companies and their activities. For law firms, consultants offer analysis and testimony in complex litigation matters. Consultants for government agencies conduct policy analyses, as well as weigh the costs and benefits of existing or proposed policies.
Working as an economic consultant requires in-depth knowledge of the field of economics. For this reason, consultants should generally hold a Ph.D. in economics. They often work alone or as part of a team, preparing analyses and reports. Therefore, they need strong mathematical, statistical and computer skills, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, because they must present complex economic and numerical information in a way that people without economic expertise can understand, economic consultants need strong communication skills.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not list economic consultant as a separate job category, but does have career guide information for economists and scientific and technical consultants. The bureau estimates that the job outlook for economists is likely to grow slower than the average for most occupations. However, the bureau added that the demand for economic analysis services will increase and that the greatest job growth will be in private industry, including consulting services.
In its overview of the job outlook for technical and scientific consultants, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected job growth of more than 80 percent by 2018. This does not separate out economic consultants, but covers the full range of consultants in management, scientific and technical fields. The bureau cited economic growth and an increasingly complex business environment as factors in the job outlook.
- Photo Credit Economic crisis image by Denis Ivatin from Fotolia.com
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