A Forward-Thinking Career: How Economists are Shaping the Technology Industry

Multi-billion-dollar technology companies have taken steps to hire a team of qualified economists to ensure their survival and growth. Many of the most recognizable brands are known for employing talented professionals with applied economics degrees, including Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.

After all, economists have the knowledge and skills to analyze large sets of data to extract its hidden value and help businesses to make smarter decisions. If you are unsure about the benefits they can bring to a brand, learn how economists are shaping the technology industry for the better.

Finding Answers to Tough Questions

There will likely be more applied economics jobs in technology instead of public policy soon, and it isn’t hard to see why. Many technology companies want to make more informed decisions to improve the customer journey, user experience, and profitability. As economists monitor past and present economic trends and issues, they are ideally suited to analyze statistics and make accurate predictions using mathematical models.

For this reason, many large international tech companies have chosen to hire qualified economists to find answers to tough internal questions. For example, economists helped eBay to identify it had wasted millions of dollars by advertising on Google, as most people find the auction site via organic search.

Economic Theory in Digital Marketplace Design

Economists shaped marketplaces before the rise of the internet. As online marketplaces are influencing the current economy, qualified economists are helping to determine their design using economic theory. A prime example is Yahoo!’s experiment on its low reserve prices for auctions, guided by the theory on optimal auction design, to tweak its prices. The auction price was then tweaked, and – consistent with its theory – the company generated millions of dollars in profit.

How Tech Companies are Building Economist Teams

The beauty of entering the technology industry as an economist is that no two days will be the same, and every role is different. As different technology companies have different needs, economists will constantly learn about an industry while applying their sought-after knowledge and skills.

For example, Uber has built a team of economists on understanding policy issues connected to its pricing and incentives. Meanwhile, Amazon has hired more than 120 economists to resolve various issues across its diverse divisions, such as its digital content, eCommerce site, Prime, and even to analyze the quality of its product descriptions.


Economists can secure employment in many industries, but you can expect demand to rise exponentially in tech firms across the globe as tech continues to develop and expand. Some of the biggest players have already taken steps to build small or large teams of economists, including Amazon, Facebook, and Uber. Established brands have realized the power of economics for digitization. For this reason, you can expect more companies across the globe to discover the benefits a team of skilled economists can bring to their organization, helping to provide even more forward-thinking roles and opportunities for those with applied economics degrees.

Picture by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

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