List of potentially promising career paths

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This is a list of potentially promising paths that we haven't written reviews on yet. Treat this as a very rough list of potential ideas to consider, and note that we haven't researched most of these paths in a lot of detail. Bolded are paths that we are comparatively more confident in recommending.

See the careers we have researched and written reviews on.

PhD's

  • Anthropology PhD - currently under-represented within the effective altruist community, so we'd mainly suggest it to people who would share their ideas and findings with the effective altruist community.
  • Applied Maths PhD - The skills you gain seem to be applicable to a wide range of jobs.
  • Bioengineering PhD - potentially transformative area of research, similar to biomedical research.
  • Engineering PhD - pay tends to be good, and currently somewhat under-represented within the effective altruist community.
  • History PhD - currently under-represented within the effective altruist community, so we'd mainly suggest it to people who would share their ideas and findings with the effective altruist community.
  • Statistics PhD - The skills you gain seem to be applicable to a wide range of jobs.

Academia

  • Academic grant writer and/or project manager - potential to significantly increase the research output and quality of academic research.
  • Academic grant maker - potential to focus grants on projects with a greater potential to help people.
  • Anthropology - currently under-represented within the effective altruist community, so we'd mainly suggest it to people who would share their ideas and findings with the effective altruist community.
  • Computer science (especially AI) - see our review of Computer Science PhD's.
  • Economics, especially development economics - see our review of Economics PhD's.
  • History - currently under-represented within the effective altruist community, so we'd mainly suggest it to people who would share their ideas and findings with the effective altruist community, or those conducting analysis relevant to reducing future catastrophic risks.

Entrepreneurship

  • Founding or working for for-profit startups focused on serving the global poor - for example Wave, which lets users send Instant, no fee transfers from the US and Canada to Africa.
  • Founding or working for startups on animal product alternatives - see examples in this Economist article.
  • Founding or working for tech startups focused on emerging markets.

For-profit world (for skill building and earning to give)

  • Accountancy
  • Corporate management
  • Corporate R&D (especially biomed)
  • Intellectual property
  • Public relations
  • Real estate
  • Sales

Government and policy

  • Foreign policy - an important area for improving global co-ordination, co-operation, and conflict prevention; currently under-represented within the effective altruist community.
  • Government grant making - potential to increase impact of existing budgets.
  • Lobbyist or activist for important causes - for example advocacy for improved or increased U.S. foreign aid, international labor mobility, treatment of animals in industrial agriculture, and criminal justice reform.
  • US Civil service - especially policy roles in central departments such as State, Justice, Treasury and Defence.
  • US Military
      • DoD
      • NSA
      • IARPA
      • DARPA
  • US Party politics
  • Research into how to improve collective decision-making institutions, such as in forecasting research, political philosophy and voting theory.

Health

  • Dentist - for earning to give.
  • Nurse practitioner - especially promising for earning to give in the US or Switzerland, and somewhat more accessible than medical school.
  • Work in 'public health'

Non-profit world

Tech

  • Web designer/development - either working at organisations working on important causes, or for skill-building and earning to give.
  • Work at DeepMind
  • Work at Google - for skill-building and earning to give, and for working on projects with large social benefits.
  • Materials science