Advice for getting the most out of the job board and other resources from us.
80,000 Hours is a nonprofit that helps people pursue careers that effectively tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Our job board provides a curated list of publicly advertised vacancies that we think are particularly promising.
We post roles that we believe are opportunities to either (and often both):
You can view all the roles in the “Search Jobs” tab, and also access these in a spreadsheet.
We think that social impact is a bit like other areas such as business, finance, or the arts: to have an unusually large impact, you probably need to innovate in some way. This might mean coming up with a novel approach to a widely recognised problem, or it might mean deciding to work on problems that are currently neglected by society in general.
The question of which problems most warrant more attention right now partly depends on your moral philosophy. One idea that we take seriously is the moral significance of the way our actions affect future generations. Barring catastrophe, the vast majority of people who will ever live have yet to be born. This means that the value of passing on a better world — one that gives future generations a greater chance to lead flourishing lives — could be enormous.
This is part of the reason we are very concerned about the risk of existential catastrophes in this century. Such risks threaten the survival of humanity, and our ability to realise the potential of future generations.
Another key consideration is how society is currently allocating resources. If an important problem is already widely recognised, then it is likely that a lot of people are already trying to solve it. If that’s the case, then it will usually be harder for a few extra people working on the issue to have a very large impact. All else equal, you can likely do far more good in an area that is not getting the attention it deserves.
To learn more, see our key ideas page and our profiles of the world’s most pressing problems.
We include roles based on whether they have the potential to help someone contribute to solving one of our identified key problems and/or help people develop the career capital to work on these problems in the future.
We have a curation process where we:
We try to list the best roles for our users that we can find, but evaluating organisations and roles is difficult and there are limits to the amount of time we can spend reviewing roles and/or the expertise we can draw on in an area.
See also: How should I think about roles that are listed or not listed on the board?
80,000 Hours’ career advice is based on 10 years of research alongside academics at Oxford. It is all available for free on our website. Some specific pieces we think may be helpful for people using the job board:
If you want to talk one-on-one with someone on the 80,000 Hours team about how you might have more impact with your career, you can apply here.
Some other places you might find useful to check include:
A few types of impactful roles may be underrepresented on the job board. These are likely to be roles:
The total number of roles we list in a given problem area fluctuates, and is not a sign of how important we think the cause area is.
If you think we are missing impactful areas or roles (especially within our identified problem areas), please let us know via this form.
The job board aims to bring promising opportunities to your attention. If a vacancy is listed on the job board, it means that we think it may be among the best opportunities for some of our readers to have a positive impact. If you are excited about a role you find on the board, we encourage you to investigate it and seriously consider applying.
That said, there is a good chance that your best option is actually a role that is not featured on the board. There are many reasons for this, some of which we described above about our limited capacity to source and vet all impactful opportunities at a given time. If you find a role that seems promising but is not listed on our job board, you should not infer that it is less promising than the roles that we do feature.
In short: if a vacancy is featured on the board, take this as a positive signal that it may be worth your consideration. If a vacancy is not featured on the board, you should take this as a neutral signal.
Many roles we add to the board may be roles that are strong opportunities to develop your career capital — skills, experience, knowledge, connections and credentials — rather than for the ability to have a direct immediate impact in them. We would expect this to include many of the roles we list under “early career policy” and “information security”, as well as entry-level or junior roles working in different problem areas.
Also it is often the case that promising smaller organisations first need to build a strong team in order to have a potentially large impact in the future.
Including a role on the job board doesn’t mean that we think the organisation as a whole is necessarily having a positive impact in the world. In some cases, we may list roles because the particular role could offer the right candidate an opportunity to have a positive impact, either because the specific role is impactful, or as an opportunity to gain skills, or to improve the organisation. We explain more below.
In general, we’re usually most enthusiastic about people going to work at organisations that as a whole are having a positive impact. But there are likely to be cases when people have good reasons to work for an organisation where it’s less clear that its work is overall beneficial, and it may even be good to work for somewhere that is regarded as having a negative impact. This is because the role you take may have a very different kind of impact than the organisation as a whole.
In reality, it’s often too simplistic to categorise an organisation as purely ‘good’ or ‘evil’. Different people at large organisations are typically doing a huge range of things – some good, some bad, and some neutral. So we focus on assessing types of roles rather than organisations more broadly.
Moreover, many and perhaps most powerful organisations cause some harm or are at least somewhat controversial. For example, few people agree with everything that large tech companies or governments do. But large organisations like these are the most crucial players within several of our recommended problem areas. It seems too fast for socially minded people to simply ignore all of these roles.
More broadly, all actions — including all career decisions — involve a risk of negative impact, so simply avoiding anything that might be bad is also too simple.
The ethics of whether to work at an organisation that might be harmful in order to have a positive impact can quickly get complicated, and we’d encourage you to think about it carefully for yourself.
One point is we think it almost never makes sense to take a role that directly causes a lot of harm “for the greater good”, so we wouldn’t recommend taking a role like this.
That said, even if an organisation as a whole seems harmful, there can be many specific roles within it that don’t directly cause a lot of harm. These can sometimes be worth considering, either because the role itself has a big positive impact, it’s an opportunity to improve the organisation or make it less harmful, or as a route to gaining skills that’ll let you have a much bigger positive impact in the future. If a role like this ends up seeming significantly stronger than your other options, it could be worth taking.
We say ‘significantly’ because there are other important indirect downsides to keep in mind from working at an organisation that causes harm. For instance, there’s a risk that working at one of these organisations could change your values and attitudes (‘corruption’), or that you unintentionally signal support for harmful work. So, in a close run case, we’d definitely prefer working at an organisation that’s overall a positive force in the world.
We go into more detail about the ethical questions in a separate article.
If you think we are mistakenly promoting roles that are foreseeably causing serious harm, please tell us here.
We only list roles that we think are among the best opportunities according to our listing criteria (outlined above). However, we realise that there will be some great opportunities out there that we are not aware of.
If there is a role you think we should be listing on the job board, please send the link (and supporting information if needed) via this form, and we will consider it for listing.
Yes. Our team of advisors are keen to speak to people who want to have an impactful career. If you are excited about roles on our job board, you may be a good fit to talk to an advisor (for free!).
We can’t speak to everyone who applies, but if you’re not sure about whether to apply for advising, we recommend that you do. It doesn’t take long and just filling out the form might help you think through your career. And if we’re not able to talk to you right now, you can always apply again in the future.
You can leave anonymous feedback here (though feel free to leave your contact email if you wish).
We are constantly looking to improve our listings and services for our users, and would love to hear what you have to say.