10/17 lecture, “Which Careers Do the Most Good?”

You’ll spend over 80,000 hours of your life working—you should make the most of them. But if you want to make a difference, what should you do? Work for nonprofits? Try to change policy? Find a malaria vaccine? Go into finance and give it all away? 

 Which Careers Do the Most Good?

a lecture by William MacAskill

Founder, 80,000 Hours and the Centre for Effective Altruism

 Thursday, October 17, 7:30PM

Science Center A

please RSVP here

80,000 Hours founder and Bill of Health guest blogger William MacAskill will tell you about his organisation’s research into this question, and explain how it can help you find the career where you’ll have the biggest impact. You might leave with some surprising conclusions.

William MacAskill is the founder of Oxford’s Centre for Effective Altruism and of 80,000 Hours, a personal advisory service on using your time to do the most good. Formerly a Fulbright scholar at Princeton University, and currently a PhD candidate at Oxford University, he has been featured on BBC News On-line, The Today Programme, NPR, CNBC and The Washington Post. Between them, his non-profits have raised over $3 million for the most cost-effective charities, with a further $130 million pledged.

Doing Harm Through Law?

By William MacAskill

In my last post, I defended the idea of going into corporate law in order to earn a large salary, so that you can donate more to the most cost-effective charities. An objection I’ve often heard is that corporate law or other high-earning career paths are morally problematic because they involve causing harm — they benefit big business while making the poor worse off. In this post, I’ll defend my argument against that objection.

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Which field of law should you go into?

By William MacAskill

In this guest post series, I’ll write about ethical career choice. Within law school, students often face a dilemma about which field to go into. On one hand, one could go into an ‘ethical’ field, such as a district attorney or public defense job — and, for the readers of this blog, I guess that health law and academia are also salient options. On the other hand, one could go into corporate law, where there are more jobs, better pay, and less bureaucracy, but little direct positive impact. For many people, this can seem like a dilemma between doing what’s best for yourself, and what’s best for the world.

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Introducing Guest Blogger William MacAskill

William MacAskill is the Founder and President of 80,000 Hours, an advisory service for careers that make a difference. He is also the cofounder and Vice-President of Giving What We Can, a DPhil student in moral philosophy at Oxford University, a contributor to Quartz and The Atlantic, and has recently returned from Princeton on a Fulbright scholarship.


“Replaceability, Career Choice, and Making a Difference,” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. Forthcoming.

“The Infectiousness of Nihilism,” Ethics. Forthcoming.

To save the world, don’t get a job at a charity; go work on Wall St,” Quartz (February 27, 2013).

The best advice you’ll never hear in a graduation speech,” Quartz (April 18, 2013).

Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, recently discussed Will’s work in his TED Talk, “The Why and How of Effective Altruism.”