Answering Questions About Careers In Ethics

17 September 2017
 Categories: Government & Politics, Blog


For individuals that have a strong sense of right and wrong, pursuing a career in ethics can be an excellent opportunity to make a meaningful difference. However, a lack of awareness about this career option can lead individuals to overlook this calling when they are considering their options.

Who Employs Ethicists?

A common reason to overlook this occupation is a lack of appreciation for the variety of organizations that require the services of ethics officers. While individuals will often be aware of the fact that government agencies will frequently employ these individuals, it is also common for charities, large companies and international non-government organizations to hire these individuals. Lastly, it can also be common for large universities and colleges to have ethics officers as permanent staff members.  

What Role Do Ethics Officers Serve In Organizations?

The exact tasks that are assigned to the ethics officers will vary depending on the type of organization that employs them. However, there will be some similarities in the functions of these individuals regardless of the organization. Typically, it will fall on the ethics offices to review the policies of the organization to ensure that they are in compliance with any binding codes of conduct or ethical standards. Without the work of these individuals, it could be possible to run afoul of professional standards that could lead to loss of professional certifications and licenses.

What Type Of Training Do Ethics Officers Require?

In addition to being extremely familiar with their chosen field, ethics officers will also need to receive an advanced education in ethics. It is a reality that many of the problems that ethics officers will be asked to address are rather ambiguous in nature. As a result, it is important for ethics officers to have an advanced education that will provide them with the knowledge needed to deconstruct these situations so that they can be effectively analyzed.

What Is Needed To Transition To Teaching Ethics?

It can be common for individuals to be attracted to the thought of teaching ethics. Whether you are interested in teaching ethics at a traditional university or a community college, it will be necessary to have at least a master's degree although a doctorate will usually be the preferred degree. For those that want to work at research-focused institutions, it will also be necessary to regularly publish research in the relevant ethics academic journals, but the exact requirements will vary based on the school's expectations for faculty. Contact someone in the field, like Katharine Hamilton, for more information.