80,000 Hours Career Quiz

Career recommendations for ambitious world changers

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#3 Product of the DayJuly 31, 2015

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Discussion

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Robert SE WiblinMaker@robertwiblin · Head of Research
Hi everyone, I'm one of the researchers and designers behind this quiz! I'm happy to say that we are a non-profit and so all of content is completely free. We appreciate that it doesn't have coverage of every career track yet, but we are working every day to expand the range of options considered, so it will be of more use to you. We are particularly interested to hear of results that seem really strange to you, so that we can improve the formula. It's always great to hear user reactions so that we can improve the product and research. Please do take a look at the career profiles before throwing out the suggestions though!
Kat Manalac@katmanalac · Partner, Y Combinator
80,000 Hours offers career advice to young people who want to have a large social impact. The quiz asks about your personal situation and then recommends the highest impact paths for you. I wish this type of thing had been around when I was just getting started.
Robert SE WiblinMaker@robertwiblin · Head of Research
@katmanalac "I wish this type of thing had been around when I was just getting started." Thanks Kat, we wanted the same, that's why we made it!
Haley Bash@haleyparty · human being, software engineer
As someone looking to ultimately dedicate a career to the world of social impact I find the concept to be great. The questions about stage of career and how I would want to contribute were very valid. However I'd love to see something more robust - I get that being quick and dirty like a Buzzfeed quiz generates more users to take the test, but if your target audience is people who want to add impact in their career they'll dedicate an extra 10-15 minutes or more to find a good match. Some things I'd like to be questioned on are type of impact - by industry, and more granularly by skills (for example, I consider myself a decent writer but not the best at public speaking, and as someone making the transition into software engineering there's actually quite a difference between those who may be good at math vs logic vs science). I'd also love to see questions regarding ideal work environment (on the ground in an emerging economy or impoverished neighborhood, academic setting, startup setting, corporate setting, etc). One could even expand further with type of mission (for example, focusing on distantly on a large population vs intimately on a small population). The superhero question is cute but did make me nervous it'd affect my results as I was taking it! All in all I'm SO happy that this exists, but as someone that is early in their career and close with a lot of those who are also weaseling their ways through entry level corporate jobs or grad schools to find impact it'd be great to see a more detailed assessment to help out. Some of my tops were spot on (startup early employee and software engineering - doing software engineering at a startup in a few months). Some things like economics PhD and think tank research definitely don't match up (got 9/10 and 8/10 respectively), but again I think robustness will help make the matches more personalized. Cheers!
Robert SE WiblinMaker@robertwiblin · Head of Research
@haleyparty Hi Haley, that's a great idea! We agree it could have a lot more filters as we expand the number of careers considered. And don't worry - the superhero question doesn't affect your results. It's just a joke, but we've found it divides people! :)
Clare Corthell@clarecorthell
I appreciate career advice, and I think it's a dramatically underserved need of college students. However, some of this is damaging and simply wrong. The Data Science career track, for example, starts with "If you have a PhD and don't know what to do next..." This is like a bad infection, an idea that pervades despite little correlation to reality. There is no necessity of having a PhD to do well in Data Science. In fact, behind closed doors, team leads have told me they aren't interested in PhDs for a number of reasons, the biggest one of all being inflated salary expectations and the expectation that they'll work on "groundbreaking" projects. Businesses need what they need, and more often than not groundbreaking research isn't the difference between the bottom line today and tomorrow. We need *many* more eager, driven people to enter the field, we already haven't been able to move enough people into the track to hire them. The statement is misleading, factually incorrect, and damaging to any students who might have interest in the field. I immediately see that the singular perspective is problematic, reflecting only how one person led their career. Everyone is going to be different, and I'm interested in empowering anyone to make the career change they desire. This gives me pause reading any other advice that may be as well-intentioned but unreflective of how the career track is and will evolve.
Robert SE WiblinMaker@robertwiblin · Head of Research
@clarecorthell Hi Clare, thanks for this feedback, I've passed this on to the researcher responsible. To clarify, we didn't mean to say that you *have* to have a PhD to go into data science - we clarify that in brackets in the first sentence and later in the profile. What we were trying to say is that data science is especially promising if you already have a PhD. The reason for that is that almost all data science boot camps only accept PhDs, and the boot camp route seems like an especially good path. It sounds like we need to reword to make that clearer!
Brian Curliss@briancurliss · Founder of MailLift.com
I think there is a lot of room for growth with this app (I didn't gain much insight), but I love the concept!
Robert SE WiblinMaker@robertwiblin · Head of Research
@briancurliss Hi Brian, glad you liked the concept - do you just want more careers to be considered, or more details in the existing profiles? :)