Technology ethicists work for technology and artificial intelligence companies. They may also work as independent consultants, running their own businesses and developing and maintaining their own client base. They may be hired by corporations, government agencies, the military, education institutions, and nonprofit organizations to ensure technologies and their usage are compliant with company ethics and local, national, and international laws and regulations.
One way to get started in this career is through an internship or part-time job with a technology or artificial intelligence company. Search for job listings on companies' Web sites directly. School career services offices can help with locating internship and employment postings related to technology ethicists. You can also find job listings through employment Web sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, and SimplyHired. Employment opportunities may also be posted on social media sites such as LinkedIn and also on professional associations' Web sites.
Technology ethicists who work for large companies may advance to senior-level and management roles after several years of experience. Those who work at small companies may take positions with greater responsibilities and higher salaries at larger companies. They may leave full-time positions to start their own technology ethics consulting businesses, in which they are responsible for everything from marketing and promoting their services to hiring and training staff, covering payroll and business expenses, and maintaining and growing their customer base. Other ways to advance include getting certification in ethics specializations, getting an advanced degree, and teaching and writing about technology ethics.
Tips for Entry
Read the IEEE's Technology and Society magazine to learn more about technology and artificial intelligence developments and technology ethics news: https://technologyandsociety.org.
An internship or part-time job at a technology or AI company with an ethics department is a great way to learn more about the technology ethics field while gaining practical work experience.
Become a member of the IEEE's Society on Social Implications of Technology to participate in a diverse community interested in the impact of technology on individuals and society. Student memberships are also offered: https://technologyandsociety.org/join-ssit.
Interview a technology ethicist to find out how they got started in their career, what their education background is, and what advice they have for students interested in this type of work. Ask your school's career services office for help with securing an interview and be sure to create a list of questions in advance.