Jobs With The Word “Ethical” In Their Title
By Mark Swartz
Ethics is a hot topic in the work world. Codes of conduct are part of employee handbooks. Employers try to screen you out if you lie on your resume. Many companies encourage whistleblowing confidentially on dishonest behaviour.
It follows that there are career opportunities in the field of moral and legal integrity. Here are four in particular that have the word “ethical” or “ethics” as part of the job title itself.
The medical and health sciences sectors present many ethical dilemmas. Hospitals have to allocate scarce resources when prioritizing patient care. Researchers design experimental procedures with life-or-death consequences.
It’s no wonder that bioethics is a growing profession. Practitioners in this area manage cases where critical decisions are rendered quickly. Some typical conundrums:
- Who should get the organ transplant first when there is only one available, yet the waiting list is filled with critically ill people?
- At what point is a patient considered terminal, and how does this affect their care?
- Should an experimental drug or procedure be allowed in emergencies even if the chances of death are known to be high?
Healthcare jobs can have ethical gray zones with no simple black or white solutions. Training for this taxing career normally includes either medical credentials (e.g. being a physician or nurse), or else a Masters level degree in ethics, law or social work.
There are plenty of integrity concerns in other sectors too. Governments walk a tightrope when developing policies and laws. Private companies are rife with examples of dishonesty. Not-For-Profit organizations dealing with controversial issues need guidance.
This is where ethics consultants earn their pay. They offer advice on how to deal with conflicts of interest, bribery and transparency. Writing customized codes of conduct or training staff on ethical behaviour is all in a day’s work.
So is overseeing integrity audits to determine if a company needs to fix deficiencies. With that may come recommendations to work with ethics sub-specialists, such as corporate governance lawyers, certified fraud examiners, and corporate social responsibility practitioners.
Compliance and Ethics Manager
From banks to big retailers and manufacturers, the regulatory environment keeps shifting. Keeping on top of these changes and ensuring observance employer-wide is the job of Compliance and Ethics Managers.
The compliance portion relates mainly to operating within laws and regulations that govern a specific sector. Risk assessment, adherence audits and regulatory reporting are covered here.
Meanwhile “ethics” in this context means general laws and moral codes that, if not properly enforced, could expose the employer to serious repercussions. Rules about sexual harassment, conflicts of interest and privacy may fall under this umbrella. Also included are discrimination and social media misuse.
It helps to have a degree or diploma in HR, Law or Business with attention to investigations and legal compliance.
Is every job with “ethical” in its title focused on integrity or morality? Not when duties include secretly probing the employer’s IT security defenses. Such is the case with ethical hackers.
Yes, companies and government agencies try to break into their own computers – and hire people to do so. That reveals weak spots that can then be evaluated (and fixed immediately if necessary).
Like any profession this one has sub-specialties. There’s penetration testing, incidence response, computer forensics and security analysis. Ethical hackers usually start as a penetration tester and advance to a senior role as an information security analyst or engineer.
This is one of those nicely paying careers where higher education may not be a pre-requisite. Whether self-taught or school learned, computer and device hacking skills are what the employer seeks. Deploying them for legal purposes is a whole lot safer than the alternative!