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  • Animal Advocacy Careers is launching the 2022 cohort of our online course.
  • Applications are open now, and will close on the 18th September.
  • The course is an introduction to effective animal advocacy and relevant career opportunities.
  • The online course will be split over nine weeks (or more), with each online session taking an hour or two to complete.
  • We have an unusually strong body of evidence as online courses go that this particular course does help people to make career plan changes and land new relevant roles.
  • Getting sign ups from relevant people is our main bottleneck limiting the impact of this course right now.
  • We’re very grateful for shares with relevant people and have launched a volunteer referral program. This could be an easy opportunity for you to help build the talent pipeline in the animal advocacy and/or effective altruism communities.
     

The announcement

Animal Advocacy Careers is launching the 2022 cohort of our introductory online course. Applications are open now, and will close on the 18th September.

This online course will walk you through some of the key points to maximising your positive impact for animals through your career.

​It will provide you with information on the effective animal advocacy community and the diverse and exciting career opportunities that are available.

In this cohort, you will be taking the course together with other aspiring animal advocates and be part of a group where you’ll be able to discuss your ideas and meet like-minded people.

The online course will be split over nine weeks (or more, if you choose optional additions), with each online session taking an hour or two to complete. The sessions are:

  • Why farmed animals?
  • What does the farmed animal movement look like today?
  • Which interventions should we focus on?
  • How can you donate effectively?
  • How can you have a career that helps animals effectively?
  • How can you test your personal fit?
  • Can you help animals?
  • How much have you learned? (Test)
  • What are your next steps? Planning your career

​After the course, we will also provide some follow-up contact and support to help you implement your plans. If you engage sincerely with the course and complete it, you’ll be given a certificate of completion.

The course is intended to be an introduction to effective animal advocacy and the possible careers in the space. Engaged readers of this forum who are already interested in effective animal advocacy might find that they are already familiar with many of the concepts and research summarised in the course. But if you know someone who is in the early stages of animal advocacy and/or effective altruism, this might be a great opportunity to share with them. More on that below!

How does this help?

In our first 3 cohorts of the course, it seems like about 7% of participants started in a new paid effective animal advocacy role within 6 months of signing up (and a higher percentage did so within a year). Others start new roles in EA community building, change their donations, start internships or start volunteering relevant to effective animal advocacy or EA.

Of course, some of these people would have made such changes without the course. But our longitudinal study of the first two cohorts of the course suggests that participating in the course does make you more likely to change your career plans and start working in a relevant job, such as in an effective animal advocacy nonprofit.

And we have some case studies of how the course might help. For example, Lyda Durango became a Project Director at Vegetarianos Hoy (and ACE “Standout Charity”) in February 2022 after being supported by AAC’s course.

  • Professional background: Had worked in various marketing and communications roles for over a decade, including some temporary and freelance work with animal advocacy groups Sinergia Animal and Sentient Media.
  • Job search: Had been searching for an animal advocacy role for 3 or 4 years, but hadn’t found anything that was the right fit and was accepted onto. Initially, Lyda was searching social media, a few job boards, checking the websites of a few specific organisations, and asking contacts in local animal nonprofits, but had mostly paused her search for about a year. She had taken a role at a company that worked with a variety of nonprofits, and had begun applying to environmental organisations, despite her preference for animal advocacy. Lyda was “very close to quitting” the search and “looking for other jobs” instead.
  • How did AAC help: On hearing about and signing up for AAC’s course, Lyda renewed her efforts to find or prepare for a role that helped animals. As a result of some of the research and concepts in the course, Lyda decided to focus primarily on seeking roles with management and leadership responsibilities, rather than just applying to any role that helped animals and was available in her area. Prompted by the course, Lyda subscribed to AAC’s job board updates and started checking the board.
  • Other contact with the role: Lyda applied to a role at Vegetarianos Hoy that she found through AAC’s job board, and didn’t hear about again through any other method. The role she has taken has line management responsibilities of several corporate campaigners across Latin America.

We also have a wealth of positive anecdotal feedback about how the course has helped people think more clearly about planning a high-impact career, motivated them to work on these problems, or provided other benefits.
 

How is this different from what AAC had before?

Learning with others can be more supportive and motivating. We’ve been trialling an on-demand version of the course, but tentative early evidence suggests that participating alongside a cohort of peers might roughly triple your odds of completing the course. This isn’t as surprising as it first sounds: a number of past participants have told us that they’ve found it really motivating to complete the course alongside a cohort like this. The simultaneous group format also allows us to offer more support and reminders.

Of course, participating alongside a cohort also makes it easier to network and connect with others.

We’ve run cohort versions of the course in the past. We’ve updated the content a little since then, but the content is largely the same. If you’ve completed the course in the past, I wouldn’t recommend signing up again. You might benefit more from exploring other parts of our site or our list of suggested resources.

 

(Some example graphics from updated content.)

How is this different from other courses and fellowships?

There are a few courses relevant to animal advocacy and animal product alternatives online, but we don’t know of anything else that tries to give an overview of relevant considerations for how people can help animals as much as possible through their career.

The format is different to EA fellowships, which focus on readings with facilitated discussions. We do have a community component through the Slack group and ad hoc supporting events, however, and expect to offer more types of support if we get sufficient sign ups this year to justify it.

The course is designed to help people help animals as much as possible (i.e. maximise their positive impact for animals), but doesn't explicitly brand itself as being about “effective altruism.” So this might be an especially good opportunity to share with people who you think care about doing good (especially helping animals, of course) but haven't seemed to gel well with existing EA messaging or opportunities.

Some evidence that this messaging strategy works is that the demographics of sign ups matches those of the animal advocacy movement much more closely than those of the effective altruism community, with 65% of sign ups being from females.

How you could help

If you’re interested in participating yourself, please sign up!

Given the results of our study, anecdotal feedback from hundreds of participants, and small iterations and tweaks over the past few years, we’re optimistic about the usefulness of our course. So spreading the word and driving sign ups (from sincere participants) is currently our biggest bottleneck to achieving substantial impact for animals through the course.

If you know people who might be interested in this course – or have access to a platform where you could share this opportunity to relevant people – we’re extremely grateful for support in spreading the word. 

This might be one of the most helpful things you can do for AAC right now, and it might only take a few minutes. It’s also potentially an easy opportunity for you to help build the talent pipeline in the animal advocacy and/or effective altruism communities.

We are launching a volunteer referral program to help spread the word about the course. With each referral, you’re making a positive change for animals (in expectation).

We're hoping that you'll be motivated to spread the word so that you can help others to maximise their positive impact for animals. But we will also be paying attention to people who seem to be successful at generating more sign ups from sincere participants in the course. E.g. we might reach out to you to give you tailored career advice, or discuss opportunities for you to get involved in (professional) community organising in effective animal advocacy.

How it works:

  1. Sign-up: Register as a volunteer in this form.
  2. Refer: Spread the word about our online course and bring as many sign ups to the course as you can.
  3. Help animals: You’re increasing your impact for animals for each additional person you bring.

There’s more info about the referral program here.

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Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 4:39 AM

I took AAC online course in 2021.  I thought it was great.  I learned a lot about animal advocacy, existing organizations, needed skills, potential roles...and made a bunch of animal-relevant connections on LinkedIn.  I have subsequently recommended it to anyone who is interested in finding a career in animal advocacy.  If that is you, and you're not sure what steps to take, definitely do the course!