What can you do with a Philosophy degree?

Lara Billington
Content Marketing Executive

Where next? That is but the question.  

Unless you have plans to become 2019's answer to Aristotle, you'll know that as a Philosophy student, there isn't necessarily a clear career route to follow once you graduate.

If you don't fancy spending your days asking life's most unanswerable questions and you're feeling a bit lost, fear not - the diverse range of skills learnt during your degree mean the job opportunities available are endless. 

In fact, recent Higher Education Careers Service Unit data shows that Philosophy grads end up in some of the most varied careers, from Business and Finance, to Marketing and PR. Just look at David Cameron and Ricky Gervais - totally different careers, but both studied Philosophy. 

So, if you're in need of some inspiration here's a few ideas of where life could take you as a Philosophy graduate.


Key skills you've gained 

  • Ability to formulate logical arguments 

The ability to develop logical and persuasive arguments that are supported with evidence and convey them successfully to others, will prove useful in the workplace. Being able to critically evaluate your own and other's arguments is a great skill too, particularly in a role that requires big decisions to be made. 

  • Verbal and written communication skills 

The hours spent writing essays and preparing presentations during your degree weren't for nothing. Being able to communicate your ideas and arguments with clarity when you're writing and speaking is essential for any job that involves team work or regularly interacting with others. 

  • Problem Solving

During your degree you will have learnt how to effectively identify and address problems, both big and small, by finding logical and varied solutions. Bring this skill to the workplace and you'll be an asset to any employer. 

  • Research skills 

Any argument needs evidence, and your ability to sift through large amounts of complex information to find what's relevant is fundamental for careers in lots of sectors, from Law to Publishing. 

  • Skills specific to Philosophy 

You've spent three years developing a strong understanding of our world, human thought and the connections between the two. You may not have discovered the meaning of life just yet, but you'll certainly leave uni with logic, wisdom and an ability to reason - key skills a lot twenty-something's lack.




Typical jobs you could do with a Philosophy degree 

  • Academics 

If Philosophy is your passion and you love to learn, why not continue on with education and gain a Doctorate in the subject? With your Doctorate, you could spend your career carrying out research in an area you're interested in, or pass on your wisdom to undergraduates through lecturing. Studying for a PhD won't be a walk in the park, but you can expect to earn a decent salary because of it. 


Not-so-typical jobs you could do with a Philosophy degree 

  • Law

The skills you've gained in digesting large amounts of information, formulating coherent arguments that are backed with evidence and critically analysing situations, make Philosophy graduates great Lawyers. You'll need to complete a conversion course though so if you're not completely certain it's the career for you, consider applying for a Paralegal position first to get a feel for Law. 

  • Publishing 

Whether it's books, magazines, newspapers or websites, there's a wealth of opportunities available in Publishing. In an entry level role you'll help senior editors research for projects, proofread copy and possibly write your own material, so the strong writing skills you've gained are essential. As you progress up the ranks you'll gain more responsibility and with that, a bigger salary. 

  • Teaching 

You can become a teacher with any degree however the skills Philosophy grads have would be particularly useful for this career. Top communication skills are essential, as well as being able to convey information in a coherent and comprehensible way to students. In the chaotic environment of a classroom your critical thinking and problem solving skills will come in handy too. Why not combine teaching with travelling and apply for this exciting role in China? 

  • Marketing 

Use the knowledge you've learnt about humans, cultures and societies to your advantage in a career in Marketing. Jobs in this sector are exciting and varied; whether it's managing accounts or brands, writing content, conducting market research or working on paid search campaigns, there's something for everyone. If want a career that gets your creative juices flowing, this is it. 

  • Human Resources  

If you chose to study Philosophy you probably consider yourself a curious person. In a HR role you'll have your nose in everyone's business, as you manage everything related to the employees in an organisation. You'll make sure operations run smoothy, from managing recruitment and devising orientation programmes to addressing employee queries and dealing with disputes. 

  • Psychotherapist 

Your understanding of human thought processes and emotion would prove useful in a role as a Psychotherapist, as you work to help individuals overcome issues in their lives. Your ability to consider alternative solutions to a problem is also essential, particularly when helping clients re-frame their thought processes towards stressors. It's a challenging career, but hugely rewarding. 


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