As a Philosophy graduate, people often ask me, “What kind of jobs can you get with your degree?”
It’s an understandable question, of course. After all, a deep knowledge of Plato or Socrates isn’t going to be that useful in most job scenarios.
Still, studying Philosophy helps you hone a variety of useful skills that you can apply to a wide range of jobs.
Today, I’d like to share with you what you can gain from a Philosophy degree. I’ll also share some types of jobs you can look for!
What Skills Do You Gain from a Philosophy Degree?
There are many hard and soft skills that you can gain from a Philosophy degree.
Here are some of the main skills you will gain:
- Writing Skills
- Presentation and Communication Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Time and Task Management
The most obvious skill that you gain from a Philosophy degree is the ability to write well.
A philosophy degree exposes you to many different types of writing, including:
- comparison and contrast
- critical writing
You learn how to modulate your tone and use different writing styles, depending on the topic.
This helps your writing be more persuasive and adaptable to different requirements.
Not only that—you will become a quick and efficient writer too.
I had to write many essays for different modules, in short deadlines of 1-2 weeks. Churning out clear and concise pieces became almost second nature to me.
Good and fast writing skills are very useful, and applicable to all sorts of jobs.
Presentation and Communication Skills
Philosophy classes comprise a lot of class discussions and presentations.
Through these, you grow more confident in public speaking and in engaging with others.
You also learn to think on your feet and come up with rebuttals or explanations.
You learn to present complex topics in a digestible, engaging way.
Philosophy taught me how to communicate ideas better – a key skill in any profession!
Studying Philosophy also hones your critical thinking skills.
You engage with different viewpoints, and have to point out their strengths and flaws. You also have to come up with opposing viewpoints of your own.
Through all these, your arguments become more logical and effective.
Critical thinking is an important skill that will help you in whatever career path you’re on.
Time and Task Management
Studying Philosophy means you have to deal with constant and overlapping assignment deadlines.
I wrote an average of 2-3 essays per module and took 3-4 Philosophy modules per semester.
That’s an average of 6 to 12 essays per semester. And that doesn’t include assignments for other non-Philosophy modules!
You will learn how to prioritise tasks, and complete them on time.
Now, I am much better at multitasking and planning my time well.
After knowing more about the skill set you’ll gain with a Philosophy degree, here are some career paths that you can consider.
#1 Jobs in the Public Sector
It’s no secret that working in the public sector entails a lot of paperwork.
You may also need to give presentations and engage with various stakeholders.
In the public sector, I prepared many reports, detailed evaluations, and contractual documents. These required very clear and persuasive writing.
Moreover, I came up with innovative ideas and pitched them to various authorities.
Other activities that I carried out include mediating disagreements, explaining various policies, and negotiating contractual agreements.
These responsibilities needed good writing, communication, and critical thinking skills.
The amount of paperwork required can be a little staggering, especially if you’re not used to writing.
I definitely believe my experience in Philosophy made things much easier.
Procurement, Human Resource, and Analytics roles are some options you can consider.
These need lots of critical thinking, brainstorming, and persuasive writing. As such, they’re quite suited to what you’ve been studying!
#2 Business Development
Business Development roles generally involve managing and coordinating client relations, and project management.
You will need to juggle many tasks, and keep track of everything that’s going on.
A non-exhaustive list of responsibilities include:
- Analysing potential outcomes and risk factors
- Conducting meetings and discussions with stakeholders
- Analysing different business strategies for optimal results
- Brainstorming new projects and planning workable timelines
Good communication, time management, and analytical skills are crucial for such roles.
You have to come up with new ideas and engage in meaningful discussions. Studying Philosophy is good preparation for this!
#3 Research Assistant
Research roles involve a lot of reading, comprehension, and writing.
There are several kinds of research roles you can apply for, including:
- Positions in local universities focused on specific studies
- Business and Finance related research
- Market and Media research for advertising companies
It also requires you to be clear and thorough in your reports.
Philosophy majors have a lot of experience in research and writing. Hence, research roles make for a natural career choice.
#4 Marketing and Content Manager/Copywriting
Marketing and copywriting roles need good language and communication skills.
You need to be persuasive and engaging, while still getting your point across.
Moreover, you must break down complex analyses into simpler pieces of information.
This is another role rather suited to Philosophy majors. Simplifying complicated ideas and presenting them is what we’ve been doing daily!
#5 Account Specialist
Another general role you can consider is being an Account Specialist.
Account Specialists handle the company’s potential and existing clients.
They have a myriad of responsibilities, including:
- Keeping in constant contact with new and existing clients
- Identifying good sales opportunities and pitching them to clients
- Identifying and analysing trends
- Brainstorming solutions
- Advising clients on various issues
Good communication and analytical skills are key to this role. You will need to answer all your clients’ concerns, solve their problems, and provide proper guidance and advice.
Excellent time and task management are also very important.
You also need a curious mind, and educate yourself on each client’s unique situation.
Once again, a degree in Philosophy definitely helps you fulfill these requirements!
A Philosophy degree provides you with a lot of transferable skills. You can apply them in many different professions.
I’ve listed a few types of jobs that you can consider.
Generally, these are jobs that need good writing, communication, and critical thinking skills.
So the next time someone asks you what you plan to do with your degree, don’t worry! There is a wide variety of jobs you can get as a Philosophy major.
Have fun with your studies, and focus on honing your skills. I’m grateful for what Philosophy has taught me, and you will be too! 🙂
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