If you’re pursuing a philosophy degree, you likely get many questions — and may have questions yourself — about what job you’ll have after graduation. While “philosopher” is technically an option, this major teaches skills applicable to various fields, like critical thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning skills. Here are some jobs for philosophy majors that don’t require you to become the next Socrates and how your degree-earned skills can help you land them.
Jobs for Philosophy Majors Explained
Jobs for philosophy majors involve the skills you learn while engaging with philosophy texts — like ethical reasoning, critical thinking, and logical reasoning — and the practical skills you use to complete assignments, like writing, analytical, and communication skills. These jobs are across various fields depending on your interests and what you’re looking for out of your career, from solving business needs and influencing policies to making tangible differences in people’s lives.
What they do: Consultants advise organizations on how to become more efficient by solving business problems. They work with company leaders to understand the organization’s current structure, mission, progress, and challenges, then provide strategies to fix them.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy majors excel in analysis, which can help them diagnose business problems. They also have critical thinking skills that can help them brainstorm and come up with solutions.
Intro to Strategy Consulting
Learn about a hypothetical luxury clothing company's current revenue state and brainstorm solutions to increase sales.
Avg. Time: 1-2 hours
Skills you’ll build: Critical thinking, brainstorming, creativity
What they do: Corporate trainers develop and administer training plans for employees. First, they may assess what a corporation needs training on; then, they’ll create and deliver a program based on these needs. After they train employees, they’ll get feedback and iterate on how to deliver programs more effectively and cost-efficiently.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy majors know how to convey complex ideas and facilitate discussion over topics that might be more abstract, such as conflict resolution or motivation.
What they do: Counselors provide guidance and support to people or groups who are working through personal, emotional, or psychological challenges or issues. They assess their clients’ backgrounds, listen to them express their concerns, intervene during a crisis, help them set goals, and advocate for their needs.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy majors have a background in ethical reasoning, which can help them maintain confidentiality and help their clients navigate difficult situations. Their analytical skills can also help them understand the nuances of a client’s situation and develop effective solutions.
*Estimates for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors specifically.
What they do: Curators work in museums, galleries, libraries, or other cultural institutions to develop and maintain collections. They help acquire, preserve, and present artifacts, artwork, or other historical or cultural items.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy majors have good research skills, which can help in the development and acquiring processes. Their familiarity with ethics and ethical reasoning can also be an asset when deciding how to acquire and display culturally sensitive artifacts.
What they do: Entrepreneurs start and run their own businesses. They’re creative people who aim to innovate and provide a new service or product. They aren’t afraid to take risks along the way. Entrepreneurs need excellent business skills to get their ideas off the ground and interpersonal skills to build a network to help them grow.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: While philosophy majors study older texts to understand historical ways of thinking, they can use that foundation to innovate and develop new ways to solve problems. Their ability to communicate complex ideas can motivate and inspire others to understand their vision.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Learn how to create a pitch deck to raise money for a start-up and build a basic website to sell your product.
Avg. Time: 3-4 hours
Skills you’ll build: Conveying product value, communication, sales, design
What they do: A financial analyst examines financial data and trends to help businesses, investors, or individuals make informed financial decisions. They create models to project future financial performance, analyze financial statements and trends, and assess and manage financial risk.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: While philosophy degrees won’t teach you the financial hard skills needed for this role, the analytical, critical thinking, and attention to detail skills you learn in the major will help you stand out as a candidate.
Corporate Analyst Development Program (CADP)
Develop the technical and financial analytical skills you need to land and succeed in a financial analyst role.
Avg. Time: 5-6 hours
Skills you’ll build: Excel, data analysis, data visualization, written communication
Health Care Administrator
What they do: A health care administrator manages health care organizations’ operations. Their goal is to ensure the organization’s staff serves patients efficiently and effectively. To do so, they might provide staff trainings, read and implement patient feedback, monitor the organization’s budget, and ensure legal compliance.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Professionals in health care administration need stellar ethical reasoning skills to make critical decisions that align with ethical standards. This is great for philosophy majors who have experience understanding ethical standards and questions and communicating them to others.
>>MORE: Interested in a career in health care? Try a Forage job simulation in the field.
Human Resources Specialist
What they do: Human resources specialists focus on supporting employees within an organization from their hiring process to their exit interview. They might perform tasks like reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, managing the performance review processes, gathering and implementing employee feedback, and managing employee payroll.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Human resources roles require interpersonal skills to interact with employees at all levels. Specifically, these professionals need to understand diverse perspectives and ethical considerations — which philosophy majors tend to excel at — to empathize and work with employees.
Gain experience across various HR functions, from giving employees feedback and making processes more efficient to managing and developing a compensation framework.
Avg. Time: 3-4 hours
Skills you’ll build: Continuous improvement tools, feedback giving, process mapping
What they do: Journalists keep the public updated on current events by reporting news stories. They find information through investigations, interviews, and observations and present it in newspapers, websites, or magazines.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy majors have research and writing skills that can help them gather information, analyze facts, and present stories in a compelling way.
What they do: Lawyers provide legal advice and representation to individuals, businesses, or organizations. They conduct legal research to understand laws and previous cases, draft legal documents, represent clients in court, negotiate to settle cases and advocate for their clients. There are many types of law depending on who you want to work for and what cases you’re interested in, from corporate law and family law to environmental and criminal law.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy requires a lot of logical reasoning, which is especially helpful when constructing legal arguments in negotiations or court. A philosophy major’s debate and discussion skills are also beneficial in these responsibilities. Further, philosophy delves into ethical considerations and moral reasoning. Lawyers, especially those in ethics, human rights, or social justice, can benefit from that experience when addressing moral issues.
Law School Experience Prep Course
Get a taste of what law school is like and learn about constitutional disputes, read and analyze cases, and write an outline.
Avg. Time: 5-6 hours
Skills you’ll build: Case dissection, legal analysis, law application, issue identification
What they do: Marketing managers generate interest in products or services through marketing channels and tactics like social media, email, blog articles, events, and influencer marketing. These professionals combine creative and strategic thinking to create unique, engaging content that informs users about the different product or service offerings.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy majors are adept at analyzing and thinking critically, which can help them understand consumer behavior and develop ways to encourage consumers to engage with their product or service.
Develop an integrated marketing plan for a new digital fitness product.
Avg. Time: 6-7 hours
Skills you’ll build: Project management, written communication, strategic and analytical thinking
What they do: Policy analysts research policies to understand if they’re efficient and how they might be improved. These professionals typically focus on specific issues, like education or health care, and aim to understand how policies have made progress (or have yet to) on those issues. After they conduct research, they work with policymakers to provide recommendations on how to improve.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: While this might seem like a more typical career for political science majors, becoming a policy analyst is fit for anyone who can analyze complex issues — like philosophy majors — and dissect them to try to address their efficiency.
What they do: Professors instruct students on specific subjects. They must develop lesson plans, assignments, exams, and other projects to help educate students and assess them to ensure they retain information.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: If you’re a philosophy major, this is likely what other people ask you about when you talk about your career — “are you going to teach?” These questions make sense because once you’re knowledgeable about a more niche subject, people assume you might want to teach it to others! “Professor” is a more conventional job for philosophy majors because students can directly apply their studies in the career path and do more research in the field.
Public Relations Specialist
What they do: A public relations specialist is the gatekeeper of an organization or person’s public image. Their goal is to ensure the public perceives their client positively. Public relations specialists may send press releases to tell the press updates about their clients, manage their social media, schedule and help them prepare for interviews, and intervene if they’re involved in a media crisis.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: While many communications majors become public relations specialists, this job also requires the ability to understand diverse perspectives, empathize, and communicate effectively.
What they do: Social workers help people with everyday problems; clinical social workers focus specifically on mental, behavioral, and social challenges. They identify people’s needs, help them adjust to changes in their lives, advocate for them, coordinate resources, respond to crises, and monitor to see if they’ve improved.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: If you were drawn to philosophy because you wanted to make a difference in society, being a social worker is a great way to apply skills like ethical reasoning, problem-solving, and critical thinking to help change people’s lives for the better.
Conduct a youth engagement session to learn about issues younger generations are facing, then prepare a briefing with a plan to address their challenges.
Avg. Time: 2-3 hours
Skills you’ll build: Planning, facilitating, budgeting
What they do: Writers work on written material for various platforms, like websites, blogs, marketing materials, magazines, or newspapers. Writers may focus on a specific topic in their work, like politics or theater, or a particular writing style, like technical writing or playwriting.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy majors spend most of their assignments writing essays, research papers, discussion posts, or notes on their readings. These writing skills — even if they’re not on a particular subject you might want a career in — are highly valuable to employers who need someone who can clearly communicate ideas.
What they do: User experience (UX) designers design websites and apps to make them more engaging and easier to use. This role requires design skills and the ability to understand user behavior and make decisions that positively affect how people interact with a product.
Why it’s a good philosophy job: Philosophy students focus on understanding human perspectives and behaviors. This insight is the center of UX design and the key to making better designs that people are more willing and excited to use.
Digital Design & UX
Jump into the basics of UX design by creating a persona for user research. Then, design an app based on user feedback.
Avg. Time: 5-6 hours
Skills you’ll build: User research, prototyping, mobile design, app design, product design
Skills for Jobs for Philosophy Majors
Philosophy majors have a unique skill set from their degree. Like many liberal arts majors, they build critical thinking, analytical, research, and writing skills from their various assignments. For example, writing a research paper requires research (it’s in the name!) to find sources, analytical skills to understand what that research is saying, critical thinking to connect sources to your argument, and writing skills to articulate that argument.
Yet philosophy majors also have specific skills because of the kinds of texts and topics they engage with. For example, ethical reasoning skills, or the ability to differentiate what behaviors are morally right and wrong, can help in various positions where laws and human behavior are at the forefront. Other valuable job skills philosophy majors have include:
How to Land Jobs for Philosophy Majors
Like other jobs for liberal arts degrees, jobs for philosophy majors aren’t always directly related to the major. That doesn’t mean these jobs aren’t right for you, but rather that you’ll have to be tactical in the job search process when explaining your experience and skill set.
Emphasize Your Skills
Employers don’t expect you to have an advanced technical skill set when you’re just starting out in your career. Instead, they’re more focused on how you work with others, approach tasks, and whether you can learn quickly — essentially, all of your soft skills. Philosophy majors have many valuable soft skills employers are looking for, so be sure to emphasize these on your resume, cover letter, and interview.
Write a resume demonstrating your impact and showcasing the right transferable skills.
Avg. Time: 5-6 hours
Skills you’ll build: Showcasing your outcome in teams, professional summary, professional brand
Get Practical Experience
Getting practical experience in a field you’re interested in can show employers you’re passionate about the role and can apply your skills to a professional environment. These experiences don’t need to be other entry-level roles but rather any opportunity where you use job skills or learn how a company or role works. Ways to gain practical experience include:
Share Your Story
A health care professional might not immediately understand why a philosophy major is applying to a role in the field, so that’s why you need to show them why you’re exceptionally qualified for it! Learn how to tell your professional story in a way that directly connects your experience and skills to the jobs and companies you’re applying for.
For example, you can map a project you did in an extracurricular to the organizational and leadership skills an employer is looking for or an essay you wrote in class to the research skills in the job description.
Jobs for Philosophy Majors: The Bottom Line
After getting a philosophy degree, finding the right career path for you is about applying the unique soft skills you learned to industries, companies, and roles that excite you. You can use your analytical skills to research government policies or consumer behavior or apply your ethical reasoning skills to health care or law — the job world is your oyster.
Learn about jobs for other majors:
- Top 16+ Jobs for Computer Science Majors in 2023
- 13+ Jobs for English Majors
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- 13+ Jobs for Finance Majors in 2023
- 12+ Jobs for Economics Majors
- 16+ Jobs for Accounting Majors in 2023
- 12+ Liberal Arts Degree Jobs (Plus, 4 Tips on How to Land Them)
- Top 10 Jobs for Engineering Majors (of All Kinds)
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