Philosophy teaches the basics of critical and logical thinking which makes the study of this area complementary to any job. Different schools of thought in economics, history, psychology, and education are based upon differences in philosophy. Many students choose to combine their major in philosophy with a second major, making them even more attractive to potential employers.
Common fields for philosophy majors include law, civil service, and teaching. Many graduates go on to graduate school or other careers in the humanities.
Possible career paths
- Professor of philosophy
- Religious fields
- Social services worker
- Nonprofit administrator
What graduates say
A recent survey of Philosophy Department graduates found them in a wide variety of fields including ministry, education, law, and technology. Here is a selection of their comments about how the study of philosophy has helped them in their work:
“The study of philosophy is excellent preparation for law school and the practice of law. I still read philosophy in my spare time. Studying philosophy helps one to learn to think with clarity and on point. These skills are valuable precisely because they are in short supply. If you think more clearly than others around you, you will be valued by your colleagues and successful in whatever field you choose.”
“Philosophy has given me a set of skills to understand technology beyond technical expertise. While technical expertise is often required … the knowledge of how to use technology comes from a deeper consideration of how we think and work.”
“[The study of philosophy] enabled me to be a success at graduate school. [It] taught me how to think, which is critical in my current job, and how to listen!”
Employment of writers and editors is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2018. Employment of college and university faculty is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018 as enrollments in higher education increase. Projected growth in the occupations will be due primarily to increases in college and university enrollment over the next decade. This growth stems mainly from the expected increase in the population of 18- to 24-year-olds, who constitute the majority of students at postsecondary institutions.
These skills can be expected to serve graduates well in a variety of fields.