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Jobs You Can Get With a Degree in Philosophy

by Van Thompson, studioD

Philosophers have a long and rich history of contributing to math, science, literature, ethics, politics and virtually every other discipline. Unfortunately for many philosophy majors, few businesses look to hire a modern-day Socrates, and a job as a professional philosopher usually requires a graduate degree. The critical thinking and analytical skills taught in philosophy classes, though, can help philosophy students excel in a variety of disciplines, and a bachelor's degree can open the door to many careers. The Georgetown Public Policy Institute reports 60 percent of careers will require a bachelor's degree by 2018.

Graduate School Options

To become a professional philosopher, philosophy students need graduate-level degrees in philosophy. Students with master's degrees might be able to work as teaching assistants, teaching introductory-level philosophy classes, while doctoral degrees prepare students to become philosophy professors and write academic philosophy texts. Philosophy also provides a strong background for other graduate-level degrees. The University of West Virginia reports philosophy is a common major for students who plan to continue to law school, and the reasoning, logic and writing skills philosophy students learn can serve them well in graduate school for literature, psychology, math, medicine and a host of other disciplines.


Philosophy provides students with a strong background in analyzing ethics and politics. Careers in both public and private policy are excellent options for philosophy majors. Some businesses hire ethicists to advise on ethical dilemmas and institute company policies. Drafting legislation, lobbying for political causes and working with nonprofits are also options for philosophers.


A career in politics requires strong oratorical, reasoning and writing skills. Philosophy is an ideal choice for people interested in running for public office and those interested in working in government. Students with backgrounds in philosophy learn how to clearly articulate their ideas and compellingly critique the ideas of others. Because philosophy students are typically required to show masterful understanding of all sides of an argument, the degree can be particularly helpful for people who want to sway others' opinions and determine the course of public policy.

Journalism and Writing

Anyone can write a philosophy text; the only obstacle is getting a publisher or website to accept it. Philosophy degrees give students the basic skills they need to dissect philosophical ideas, and writing about philosophy can be an ideal option for students with bachelor's degrees. Similarly, careers in journalism require excellent critical thinking and analytical skills -- two skills that philosophy programs drill into student's brains. Students interested in investigative journalism might thrive with a philosophy degree.

About the Author

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.

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