Top Philosophy Jobs

Occupation Average Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2016-2026)
Policy analyst $73,840 7%
Postsecondary Teaching (Philosophy professor) $75,430 15%
Paralegal $49,500 15%
Writer $61,240 8%
Social and Community Service Managers $64,680 18%

Students of philosophy study the discipline because they love it. Being immersed in something that you love is an important first step in a fulfilling life. People who study philosophy develop a certain skill set that helps tackle intangible concepts. Having a questioning mind, being able to view issues from multiple perspectives, having the ability to articulate complex ideas, weighing ethical issues and using logic to solve problems.

Graduates qualified for philosophy jobs have more options than many people think. There are many jobs that require the skill set that a philosophy grad possesses, including many with excellent employment projections over the next ten years.

1. Public Policy

Public policy is a field that encompasses a wide array of employment opportunities, and more philosophy jobs than people realize. Jobs in the public policy field range from urban planning to market analysis and most jobs require the ability to analyze demographic data in an authentic way. Looking at public issues from multiple perspectives is essential, as well as being able to find solutions to complex social problems and explain solutions in a clear manner. The skills that a philosopher has honed make a great policy analyst.

Market research can fall within the realm of public policy and requires similar attention to detail and literacy skills that other policy jobs do, and is projected to grow as an industry very rapidly over the next decade.

Ranking: 30 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the West, Ranked by Return on Investment (ROI)

2. Teaching

Teaching is the go-to of philosophy jobs and is definitely a good option for graduates. Becoming a post-secondary college or university instructor is possible with various specialties such as Western philosophy, Eastern philosophy, and religion. This choice affords philosophy graduates the smoothest transition from coursework to professional practice, earn a good salary, and work in an area with projected growth that is double the national average.

3. Paralegal

The legal profession is an interesting option for graduates because it does involve all of the same skills and interests that drew students to philosophy in the first place. Crafting creative solutions to problems, being articulate, and being able to wrestle with ethical issues are some of the important skills that paralegals have. There are certification programs through the American Bar Association, but it is the choice of an employer to require a certificate beyond a bachelor's degree.

4. Writer

Writing is an appealing option for philosophy students because it allows graduates to develop their own interests and theories beyond the classroom. Authorship is an appealing option because it opens doors to other opportunities like becoming a tenured professor or collaborating with experts in other fields to combine talents.

People gain experience as professional writers by blogging, freelancing, or studying through an internship. Academic authorship is a different path that is pursued by submitting work to peer-reviewed publications.

5. Social and Community Service Managers

Philosophy students who have a strong interest in ethics or social justice can choose to seek employment in the nonprofit sector, or by working with various community service organizations as a government employee. Analysis of problems and evaluation of solutions are key abilities in this field. Management positions may require experience in the field, whereby having a writing portfolio that demonstrates your familiarity with the issues will be beneficial.

This limited selection of potential jobs for philosophy degrees demonstrates the variety of opportunities that exist for the advanced skill set that is inherent in graduates in that field. There are many more options to job candidates who know how to sell their skills, not necessarily only the title of their degree!

Sources:

Policy analyst

Postsecondary Teaching

Paralegal

Writer

Social and Community Service Managers