Careers In Philosophy -Please read/ help

Firstly, I am a bit conscious of this question sounding ignorant.
But that’s only because I am. There’s no sense in trying to appear otherwise.
I am also aware of how naive this may sound.
Please take it at face value.

I love philosophy and find myself at a vocational cross-roads in life.
I have no university education & have been doing the same job now for 19 yrs.
Like a lot of people, I am a mortgage slave, & although I am by no stretch unhappy with my life, I certainly do not regard it as “tailor-made” for me.

I was wondering what careers are available to those with degrees in philosophy apart from careers as professors of phiosophy?

Also, how long would one have to study (Full time &/or P.T) to obtain whatever qualification for whatever vocation.

What subjects are most complimentary to philosophy (physics) for maximum employability in a philosophy-related field?

Any kind of advice at all would be appreciated.

I have often wondered what you can do with a philosophy degree.

Well, few jobs ask specifically for a Philosophy degree.

I’ve been looking into consulting.

Basically, many jobs require any bachelors, and philosopy is a fine one to have.

On the other hand, many hospitals now have staff ethicist, but they ususaly want you to be a doctor too.

The sorta tradtional path is to get a philosophy undergraduate and then go on to law school.

In fact you can get a phiosophy undergraduate and go on to do a lot of things in grad school. Even many medical schools don’t care how much you know about plants (biology), and you can come in with a philosophy degree. You might have to take some undergraduate courses- you should ask your prospective Med School early.

Physics and Philosophy is a fine combination. Especially if you are into philosophy of Science. If you get a job in a lab, you can annoy everyone with how they are jumping to conclusions and such.

in terms of just getting a career, any degree is useful in getting into a line of work that you can “climb the ladder” in (obviously the promotional ladder not as in the literal sense of becoming a window cleaner). for example my dad is a computer programmer and his partner in their company main qualification was that he had a degree in geography. a degree just shows you can work hard and try hard to achieve in the employer’s eyes (whether or not this is true in reality is a bit more difficult to prove) and this is what the employer sees you as when you first come to work for him.

specific jobs with philosophy degree requirements are a bit more difficult to find in my opinion. apart from lecturer or writing your own book (or both) i can’t think of any and considering i’m a second year philosophy student at university i probably should know by now (oops).

This question was given much contemplation before I decided to pursue philosophy. By asking philosophy professors and career counselors I’ve become a little more informed.

It seems that with just a philosophy bachelor’s, you can pretty much do a lot of things (as already stated). It is good just to have a degree, regardless of what discipline. Even more businesses are looking for more liberal degrees. However, as I told the professors and counselors, I did not want to study philosophy and then graduate and start working for a business or be in a career not involve in what I specifically studied for. I think if you want a career more involved with philosophy, a degree (M.A. Ph.D) higher than a bachelor’s is needed. You can pursue Law or Professor of Philosophy.

It was also mentioned that philosophy can be good for like detective work, maybe for law enforcement or as a private investigator. A bachelor’s may only be needed for this. I found a career such as this to be quite a good “Plan B” is if I ended up not following through with a post graduate degree.

Please please be careful. I have a philosophy BA and I’ve given up and am going to Law School. The job of a philosopher is to teach philosophy. this requires at least an MA and usually a PhD to boot.

In terms of working with the degree Philosophy always pairs up with something. Philosophy of Language, P of Biology, P of whatever. Philosophy always needs some subject matter to work its magic.

For the medical degree, schools do indeed care about your specific knowledge. No american medical School will allow you to enroll there Withour about 40 undergraduate schience credits in Biology, chemistry, calculus etc.

If I were you, I would take classes at a local university and go for the degree and in some way incorporate your own 19 years of career experience in with your academic work. I think you might make a fine professor, actually. I always learned the Most from the non traditional profs. The ones that went direct from undergrad to grad school to tenure are pretty dry. People have to sweat out in the desert to understand their calling in life.

Careers in philosophy

It’s an old joke.

What did the philosophy graduate say to the engineering graduate? “Do you want fries with that?”

Funny adam, very funny.

Anyone here get a philosophy degree and get a nice paying job?

I have a pretty nice paying job now, but not one that I can see a life-long career in. Yes, I do agree that philosophy is something that is somewhat supplemental, as my studies help me excel in my job.

whitelotus, what do you mean by “you are philosophically dead if you only do philosophy”?

You might want to look up some work by Gregory McCullogh. He wrote “Using Sartre” and I heard from a professor of mine that he worked as a truck driver or something until his forties before going for a philosophy doctorate.


i would be doing it myself if i would of known about the BRAND NEW emerging field when i was a philosophy/religious studies undergrad… NOW is THE time to get into it… the first offical text book for this new professional field i believe was published in 2000 to give you an idea of how new it is…

i could go on and on about it but the links above have more than enough useful information you could need… basically it seems to be opening up becuase psychology is becoming more of a physical/medical/empirical field… if you would decide to go this route i would sugest getting a bachelors in philosphy and a masters in counseling and do some independent studies specifically in the field of philosophical counseling…

other things you can do with philosophy… Logic is underrated but quite usable, especially with studies/research in things like artificial intelligence and computer programming, a degree in philosophy can also give you a huge you leg up in the field of Non-profit, Non-governmental and Activists organizations… or if you like to write and want to become an author it’s a really good way to learn how to perfect your skills…

Illocutionary, make that a large fries please. :stuck_out_tongue:


Really when you think about it, jobs are for losers anyway.

I mean people go to school for how many years, to get high salery jobs that require them to be available 24/7. They get all sorts of money, so they can do what? Get a house so big they never have to see their kids? Eat steak every night and die early of a heart attack? Most likely get themeslves scammed by bigger badder corporations so that they are in debt like everyone else, just a bigger debt. They wait all year so they can have a mounth of peace and maybe just a little contemplation- something a philosophical bum gets on a daily basis.

well, as a living demonstartion against the case… i have a degree in philosophy and i’m doing just fine… no burger flipping here. when i comes to career ppaths it’s a about how hard you hustle and market yourself no matter what you want to do in life.

philisophical counselling? ha! you put me in front of a patient and guarantee they will commit suiside in 5 years if i tell them about the way the world really is!

Thats right, we can just steal out way threw life. Simple enough, ive thought about it.

philisophical counselling sounds like it could be depressing. ie: there is no god and your always wrong etc etc. Life sucks then you die.

Sorry about that last post. I’ve been reading too much Chinese stuff.

Philosophical counciling could work. I’ve used philosophy to help my friends. Basically, most people get into a funk, when they find themselves faced with “hard truth” of life. And as we all know there is no truth that philosophy can’t question.

Client- “I always fall into the same relationship pattern. I find some guy who can’t really fuffill my needs and then I try to change him- which I know is impossible.”

Councilor- “Well why don’t you fall in love with someone else?”

Client- “I can’t choose who I love.”

Councilor- “Hmm, David Hume would agree with you. He thought that our rational capacity was a slave to our desires. In fact, he’s probably the reason why many westerners don’t belive that you can choose love.”

…and on and on…

Once you explain to them that whatever idea is bugging them was thought up by someone who got laid very little and there are other ideas out there, someone spirts will often lift. It’s like giveing a prisoner a saw.

Eh, very true. I know philosophy has helped me. I used to be some goody good boy who was worried about everything. Now I do what ever because i know there is no wrong and it really just doesn’t matter.

So true. They just get on the treadmill of life and never even reflect about it. But hey, if thats what they made their purpose in life to be, then let them be.