What Can You Do With a Philosophy Degree? [2021 Guide]

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If you’ve ever considered majoring in philosophy, you’ve probably had people ask you, “What can you do with a philosophy degree?”

What Can You Do With a Philosophy Degree

While you may not have had an answer off the top of your head right then, it’s not because there’s no use for a Bachelor of Philosophy.

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Rather, this degree can lead to a wide range of job opportunities and prepare you to be a critical thinker and an effective communicator.

What Can You Do with a Philosophy Degree?

Philosophy Degree majors

Philosophy majors can develop skills that are relevant to a wide variety of job paths. There’s no set course that philosophy graduates have to follow. Rather, the sky’s the limit on opportunities for philosophy students.

For example, philosophy studies help people think critically and express their thoughts clearly. These skills are applicable to positions like technical writer, editor, or journalist.

Philosophy classes can also prepare you to understand people and culture. This could be useful in the marketing world. Many businesses need marketing specialists, and there may be eventual opportunities for promotions to management positions as well.

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A philosophy program is likely to emphasize ethics. This could serve as the foundation for a career in a field that requires strict adherence to ethical principles. Examples include healthcare and finance. Other professionals with a background in philosophy become nonprofit managers, paralegals, systems analysts, or policy analysts.

Some graduates enter the workforce right away, and some philosophy students choose to pursue graduate studies. For instance, a bachelor’s degree in philosophy might prepare you for law school, theological studies, or an MBA. A graduate degree in philosophy can help you prepare for a career in academia or research.

5 Things You Can Do with a Degree in Philosophy

Degree in Philosophy journalist

Studies in philosophy can take you in many different directions since they provide skills that are applicable in a wide variety of disciplines. Five careers to consider are listed below.

1. Reporter or Journalist

In a philosophy program, you’ll generally write many papers. Most essays will involve analyzing a topic and providing critical commentary on it. These argumentative skills could help prepare you to work as a journalist who analyzes politics, current events, or social concerns.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, news analysts, reporters, and journalists usually work for newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and television stations. Most earn between $25,510 and $127,370 annually.

2. Paralegal

Degree in Philosophy paralegal

Your studies in ethics, communication, writing, and critical thinking could act as a solid foundation for paralegal studies. Paralegals work alongside lawyers. Their responsibilities can include preparing legal documents, taking statements from witnesses, and organizing evidence.

Based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for paralegals and legal assistants are growing at a 10% rate over the next ten years. A paralegal certificate would be required in addition to your bachelor’s degree.

3. Market Research Analyst

Philosophy studies touch on culture and human relationships. They also involve looking at situations and brainstorming creative solutions. These skills could be useful in marketing positions, such as working as a market research analyst.

Marketing professionals often work in management consulting, finance, insurance, trade, and publishing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 18% job growth for market research analysts over the next decade.

4. Social and Community Service Manager

Social and Community Service Manager

Sometimes, an interest in philosophy translates into an interest in the greater good. As a nonprofit manager, you might be able to apply your knowledge about problem-solving, ethics, social dynamics, and communication to improve others’ lives.

Job growth in this field is expected over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 17% growth rate. Managers often work in civic organizations, family services, residential care, and government.

5. Financial Manager

The analytical skills that you can develop in a philosophy program could be beneficial in the world of finance. Financial managers have to oversee employees, evaluate opportunities, brainstorm ways to increase profits, and pay attention to details.

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To become a manager, you’ll likely need to gain experience in the world of finance. Jobs in this field include loan officer, budget analyst, and financial analyst. Financial certifications could help as well.

Philosophy Careers & Salaries

Philosophy Careers & Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for workers with a philosophy or religion degree is around $54,000. Career examples for professionals with a background in philosophy are listed below.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Marketing Managers $142,170
Financial Managers $134,180
Lawyers $126,930
Management Analysts $87,660
Postsecondary Philosophy and Religion Teachers $76,160
Technical Writers $74,650
Social and Community Service Managers $69,600
Editors $63,400
Paralegals and Legal Assistants $52,920
Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts $49,300

Some of these career options require additional education or certification beyond a bachelor’s degree. For example, becoming a lawyer involves going to law school and becoming licensed. Becoming a college professor typically requires a doctorate degree.

What Is a Philosophy Major?

What Is a Philosophy Major

A philosophy major is a degree plan that addresses the fundamental questions about life and the world. Philosophy students seek to gain knowledge and discover truth. The topics they consider include religion, morality, and human existence.

For a philosophy degree, you’ll likely take classes that cover topics like ethical theories and epistemology. Other courses can help you learn the principles of reasoning and logic. You can also study the history of philosophical thinking from ancient times through modern ones.

Philosophy pairs well with a variety of other disciplines, such as law, art history, religion, bioethics, medicine, and politics.

Is Philosophy a Hard Major?

Philosophy program

A philosophy program requires you to do a great deal of thinking. If you like grappling with tough questions or wrestling with fundamental truths, then this degree might be a good fit for you.

Your philosophy studies will often involve reading many complicated texts. You’ll also be expected to produce critical writing pieces. If words and arguments come easily to you, then you might feel right at home in the philosophy department.

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Class discussions are a fundamental part of philosophy courses. If you enjoy deep conversations and intense debates, then philosophy studies might provide what you’re looking for.

How Much Do Philosophy Majors Make?

Philosophy Majors salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for philosophy and religion majors is around $54,000. Some jobs in this field have the potential for significantly higher earnings, especially if you plan to earn a graduate degree as well.

For example, philosophy and religion professors tend to earn between $40,470 and $155,430 each year. They are often employed by colleges, universities, and junior colleges.

Philosophy studies could also help prepare you for law school. Lawyers typically make between $61,490 and more than $208,000 annually. The median annual income for lawyers who work for the federal government is $152,220 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Is Philosophy a Good Major?

Is Philosophy a Good Major

Yes, philosophy is a good major for many undergraduate students. People often pursue philosophy degrees because they’re not content with surface-level answers. Philosophy studies can provide an opportunity to think deeply about humanity and the world.

Students who major in philosophy can learn to think analytically, speak eloquently, and write persuasively. These abilities could be useful in many fields, including law, business, education, public policy, and writing. A philosophy degree could also prepare you for law, business, or philosophy grad school.

The median annual salary for philosophy graduates is $54,000, though this of course depends on your level of education and chosen field (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

What Skills Do You Learn in Philosophy?

philosophy program skills

In a philosophy program, you can refine a number of skills that are useful in the workforce. Whether you’re a writer, a business leader, or a philosopher, you can benefit from skills like the following:

  • Ability to solve problems
  • Analytical thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural competence
  • Initiative and self-discipline
  • Interpersonal understanding
  • Logical thinking
  • Organization and time management
  • Persuasive speaking and writing
  • Reasoning ability
  • Research know-how

Often, soft skills like these are some of the top assets that employers look for when making hiring decisions.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Philosophy Degree?

Philosophy Degree jobs

Some philosophy graduates become writers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most writers and authors earn between $35,880 and $133,460 annually. Related jobs include editing, technical writing, and journalism.

Other graduates go into the field of marketing. They may work as marketing specialists, market research analysts, or marketing managers. Market research analysts who work in publishing earn a median annual salary of $79,040.

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Some philosophy students enter the field of nonprofit management. Managers who work in community and social service often make between $42,230 and $115,800 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor’s in Theology vs. Philosophy?

If you enjoy thinking and wrestling with ideas, then you might want to study either theology or philosophy in college. Understanding the differences between these two disciplines might help you decide which one to choose.

Theology Philosophy
  • The study of God and religion
  • Encompasses both faith and reason
  • Searches for deep understanding from a religious perspective
  • The study of knowledge and truth
  • Relies on reason and natural observation
  • Searches for deep understanding from a human perspective

If you choose theology as your college major, you’ll likely explore philosophical concepts as part of your studies.

Is a Philosophy Degree Worth It?

Is a Philosophy Degree Worth It

Yes, a philosophy degree is worth it for many students. In philosophy programs, you have the chance to grapple with fundamental questions.

As you do, you may grow to become a more well-rounded individual who’s equipped to make a difference in the workforce and perhaps the world. Philosophy studies can lead to many job opportunities. Career examples in related fields include writer, editor, budget analyst, and social service manager.

This degree could also be the first step toward the path of becoming a lawyer or a philosophy academic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for postsecondary philosophy and religion teachers are increasing at a 7% rate over the next decade.

Getting Your Degree in Philosophy Online

Degree in Philosophy Online

For many students, philosophy is a fascinating topic. A background in philosophy can also lead to a wide range of potential career opportunities.

Philosophy majors tend to be deep thinkers with the ability to evaluate situations and provide beneficial solutions. This can make them excellent candidates for various job roles.

If you’re interested in becoming a philosophy student, you may want to take a look at online college opportunities. Online formats can be especially beneficial for subjects like philosophy that involve a good deal of reading and writing.

You can earn a reputable online philosophy degree from a number of accredited colleges. Why not start exploring program options today?

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Jordan Meeks
WRITTEN BY
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.