What can I do with a major in Philosophy?
UGA Specific Information for Philosophy
Philosophy is a major that seeks to understand the nature of human beings through analyzing, interpreting, and logically explaining what human beings believe, value, and do. As a division of the liberal arts, it involves the systematic study of the truths or principles underlying basic issues such as the nature of reality, knowledge, value, and obligation. Students of philosophy acquire skills of critical thinking, learn to discover and evaluate basic assumptions, are trained in accurate analysis of concepts and ideas, and can easily construct logical and reliable arguments, many businesses recognize the value of a philosophical education. What is more, they look favorably at an individual who quickly learns new things and think for him or herself and can be trained in the specifics of a job. With that said, a student majoring in philosophy can tailor his or her career for law, business, education, or a host of other professions.
Class of 2018 Career Outcomes for Philosophy*
** Includes Self-Employed
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Additional UGA Career Center Recommendations/Considerations
The study of philosophy allows for the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. A sample of representative skills and abilities follows.
- Ability to analyze relationships
- Competency to identify and answer key questions
- Capacity to think and express oneself logically
- Ability to communicate persuasively
- Aptitude to speak articulately and listen objectively
- Conduct and explain research
- Understanding of broad range of topics
- Awareness of and respect for various systems of thought
SAMPLE INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
- Communications (e.g., The Washington Post, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, Fleishman-Hillard, Inc)
- Consulting (e.g., Accenture, KPMG, IBM)
- Government (e.g., Environmental Protection Agency, Goddard Space Center, Department of Transportation)
- Nonprofit Organizations (e.g., The Genocide Prevention Center, The Red Cross, National Organization of Women)
- Political Action Committee (e.g., American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Human Rights Campaign)
- Research/Think Tanks (e.g., The Blackstone Group, Brookings)
- Philosophy students develop many transferable skills that can be can be utilized in a variety of careers and jobs, demonstrating the flexibility and capacity for growth that employers find valuable. These skills include analytical, organizational, research, as well as oral and written communication.
- Other skills emphasized in philosophy that are attractive to employers are idea generation, problem formulation and problem solving, diverse data integration, adaptation to change, the ability to elicit hidden assumptions, persuasion, and summarization of complicated material.
- It is important for philosophy students to identify potential career goals and seek out the experiences and education required to enter those fields.
- An undergraduate degree qualifies one for entry-level positions in business, nonprofit organizations, and government.
- Graduate and/or professional studies usually lead to careers in law, medicine, ministry, finance, psychology, counseling, diplomacy, ethics, and related areas.
- Ph.D. is required for college/university teaching and research.
- Consider earning a minor or concentration in another discipline such as: mathematics, religion, science, business, political science, women’s studies, Eastern philosophy, sustainability or environmental studies.
- Develop aptitudes for analytical thinking, logic, and statistics in order to apply philosophy to a broad range of professions such as law, government, finance, management, consulting, and related areas.
- Seek related summer or part-time work experience or internships in area(s) of interest.
- Join related student or professional organizations. Work toward leadership roles.
- Conduct informational interviews or shadow professionals in fields of interest.
- Join LinkedIn groups that are related to your career interest. To search, select “groups” under the “interests” tab. Also, review the groups that professionals in your field of interest have joined and consider joining them as well.
Interested in graduate school? Find current information on getting into graduate school at UGA’s Career Center webpage.
Supplemental Career Research Dashboard
Additional Career Research Resources
- My Next Move
- Occupational Outlook Handbook (type in general term for career of interest)
- Career Insider: Vault Guides
- Candid Career - View professionals speaking about their careers
- Idealist Careers - Helping You Find a Nonprofit Career
- Why Major in Philosophy?
- Philosophers Don’t Get Much Respect, But Their Earnings Don’t Suck
- The Earning Power of Philosophy Majors
- Philosophy Majors Make More Money Than Majors in any other Humanities Field
- GoinGlobal - International (to access, log in with your MyID and password)
- Idealist - Nonprofit
- USAJOBS - Federal