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Philosophy graduates have many career options available to them. More often than most other disciplines, philosophy majors find work outside their field of study. Because a philosophy degree improves reasoning, literacy and a variety of other skills, it prepares majors for work in fields such as education, writing, law, politics and business.
Careers in Education
A philosophy major can gain their teaching certification and teach philosophy classes in public or private schools. With further education in graduate school, philosophy majors can become employed as college professors. College teaching positions are highly competitive, especially in philosophy. As a result, most colleges require applicants to have a doctorate in philosophy.
Careers in Writing
Philosophy develops strong writing skills. As a result, philosophy majors can have careers in technical writing, editing and publishing. Since many graduate programs in journalism accept philosophy majors, that is another option. Furthermore, many successful authors had backgrounds in philosophy. Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus all received philosophy degrees, and they were all recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Careers in Law
Philosophy majors make excellent candidates for law school. More specifically, they do exceptionally well on the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT. On average, philosophy majors score higher on the LSAT than all other social science majors. Since law involves moral dilemmas and logical arguments, philosophy and law have many similarities. This allows philosophy majors to work in an area outside their field that efficiently utilizes their philosophy background.
Careers in Politics
Philosophers specialize in criticizing bad arguments, forming strong arguments and evaluating complex situations. Politics often involves lobbyists attempting to convince the government to adopt certain policies. Philosophers can work as lobbyists who try fight corporate pollution, or they can lobby for the rights of disenfranchised groups. There are plenty of organizations looking for people to act passionately on their behalf. Furthermore, philosophers can use argumentation to sway opinions on a variety of issues. This makes them valuable to political parties seeking to change popular opinion or elect a specific candidate.
Careers in Business
When studying philosophy, undergraduates learn about what motivates people. A philosophical outlook is useful in the world of business. Establishing a business model often involves focusing simply on business aspects. Philosophers recognize the potential to not only succeed in markets, but develop markets. Industries like organic foods, free trade products and others are often the result of philosophical insights. People target the good will of consumers and provide reasons for buying a specific product. Over time, the market develops into a successful business. This type of thinking makes philosophers well suited to becoming business advisers or running businesses themselves.
Nicholas Hall specializes in topics related to philosophy, science and politics. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and political science.
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