Career Options Involving Philosophy
By definition, philosophy is the study of information in order to understand why and how people do things. While it may be a bit challenging to specifically pursue a career as a philosopher, there are a number of other career options that involve philosophy. Some of the most famous philosophers in history are equally well-known for their other professional pursuits in science, medicine, writing, and other disciplines. For individuals who study philosophy in college, they learn advanced analytical and thinking skills that qualify them for many positions across a variety of different career fields. We will discuss five possibilities below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Philosophy Postsecondary Teacher||$68,360 (for all postsecondary philosophy and religions teachers)||12% (for all postsecondary philosophy and religions teachers)|
|Writer||$61,240 (for all writers and authors)||2% (for all writers and authors)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Jobs Involving Philosophy
Lawyers work on the behalf of a number of different clients, from individuals to large corporations or even the government. They are experts in handling legal disputes, understanding how to apply the law, and providing legal advice to their clients. There is great variety within the field of law. Some lawyers focus on tax or financial law; others may pursue international law or marriage and family law. Regardless of the specific path chosen, the study of law involves philosophy. Many law schools offer courses in a variety of legal philosophy issues or even a joint degree in law and philosophy. To become a lawyer, you must obtain a bachelor's degree, attend a three-year law school, and then pass the bar exam in the state in which you plan to practice law.
Philosophy Postsecondary Teacher
Postsecondary teachers work in colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning. For individuals who are interested in philosophy, they may want to pursue a career as a philosophy instructor at one of these institutions. These professionals instruct courses in various topics relating to philosophy. They are responsible for planning lessons, giving lectures and leading discussions, and preparing exams and grades for students. They may also act as advisors for students who are majoring in philosophy and give them advice and guidance regarding their future. Typically, teachers at the postsecondary level have at least a master's degree in the topic in which they are instructing, though many of them may also have their doctoral degrees.
Sociologists study behavior, specifically human behavior and how people interact with one another. They may focus on a specific area like gender, poverty, crime, education, or race relations. Their job may involve a great deal of research, data collection, and observation. Sociologists may work within specific groups conducting interviews in order to better understand the underlying communication and behavior patterns within that group. Philosophy by definition is the study of knowledge, and sociology focuses on gaining more knowledge through observation and research. To become a sociologist who conducts research, you generally will need a master's or Ph.D. in the field.
Political science is the study of different political systems. This includes studying their origin, how they developed, how they operate today, and how they interact on a global level. Political scientists may work heavily in theory, either testing pre-existing theories or working on their own. This practice involves a certain level of philosophy, as political science seeks to better understand political systems by obtaining knowledge. Political scientists often find jobs as analysts or advisors, a role in which they share their expertise on politically-related issues. To become a political scientist, you will need a master's or Ph.D.
In history, many famous philosophers captured their ideas by writing in order to preserve them for the future. Writing and philosophy do go hand in hand. While philosophy is focused on obtaining and studying knowledge, writing allows for that knowledge and any conclusions drawn from it to be shared to a wider audience. Writers may primarily write novels or non-fiction books, articles for newspapers or magazines, or online blogs. To become a writer, you normally will need a bachelor's degree in a field like English, journalism, or communication.