WHAT CAN I DO WITH A DEGREE IN PHILOSOPHY?
- What skills have I gained on my course?
- Jobs where a Philosophy degree may be useful
- What do Kent graduates do?
- Philosophy Links - useful websites
This section has been written for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Philosophy and related subjects at the University of Kent. It attempts to give a brief answer to the question: "What can I do with my degree?”
Although your main interest may be in how to make the best use of your degree subject, there are many issues which are common to all undergraduates and postgraduates planning their careers. Some of these are covered in our Choosing a Career pages which will also help you to assess your strengths, weaknesses, interests, abilities and skills in order to relate career options to what you want from your career.
A degree in Philosophy provides graduates with a wide range of transferable skills, which are important in many career fields.
To the many employers who recruit graduates in any discipline, these skills will be more important than the actual subject of your degree.
Philosophy students move into a variety of careers after graduating including teaching, publishing, journalism, marketing, the media and the legal profession. They are found working with almost every type of employer in the public, private and not-for-profit sector. The AGCAS ‘Options with Philosophy’ leaflet www.prospects.ac.uk/options_philosophy.htm should be read in conjunction with this information
This does not require a teaching qualification, but you will need a higher degree, ideally a PhD plus teaching experience (which you may be able to gain while a postgraduate student). Competition is strong for junior academic posts www.prospects.ac.uk/links/HELecture
Local Government Officer
Local government offers a diverse and wide-ranging professional environment with good prospects for progression and promotion. It covers a breadth of officer roles, with many specialist areas including housing, finance, human resources, education, planning, transport, tourism, libraries, leisure and recreation, regeneration, social work, health and IT. www.prospects.ac.uk/local_government_officer_job_description.htm
A charity officer works for, or is a trustee of, a charitable organisation. The job title can refer to personnel in several roles within a charity. In larger organisations, the role may focus on a specific area, such as project management, business development, finance, marketing, public relations, fundraising or volunteer management. www.prospects.ac.uk/charity_officer_job_description.htm
Graduates joining the Civil Service Fast-Stream are involved in a wide variety of tasks, such as researching and analysing policy options, drafting material that will be used as the basis for new legislation, supporting Ministers in parliamentary work and the management of their departments and liaising with outside organisations. www.prospects.ac.uk/links/CivServAdmin
This covers books, magazines and electronic publishing, generalist or specialist (including academic publishers). Graduates may work in editorial roles or in business roles such as production and marketing. www.prospects.ac.uk/links/PubPrint
Solicitors advise clients on legal issues, using statutes and case law to determine their relevance to their client's problem. Barristers also investigate and advise on legal issues, often the more complex ones, and present the client's case in court if necessary. There may even be an historical element to some legal research, in areas such as planning and property law. www.kent.ac.uk/careers/siteslaw.htm
A scientist is someone who learns more and more about less and less, and ultimately knows everything about nothing
God is dead - Nietzsche
To do is to be - Descartes;
I doubt, therefore I might be.
Meditation is not what you think.
All generalisations are false.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
Logic is the systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
Postgraduate study may enable you to explore aspects of philosophy in greater depth or to study a new subject. As noted above, a postgraduate qualification, either academic or vocational, is required to enter many fields of work related to philosophy. You should consider why you want to do postgraduate work, whether it will affect your career prospects and whether you are likely to get funding. There is no equivalent of UCAS for postgraduate study, so investigate courses early, starting with the Postgraduate Study section of this website and the Prospects website. If you are already a student on a taught Masters degree, you may wish to continue your studies by research, in the UK (at Kent or elsewhere) or overseas. Again, early planning is important. You should seek advice from your supervisor as to the possible options.
The latest destinations for all subjects including undergraduates and postgraduates at Kent can be found at www.kent.ac.uk/careers/fdrbases/destinations.htm
Here are the occupational groups in which Philosophy graduates typically first gain employment.
- Clerical & Secretarial
- Associate Professional & Technical Occ’s
- Management & Administration
- Personal Services
- Professional Occupations
These are the typical first employers of Philosophy graduates.
- Business & Research
- Health & Social Work
- Public Administration
- Community, Social & Personal Service
- Hotels & Restaurants
- Arts & Humanities Research Council www.ahrc.ac.uk
- Arts & Humanities Data Service www.ahds.ac.uk
- Online Directory of postgraduate courses in the UK www.prospects.ac.uk/links/Pgdbase
- Philosophy Now On-line www.philosophynow.org
- Philosophical Society of England http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/cite/staff/philosopher/philsocindex.htm
- Royal Society of Arts www.rsa.org.uk
- The Window - Philosophy on the Web www.trincoll.edu/depts/phil/philo
- Web pages for the Regional Arts Boards of the Arts Council www.artscouncil.org.uk
Last fully updated 2013