WHAT CAN I DO WITH A DEGREE IN PHILOSOPHY?

 

thinker

 

INTRODUCTION


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.

WHAT SKILLS HAVE I GAINED ON MY COURSE?

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.

JOBS WHERE A PHILOSOPHY DEGREE MAY BE USEFUL

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

University lecturer
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

Charity Officer
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

Civil Service
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

Publishing
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

Law
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

POSTGRADUATE STUDY

A scientist is someone who learns more and more about less and less, and ultimately knows everything about nothing

A Philosopher is someone who learns less and less about more and more, and ultimately knows nothing about everything.

God is dead - Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead - God
(Graffiti on Nietzsche's tomb)

To do is to be - Descartes;
To be is to do - Voltaire;
Do be do be do - Sinatra

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.

WHAT DO PHILOSOPHY GRADUATES DO?

This is what, in the broadest terms, Philosophy students have done immediately after they graduated, based on figures from over 400 graduates

 

OCCUPATIONS OF UK PHILOSOPHY GRADUATES


Here are the occupational groups in which Philosophy graduates typically first gain employment.

EMPLOYERS OF UK PHILOSOPHY GRADUATES


These are the typical first employers of Philosophy graduates.

Examples of destinations of recent Kent graduates in single and joint honours Philosophy  

Arts, Design, Culture, and Media Sector
Twickenham Rugby Stadium
Museum Administrator
BskyB
Editorial Assistant
The British Museum
Museum Education Facilitator
Frank PR
Junior Account Executive
Business and Finance Sector
Baker Gilette
Paralegal Executive
Peter Childs
Executive Researcher
Cabot Financial
Account Officer
Institute of Chartered Accountants
Applications Executive
Education Sector
BPP
Sales Negotiator
The learning Trust
Learning Support Assistant
Jesus and Mary Language College
Pastoral Support Manager
Ealing and Hammersmith College
Examinations Officer
Chalkwell Hall Junior School
Teaching Assistant
Marketing, Sales and Advertising Sector
Amac Sports
Marketing Assistant
Random House
Marketing Assistant
Charitable Sector 
Pepenbury
Support Worker
The Three Faiths Forum
Fundraiser
Public Sector
Weymouth and Portland Council
Customer Service Adviser
Metropolitan Police
Community Support Officer
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
Procurement Assistant
Retail Sector
Boots
Trainee Manager
Tesco
Merchandise Planning Assistant
Postgraduate study
University of Kent
MSc Management and Human Resources
London School of Economics 
MSc in Political Theory
St Mary’s College
PGCE (Religious Education)
Canterbury Christ Church University
PGCE Primary
University of Nottingham
MA Philosophy
University of Warwick
MA International Relations
College of Law
Graduate Diploma in Law
University of Kent
Methods of Social Research

 

POSTGRADUATE DESTINATIONS

Examples of destinations of postgraduates in Philosophy  
 

Degree

Employer

Job Title

MA Philosophy Pilgrims Language School Teacher and Administrator
MA Reasoning Marlowe Academy Marketing Officer
MA Reasoning FOW Events Events Organiser
PhD Philosophy Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Postdoctoral Researcher

 

Full destinations of all University of Kent Graduates (1999-present) can be found at www.kent.ac.uk/careers/fdrbases/destinations.htm     

LONGER-TERM PROSPECTS

Here are some examples of what Kent Philosophy graduates are doing many years after graduation.

  • Company Representative - Scottish Widows
  • Teacher - School
  • Commissioning Editor - Academic Book Publisher
  • EFL Teacher - Hilderstone College
  • Sub-Editor - The Independent
  • Business Librarian - Borough Council
  • Director/Producer - Film Production Co
  • Producer/Presenter - BBC Radio Berkshire
  • Manager - Community Health Trust
  • Tutor/Counsellor - Open University
  • Entertainer - Freelance
  • Barrister - Self-employed
  • Marketing Assistant - Commercial Union
  • PR Officer - Movement for Christian Democracy

 

PHILOSOPHY LINKS - Useful Websites

 

Last fully updated 2013