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Posted May 10, 2023

What Can You Do With a Philosophy Degree?

what can you do with a philosophy degree?Fitting into both the social sciences and the humanities, philosophy is a subject that has been studied and debated for thousands of years. It is an area of study that delves into fundamental questions about the nature of reality, knowledge, ethics and existence.

But what can you do with a philosophy degree? Read on to discover the endless possibilities!

Skills you’ll develop as a philosopher

Studying philosophy develops a wide range of valuable skills that are highly sought after by employers in a variety of fields. Here are some of the key skills that you can expect to develop while pursuing a philosophy degree:

Logical thinking – philosophy is all about logic and reasoning, and studying it will train you to think logically and methodically. You'll learn to identify premises and conclusions, analyse arguments and spot fallacies.
Speech clarity – philosophy requires you to communicate complex ideas clearly and precisely in writing and oral presentations. Learners get to articulate their thoughts effectively, organise their arguments and persuasively defend their ideas.
Abstract conceptualisation –­ studying philosophy will train you to think abstractly and conceptualise complex ideas in new ways. You'll learn to think beyond the concrete and mundane, thereby exploring the depths of abstract thought.
Analytical thinking – philosophy also teaches you to analyse complex ideas and arguments, breaking them down into smaller parts and critically examine them.
Mental dexterity ­– as a philosopher, you must be mentally flexible and adaptable. You will learn to navigate complex ideas from multiple perspectives and challenge your own biases and assumptions. This brings to life new ways of thinking.

Philosophy graduate career paths

Many people assume that a degree in philosophy is only suitable for those who wish to become philosophers or academics. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, a philosophy degree can lead to a range of exciting and rewarding career paths, both within and outside of academia. Here are some careers you could enter as a philosophy graduate:

Lawyer – philosophy degree provides excellent training for a career in law. Many law schools look favourably upon philosophy graduates, as the subject equips students with critical thinking, analytical and logical reasoning, and persuasive communication skills.
System analysts – philosophy graduates are highly skilled at analysing complex systems and processes, making them a perfect fit for careers in systems analysis. They can work with computer systems, manufacturing processes and other complex systems to identify flaws and make improvements.
Cultural affairs officer – a philosophy degree can provide a strong foundation for this career, as it helps graduates to understand and appreciate different cultural perspectives.
Teacher/professor – many philosophy graduates become teachers or professors. Their training in critical thinking, analytical reasoning and clear communication makes them well-suited to a career in education. Philosophy graduates can teach various subjects, including philosophy, ethics, political science and humanities.
Technical writer – technical writers are responsible for creating user manuals, instructional guides, and other technical documentation. A philosophy degree can help graduates to develop the skills needed to write clear and concise technical documents that are easy to understand and follow.

According to a recent graduate outcomes survey 2023 , these are the most common career paths of philosophy graduates:

Type of Work

Percentage of Graduates

Retail / catering / waiting / bar staff


Clerical / secretarial / numerical clerks


Legal / social / welfare professionals


Childcare / health / welfare occupation


Business / HR / finance professionals


Education professionals


Marketing / PR / sales professionals




Skilled trades / crafts / vocational occupations


Art / design / media professionals


IT professionals


Engineering / building professionals


Health professionals


Science professionals


Other professionals


Other occupations


Alternative career paths

In addition to the career paths listed above, here are some other alternative philosophy degree jobs that you can consider:

  • Data analyst
  • Historian
  • Career counsellor
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Research
  • Religion and ministry

Typical employers of philosophy graduates

Philosophy graduates possess a unique set of skills highly valued by various employers – let's look at some of the areas they can work in:

Businesses – many businesses and corporations hire philosophy graduates for roles that require critical thinking, analytical reasoning and effective communication.
Government institutions – philosophy graduates can pursue careers in local, state and federal government agencies, including the military, law enforcement and public service. These roles often involve analysing policy and making recommendations for improvements.
Schools and universities – one of the most popular areas of work to find philosophers is in teaching and research roles. They can also work as educational consultants.
Paralegal firms – with strong analytical skills, philosophers make good paralegals. They can assist lawyers in conducting research, drafting legal documents and analysing cases.
Healthcare – philosophy graduates can become healthcare administrators and analysts, applying their ethics and critical thinking skills to help improve healthcare policies and practices.

What can you do with a philosophy degree?

What do philosophy graduates do?

Philosophy graduates bring a unique set of skills and perspectives to their work, and these can be applied in various ways depending on the job description. They engage with colleagues, discuss crucial matters, analyse scenarios, organise conferences and teach in their respective positions.

What can you do with a masters in philosophy? Well, the critical thinking, analytical, communication and leadership skills can be applied in various contexts, making philosophy masters graduates versatile and valuable employees.

According to the graduate outcomes survey, these are the top 10 professional jobs for philosophy graduates:

  • Secondary education/teaching
  • Marketing professionals
  • Public relations professionals
  • Human resources and industrial relations
  • Management consultants and business analysts
  • Business sales executives
  • Finance and investment analysts
  • Chartered and certified accountants
  • Primary education/teaching
  • Welfare and housing associate

Further study in philosophy

According to recent research, 17.5% of philosophy graduates go onto postgraduate study upon completion of their philosophy degree, and of these nearly 60% choose to study a masters degree.

Other popular postgraduate qualifications for philosophy graduates include postgraduate diplomas and certificates, professional qualifications and doctorates.

Depending on interests and career goals, philosophy graduates may pursue further study in several different areas other than philosophy, with common paths including:

  • Legal studies
  • MBA programs
  • Seminaries
  • Psychology
  • Literature
  • History
  • Politics

The value of postgraduate study in philosophy

Postgraduate study in philosophy is highly valuable for various reasons. For starters, it deepens one's understanding of philosophical concepts and ideas. As a student, you will learn transferable skills that you can apply in various careers and contexts.

Whether you are pursuing a career in academia or seeking to apply your philosophical knowledge and skills in other fields, the benefits and value of postgraduate study in philosophy are clear.

Types of postgraduate philosophy study

There are different types of postgraduate philosophy study available to those who want to further their education in this field. We have arranged them in ascending order, from the least to the highest level of academic degrees. The type you choose depends on your career goals and academic interests.

Success stories – a philosophy graduate

One example of a successful philosopher is Martha Nussbaum, who earned her PhD in philosophy from Harvard University in 1975.

She is known for her work on the capabilities approach, a framework for assessing human wellbeing and development. This emphasises the importance of human capabilities and functioning rather than just income or material resources.

Her work has significantly impacted the fields of philosophy, economics and development studies. Over the years, it has influenced policy discussions around social justice and human rights.

Funding and scholarships

If you need some help funding your masters degree in philosophy, there are some resources available. Start with your chosen university by checking their online funding pages to see if there are any suitable scholarships or bursaries for philosophy students or relevant to your specific circumstances. Plus, once you have been accepted onto a postgraduate program you will be automatically eligible to apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries worth £500 each.

Find out more about funding your philosophy masters.

Search postgraduate courses

There are numerous options when it comes to studying philosophy at postgraduate level. Use our course search to narrow down your choices and find your ideal course. You’ll find a range of courses including part-time and online options.

Search philosophy courses


As you can see, a degree in philosophy offers a broad range of career opportunities in various fields, including business, law, education, government and non-profit organisations. Through their studies, philosophy graduates develop valuable skills such as critical thinking, logical reasoning and effective communication.

With the right mindset and approach, philosophy graduates can carve out fulfilling and rewarding careers that allow them to impact society in a positive way.

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