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What can I do with my degree?: Philosophy

Philosophy teaches you how to think for yourself and how to analyse and communicate ideas in an understandable, balanced and well thought-out manner. Find out where this ability to think critically and logically can lead...

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

Undertaking some short-term paid or voluntary work will enhance your prospects of finding suitable long-term employment and could give you valuable insight into how a company or institution operates. It may also help you decide whether you want to work in the public, private or voluntary sector.

Entry-level work in very competitive areas such as media, PR and publishing is a good way of 'getting a foot in the door' and may lead to rewarding long-term work.

Jobs can be found online, through personal contacts, advertisements in the local press, registering with a recruitment agency, your university careers service and jobcentres.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Philosophy graduates are found working for almost every type of employer in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. They work in organisations such as the National Health Service (NHS), the Civil Service and for advertising, marketing and public relations agencies. The investment banking industry and legal sector prove popular choices, as do publishing firms, charities and recruitment agencies.

Find information on employers in law, accountancy, banking and finance, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying philosophy helps you:

  • analyse and construct sound arguments;
  • distinguish fine differences between views and find common ground;
  • present ideas convincingly through well-constructed, systematic arguments;
  • write clearly and persuasively;
  • generate ideas and come up with solutions to problems;
  • be open to new ideas and ways of thinking.

You also gain general transferable skills including:

  • self motivation and the capacity for independent study and thought;
  • the ability to prioritise work and meet deadlines;
  • flexibility and creativity;
  • the capacity to identify, absorb and sift complex information;
  • team working;
  • increased knowledge of IT.

Further study

For careers such as law, lecturing and teaching, further qualifications are essential. For careers such as journalism and advertising, a postgraduate qualification may be useful, but it is relevant work experience that is essential. To decide if further study is necessary you should research the career areas that interest you.

Many philosophy graduates continue with further study of their discipline, possibly with the intention of pursuing a career as a lecturer, but often due to their love of philosophy. Other graduates chose to study something vocational at postgraduate level - common areas have included law, publishing and journalism.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do philosophy graduates do?

After graduating, more than half of philosophy graduates are in paid employment in the UK or overseas. The most popular jobs for philosophy graduates are as business, HR or marketing associates, and PR or HR officers.

Graduate destinations for philosophy
Destinations Percentage
Employed 57.1%
Further study 21.3%
Working and studying 7.2%
Unemployed 7.2%
Other 7.2%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 17.7%
Business, HR and financial 16.5%
Marketing, PR and sales 15.9%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 12.6%
Other 37.3%

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.


Further information

Written by AGCAS editors
January 2015

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