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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

You may want to consider enhancing your long-term employment prospects by gaining short-term work experience or doing voluntary work. Entry-level work, perhaps in an office, can provide an insight into the way a company or institution operates, the long-term employment options available and the general work environment. It can 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 also a very 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 with almost every type of employer in the public, private and not-for-profit sector. Typical employers include:

  • the National Health Service;
  • Civil Service;
  • advertising, marketing and public relations agencies;
  • investment banks;
  • law firms;
  • charities;
  • publishing firms;
  • recruitment agencies.

Find information on employers in lawaccountancy, 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 skills including:

  • self-motivation and the capacity for independent study and thought;
  • the ability to prioritise work and meet deadlines;
  • flexibility and creativity;
  • the ability 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 postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.

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 marketing and business associate professionals, and HR and industrial relations officers.

Graduate destinations for philosophy
Destinations Percentage
Employed 55.5%
Further study 21%
Working and studying 6.9%
Unemployed 10.4%
Other 6.2%
Types of work entered in the UK
Retail, catering and bar work 19.8%
Business, HR and financial 17.1%
Marketing, PR and sales 12.8%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 11.6%
Other 38.7%

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 2013

Graduate jobs


Spotlight on...

  • Hibernia College UK (HCUK)
    A leading provider of online courses and programmes at postgraduate level with a particular focus on teacher training and development

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