Careers in Philosophy
Bachelor of Arts Degree in
Who employs Philosophy majors? What jobs are available?
- Business: manager, coordinator, arbitrator
- Computers: systems analyst, consultant, programmer
- Education: admissions officer, educational test administrator, librarian, teacher, dean, vice chancellor, president
- Government: human services director, policy analyst, diplomat, intelligence officer, policy/planning consultant
- Law: attorney, criminal justice program director, legal researcher, police officer
- Medicine: hospital administrator, nurse, doctor, medical ethicist
- Ministry: pastor, family counseling
- Publishing: university press director, editor, free-lance writer
- Research: business, education, government, and scientific.
Philosophy majors develop or enhance the following skills and traits:
- Careful Reading: Students learn to distinguish between several meanings of terms they encounter in philosophical texts; so, they recognize when writers are to be taken literally and when they are speaking metaphorically. This enables students to read texts closely, distinguishing several senses of words, and helps them to read for the argument that the writer is advocating. This prepares students to read more cautiously all of their other texts, discerning the arguments presented in all writings.
- General Problem Solving: Critical analysis of complex concepts, arguments, and problems; logical organization of ideas, location of relevant information, learning new ideas quickly, discovering common ground in opposing views, and synthesizing widely different perspectives into a unified whole.
- Convincing Communication: One learns to simplify a complex mass of material into a coherent, comprehensible argument; to negotiate effectively; to strive for compromise (when feasible); to illustrate concepts with concrete examples and analogies; to raise powerful objections to questionable theories or practices; and to strive for systematic, well-constructed arguments.
- Powers of Persuasion: Philosophical training stresses orderliness in thinking, clarity in presentation, charity in listening to competing positions, quickly ascertaining the gist of a position, and coherent, reasoned argumentation in presenting one's own views. Not only through careful reading and intensive writing, but also through the tool of a philosophical dialogue, conversational skills both inside and outside the classroom become central parts of liberal education.
- Intensive Writing: Most philosophy courses require intensive amounts of writing, and through the examination of pivotal texts, students are exposed to masterworks of varied traditions and genres. Philosophy teaches interpretive writing in examining past writers, comparative writing in contrasting one thinker's position to another's, argumentative writing in which one learns to construct one's own viewpoint, and descriptive writing through the use of concrete instances to show the applicability and coherence of one's theory.
Special training, degrees or experience I may need:
- Take an introductory course in Philosophy, or read Plato's Apology to arouse interest.
- Double major or minor in other areas that may enhance marketability
- A Ph. D. is required for University teaching positions
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