What can i do with a major in philosophy
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WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MAJOR IN... PHILOSOPHY. www.sc.edu/career. phi·los·o·phy. Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.

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  • Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.

  • Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.

  • A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry.

  • The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs. *

    *"philosophy." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 05 Aug. 2009. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/philosophy>.

Philosophy Majors

  • how to see from multiple points of view

  • taking different viewpoints into consideration in decision making

  • recognizing patterns and errors of logic

  • using library and primary resources to find answers to complex questions

  • how to communicate thought and expression through speech and writing

  • disciplined reflection about our world; ourselves, the good life, our politics and ethics

  • social and political philosophy

    ...and more

Philosophy Majors Study

  • Develop intellectual abilities for a wide variety of careers, as well as life as a whole:

    • The appetite for self-expression and examination.

    • The capacity for the exchange and debate of fundamental beliefs and controversial ideas.

    • The ability and capacity to express difficult ideas clearly The willingness to deal with problems without easy answers.

    • The ability and capacity to pursue difficult research.

Philosophy At The University Of South Carolina

Undergraduate Options

Degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Majors: Philosophy

Minors: Philosophy

Students are provided a solid grounding in the history of

philosophy and take classes to develop an emphasis in

several areas including ethics, history and philosophy of

science and technology, philosophy of mind, aesthetics,

phenomenology and existentialism and, indeed, the history of philosophy.

Philosophy At The University Of South Carolina

Graduate Degrees

Master of Philosophy (MA)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)

Students in both programs are provided with a substantial grounding in the history of philosophy. Further coursework and research on an MA Thesis or PhD dissertation may pursue a wide variety of options including further work in the history of philosophy, work in the history and philosophy of science and technology, and work in various areas of social, political and moral philosophy.

Philosophy Majors Develop Skills In

  • Conflict resolution

  • Debate and ethical discussion

  • Defining personal purpose and beliefs

  • Seeing issues from more then one point of view

  • Critical thinking

  • Taking different views into consideration during decision making

  • Digesting and summarizing large amounts of information

  • Problem solving

Psychology Majors Develop Skills In

  • Reshaping ideas in light of new circumstances

  • Recognizing patterns and errors of logic

  • Using library and primary resources to find answers to questions

  • Persevering through difficult intellectual pursuits

  • Reducing sophisticated language to comprehensive terms

  • Stating and defending an argument verbally and in writing


  • To increase employment prospects, it is recommended that a philosophy major:

    • seek part-time or summer job experiences while a student

    • select an occupationally related major (i.e. computer science, finance, management, marketing, education, and English)

    • consider and define professional or graduate school goals early

With Additional Education, A Degree In Philosophy Is An Excellent Background For

  • Law

  • Teaching

  • Diplomacy

  • Public service

  • Publishing

  • Journalism

  • Mathematics

  • Business

  • Arts

  • Ministry

  • Social or natural sciences

Employment Settings

  • Business & Commerce: Includesmanagement and direction of for-profit organizations including the development of business plans, marketing strategies, product development, and human resource management

Sample Occupational Titles Associated With Business & Commerce

  • Claims Adjuster

  • Communications Director

  • Community Planner

  • Credit Analyst

  • Employment Interviewer

  • Lobbyist

  • Marketing Research Analyst

  • Policy Analyst

  • Project Planner

  • Public Relations Assistant

  • Recruiter

  • Research Analyst

  • Service Representative

  • Underwriter

Employment Settings

  • Communication & Journalism:Includes print, television, radio, and Internet media. Encompasses everything from business planning and capital development to producing and writing original news or entertainment material.

Sample Occupational Titles Associated With Communication & Journalism

  • Political Commentator

  • Press Secretary

  • Public Relations Specialist

  • Producer

  • Publisher

  • Reporter

  • Technical Writer

  • Writer/Author

Advertising Agent


Communications Director

Copy Editor


Foreign Correspondent

Opinion Writer

Employment Settings

  • Consulting:

    Includes historical and ethnographic research; political surveying, social/cultural assessments, designing bilingual and bicultural curricula; assessing services, and more.

Sample Occupational Titles Associated With Consulting

  • Ethicist (Medical, Environmental or Professional)

  • Mediator

  • Management Consultant

  • Policy Analyst

  • Public Health Advisor

  • Recruitment Consultant

  • Training Specialist

Bicultural Curricula Developer


Business Consultant

Community Planner

Corporate Communications Consultant

Employee Relations Specialist

Employment Settings

  • Education: Includes classroom instruction, curricula development, research, writing, administration, program management, and lecturing.

    Teaching and research positions at colleges and universities require an advanced degree. Most other teaching positions require proper certification.

Sample Occupational Titles Associated With Education

  • Administrator

  • College/University Faculty

  • Curriculum Writer

  • Docent

  • Educational Media Programmer

  • Grant Writer

  • Guidance Counselor

  • Language Instructor

  • Lecturer

  • Librarian

  • Primary Teacher

  • Program Director

  • Secondary Teacher

  • Social Science Teacher

  • Test Designer

  • Text Author

Employment Settings

  • Social Services: Includes among others counseling, social work, program management, public service, non-profit work, ministry, and positions in correctional facilities.

    Most ministry and counseling positions requirethe completion of a certification or advanced study program.

Sample Occupational Titles Associated WithSocial Services

  • Correctional Worker

  • Drug Counselor

  • Fund Raiser

  • Grant Writer

  • Mediator

  • Minister/Pastor

  • Non-Profit Researcher

  • Pastor/Priest/Rabbi

  • Police Officer

  • Policy Analyst

  • Public Service Specialist

  • Recreational Facility Worker

  • Social Columnist

  • Social Scientist

  • Social Worker

  • Therapist

Distribution Of Employed Persons With A Bachelor’s Degree In Philosophy By Sector

Source: Fogg, N.P, Harrington, P.E. & Harrington, T.F, (2004). College Majors Handbook (2nd ed). Indianapolis, IN: Jist Publishing.

TOP 10 Occupations That Employ Persons With Only A Bachelor’s Degree In Philosophy

1 Clergy, other religious workers

2 Top- and mid-level managers, executives

3 Broadcasters, writers, public relations specialists

4 Insurance, securities, real estate, business services

5 Sales (including retail)

6 Construction trades, miners, well drillers

7 Receptionists, typists

8 Other management-related occupations

9 Other administrative occupations (i.e. record clerks)

10 Personnel, training and labor relations specialists

Source: Fogg, N.P, Harrington, P.E. & Harrington, T.F, (2004). College Majors Handbook (2nd ed). Indianapolis, IN: Jist Publishing.

Strategies For Developing Skills To Get The Job You Want

  • Develop excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Double major in an additional area of interest

  • Obtain an advanced degree for teaching and research positions

  • Develop a concentration like mathematics, medical or business ethics, religion, etc.

  • Secure an internship, part-time, or summer employment in an area of interest

Strategies For Developing Skills To Get The Job You Want

  • Shadow a professional or faculty member whose work interests you

  • Develop astute research skills

  • Participate in related professional organizations

  • Earn leadership role(s) in campus organization(s)

Books And Web Resources

Web Resources

American Philosophical Associationhttp://www.apa.udel.edu/apa/sitemap.html

Jobs in Philosophy http://www.sozialwiss.uni-hamburg.de/phil/ag/jobs/


What else you can do with a Ph.D: A career guide for scholars by Jan Secrist

Liberal arts jobs: the guide that turns learning into earning by Burt Nadler

Resources For More Information

USC’s Department of Philosophy


Career Center Library


Related Websites


College of Arts and Sciences Career Development Program


Career Center Contact Information

University of South Carolina Career Center

6th Floor, H. William Close Building (BA Building)

Columbia, SC 29208

Phone: (803) 777-7280

On-call counseling without an appointment:

M - F, 1:00 am - 4:00 pm

(Summer and holiday hours may differ, please check the website at www.sc/edu/career)

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