Have you just finished your humanities degree and are feeling worried about your career prospects? Here at Developing a Student, we aim to champion the unique benefits of studying all different kinds of degrees.
We understand that in the current unemployment crisis, it can be hard to feel optimistic about your career, especially if your degree has a less vocational focus. However, degrees such as Philosophy equip you with many unique skills that will be valuable in the workplace.
Philosophy students have the ability to both creatively analyse and understand abstract concepts whilst creating an objective and clear thesis. This combination of clear and detailed thinking, with the interpretation of ideas, is the perfect basis for any job that requires the condensation of complex information into an argument. For example, politics, Law, policymaking and the civil service. The ability to create an argument is an essential skill for any advocacy job such as charity and employment in the public sector.
As a Philosophy graduate, you will have vast experience reading lengthy texts. While reading may seem simple, being able to read and understand large bodies of work is a highly valuable skill. This is especially true in legal industries.
Committing to reading and understanding a philosophical text is much more than just reading words on the page. It takes concentration, attention to detail, the ability to connect ideas, and simultaneous analysis and interpretation. This is useful in the workplace where you might need to read and understand legal documents or factual reports.
Another critical skill developed throughout a philosophy degree is the skill of mediating between viewpoints. Philosophers have to be able to find common ground between different arguments and develop responses to different views. It is an essential part of philosophy to be able to come up with solutions to problems. As well as attempting to reconcile any contradicting ideas.
This can prove very helpful when processing lots of different opinions or accounts. For example, in journalism, a reporter must listen and interpret each story or statement and then work to amalgamate them into a version of the truth that is concise and comprehensive.
Where can these skills take you?
As mentioned above a popular career path for Philosophy students is Law. Working in Law requires a commitment to fact and truth; a skill which you will have developed throughout your degree. Those that work in Law must interpret all kinds of information and data: from numerical to images, to personal accounts and legal files, and from that create their case. This level of scrutiny and evaluation can be compared to the rigorous analysis of philosophical theories.
On a less practical level, many of the core values that form the study of philosophy are also present in Law. For example, you might have chosen to study philosophy because you want to understand some of the world’s biggest ideals of equality, fairness, reality, existence and community. These concepts are also put to the test when they come up against the Law.
Another excellent career path for Philosophy students is teaching and education. Although many students feel that becoming a teacher is a stereotype of humanities subjects, there are some key reasons as to why Philosophy students make particularly excellent teachers.
Primarily, a core element of teaching is reciting complex information clearly and concisely so that others can begin to understand it. You need to have the ability to turn something large into something easily digestible. As you will know, being able to condense complex theories into understandable chunks is at the heart of studying philosophy.
Other great career options include counselling and therapy, managing health and other public services, university lecturers and academics.