What career can you do with a philosophy degree?

Hi, I’m Aaran, and I’m going to tell you about all of your different career options when you study a philosophy degree – because trust me, there’s a lot more than you think there are!

So you’ve probably already started to hear a lot of talk about career paths, employability and transferable skills that your philosophy degree will get you. It’s an easy concern, because it’s much less cut and dry than going from a vocational degree into that career, such as doing medicine or law.

Luckily for us, the sky’s the limit with what a philosophy degree can lead you into because it doesn’t lock you into any specific area or industry. We have a pretty impressive roster, such a co-founder of Flickr (the photo sharing website) and George Soros, a world renowned hedge fund manager having been Philosophy students, among many other successful entrepreneurs. Our own King’s alumni have gone into a wide variety of careers, from academia to publishing, marketing, consulting, and so much more.

My own ambition is a career in corporate law, which involves going on to study for two more years to gain my legal qualifications. You normally start applying for law firms before you’ve even been to law school. This means I have spent a lot of time in interviews talking about what I can bring to the table as someone who has studied philosophy, or, in other words, what my “transferable skills” are. Thankfully with philosophy these skills are far and wide. Some of the most important skills include: strong written and oral communication skills gained from writing essays, and sensitivity to ambiguity and meaning given how sometimes seemingly subtle differences in definitions and arguments can completely change the meaning of things.

These apply most to the work of a lawyer, because you want to be able to protect your client, and lawyers tend to do that by scrutinising the language of any agreements drawn up. I’m suspecting this sounds familiar to those who have done philosophy A-Level!

So ask yourself, what do you want to do? And what do you need to get there? Have a think about what someone in the job does on a day-to-day basis and think about how philosophy might equip you for that. Additionally, King’s has a fantastic career service that offers help and guidance for any career path and even helps secure internships. Take advantage of that, and who knows, maybe your name will be on that list of famous people who studied philosophy!

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