Careers in Philosophy
When choosing any major, students are forced to consider whether it can help them earn a living. Do parents of friends tell you that a Philosophy major will be a disadvantage in getting a good job or developing a successful career? Then show them this page. Contrary to popular opinion, Philosophy is one of the best preparations for a large number of different careers, and statistics show that desirable employers all across Canada know it: They routinely hire graduates with Philosophy majors and minors. Here are just some of the possibilities. Brandon University has Philosophy alumni working in all of these areas.
Philosophy is one of the best, if not the best major to prepare you for law school. It trains you in the kinds of logical reasoning and conceptual analysis that law school requires, and also teaches you about the ethical and political reasoning that underlie our legal system. Philosophy majors consistently score higher on the LSAT than students majoring in most other subjects.
Architecture and Art
Professional work in art and architecture often requires either advanced technical training or a graduate degree, but a first degree in Philosophy can be very helpful for a student who wants to think theoretically about these creative endeavours. Philosophical theories of aesthetics, meaning, culture and society have always been a source of inspiration for innovative art and architecture. Training in Philosophy provides the basis for a mature understanding of these disciplines.
Philosophy is an excellent addition to the portfolio of students entering teachers’ college. Philosophy was recently added to the list of ‘teachable minors’ in Manitoba; it can also prepare you to teach general humanities courses in both public and private high schools. Teaching at the college or university level requires an additional post-graduate degree in Philosophy, which will build on your undergraduate Philosophy major.
The publishing industry employs many people with training in Philosophy. From publishers building booklists at university presses, to agents marketing textbooks, to acquisititions staff at large publishing houses, to copy editors and managing editors selecting material for magazines and journals, the demand for Philosophy graduates provides diverse career opportunities in this field.
The language and analytic skills that philosophical studies cultivate are the essential tools for work in different kinds of public relations fields. If you also have some experience with the media and can make oral presentations to journalists, groups of visitors, individual callers, donors, etc. — then a Philosophical training will enable you to convey complex ideas to target audiences, and to handle questions well. An ability to articulate your institution’s work and to develop consistent policies on controversial issues is vital for PR work.
Politics and Public Policy
As with Political Science, a Philosophy major can often be an excellent preparation for positions in provincial or federal civil service, policy research institutions, and so on. If you are thinking of going on to take an advanced degree in international affairs, public administration or policy development, an undergraduate major in Philosophy gives you all of the essential building blocks.
Religion and Ministry
Students seeking advanced degrees in theology or seminary training for the ministry often begin with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy. Especially if you have theoretical interests, it is good to have some philosophical training before working in areas involving theology. Here is a case where a Philosophy minor or double major along with biblical languages or religious studies can be a powerful combination.
Business and Management
Many Philosophy graduates go on to successful careers in business and management. Large firms recruiting future executives are on the lookout for people with a great all-around liberal arts education. The key skills they are seeking — analysis, communication, problem-solving and people skills — are delivered in spades by the Philosophy major.
Aspiring journalists cannot go wrong by starting in philosophy. In addition to teaching you to write well, to analyze facts critically and to do research, our courses in ethics, political philosophy and the history of ideas will expand your conceptual repertoire and give you the essential background knowledge that the best journalists depend on to make a positive contribution to informing their society.
Fundraising and Nonprofit Work
Students with degrees in philosophy are well prepared for any job in which difficult value judgments and comparative analyses have to be made. This often suits them for work in college and university administrations, e.g., in admissions, or in major foundations, or other non-profit enterprises devoted to various social causes.