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Why Study Philosophy?

The goal of Philosophy is to improve our understanding of the world and how we should live in it. Philosophers - like all wise people - are concerned to answer questions about truth and value, about what's real and what's important. But Philosophy isn't just the love of wisdom. Philosophy is also the love of thinking critically and creatively, of discussing intelligently and of arguing cogently. And these are skills that can be applied to almost any issue in almost any context.

Being a Philosopher

Philosophers, as such, are only employed by universities, where they carry out teaching and research roles.

In general, Philosophy graduates will be competing for jobs which are not discipline-specific, often those defined by 'a relevant tertiary qualification'.

Studying Philosophy can, in itself, help identify cognitive styles that are natural to you and which can help with career development. For example, enjoyment of logic, ethics, issues of morality and metaphysics, can lead you to a diverse range of roles such as political researcher, website design, auditing and management consultancy.

What skills do Philosophy graduates have?

Philosophy graduates have typically developed the following transferable skills to a high level:

  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Communication skills
  • Influencing skills
  • Research skills

What are the different jobs that Philosophy graduates can do?

Having developed a good range of higher order thinking skills, Philosophy graduates are well placed to consider career development in terms of a generic role (or roles) adapting their skills and experience into specific organisational contexts as appropriate.

  • Analyst roles: policy analyst, business analyst, systems analyst.
  • Management roles: human resources manager, library manager, event manager, project manager.
  • Professional roles: generally require additional vocational training, but the intellectual capacity that the study of philosophy develops can enhance the performance of these roles. These roles can include: psychologist, engineer, teacher and lawyer.

Further information about Philosophy can be found in the Philosophy Career View (195 KB PDF).

See also the Careers section on the Philosophy department website.