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So You Majored in Philosophy?

I read a book once where this fictional town employed philosophers full time (they sat in bathtubs all day, a la ancient Greek stereotypes). Of course, I don’t know any actual places like that, so we’ll have to make do with more mainstream options. With the help of the University of California Santa Cruz, here are some jobs you can get with your degree in philosophy, including some pretty cool ideas for your long-term goals.

Legal Assistant/Paralegal
Many paralegal positions will give you the option to apply with either a paralegal certificate or a four-year degree. Your logic and communication skills will make you a good fit for this position, and hopefully the machinations of the law will be interesting on a daily basis.
Apply at: Insurance companies, law firms, non-profit organizations

In this position you will be maintaining a database of sorts. Obviously libraries will be the most common workplace, but keep in mind that there are many different kinds of libraries and many different kinds of databases that need taking care of. For instance, I just saw a super cool posting for an Islamic Manuscript Cataloger at Princeton.
Apply at: Colleges/universities, state and local government, HR departments of very large companies

Human Resources Coordinator
You have enough education that you don’t have to start at the bottom in an assistant role for this one. Your studies surrounding human nature should make this job especially interesting for you…and for your coworkers.
Apply at: Anywhere that has a large employee base, state and local government

Financial Aid Counselor
Although you might think that you need a background in accounting or what not, most of these positions simply require a four-year degree and a willingness to learn a little about rules and regulations. You’ll get to help college students finance their college educations, and help them make educated decisions.
Apply at: Colleges/universities

Grant Coordinator
This position will make use of your writing, communications and argument skills. You will manage and/or write grants for an organization and maybe help some of your favorite causes earn some much needed funds! Many of these positions require specific experience or training in grant writing, so see if you can call in a few favors and job shadow or intern with an expert.
Apply at: Nonprofit organizations, colleges/universities

Campus Religious Coordinator
Philosophy majors make excellent employees in the religious field— many pursue seminary or other religious studies education— and a great way to break into this is to look for roles in the religion departments on college campuses. Many will have campus religious groups that need a coordinator, or you might be great as an adviser in the religion/philosophy department.
Apply at: Colleges/universities

Honorable Mention
While you’re working at the above jobs, you can be thinking about working towards the jobs below. While these might not involve bathtubs either, that actually might be a very good thing.

Philosophical Counselor
Did you know that not all therapists study psychology? Some study philosophy and provide counseling skills in a similar fashion.

Ethics Adviser
Major businesses will often employ ethics advisers to make sure that they are complying with all ethics codes. If you’re sneaky maybe you can even get them to adhere to your own philosophical morals (or maybe not).

Spiritual Healer
A bit more off-the-wall perhaps, but this job would take wonderful advantage of your ability to confront the mysteries of life, the universe and everything. Use your unique spiritual views to help people. No frauds allowed here.

What major should we look at next? Leave a request below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb

IMAGE: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.

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