What can you do with a philosophy major? A lot! Philosophy majors have unique, coveted soft skills that many other majors don't develop. Here are some of the top jobs a philosophy major can pursue.
A professor can earn about $78,470 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you studied philosophy in school, you can go on for further education to become a philosophy professor down the line.
Tons of psychologists have undergraduate degrees in philosophy because the discipline helps them to understand people and society. A psychologist, after all, studies the " cognitive, emotional and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They can earn about $79,010 per year, or $37.99 per hour after schooling — most typically need a further doctoral degree in psychology and a license, though a master’s degree is sufficient for some positions.
A politician refers to anyone who is active in party politics or who holds or seeks office in government. Of course, having a degree in a field that studies the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence can be beneficial for politicians who have to solve complex problems for society. A politician can earn a decent salary, depending on their positions. According to PayScale, here's what politicians earned in 2010:
- Rank-and-File Members of the House and Senate: $174,000
- Senate/House Majority and Minority Leaders: $193,400
- Speaker of the House: $223,500
- Cabinet Members: $199,700
- Vice President: $230,700
- President: $400,000
4. Marketing Executive
A marketing executive can earn about $132,620 per year, or $63.76 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Advertising, promotions and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services," also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While most marketing executives earn a bachelor’s degree in advertising, communications, marketing or finance, many others study philosophy.
5. Public Relations Professional
A public relations professional is someone who "[creates] and [maintains] a favorable public image for the organization they represent," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Public relations specialists earn about $60,000 per year, or about $28.85 per hour, with a bachelor's degree and a few years of experience. A degree in philosophy can help them to understand what will make their client favorable in the eyes of the public or the demographic that they're trying to attract.
A journalist writes for a magazine, newspaper or online outlet either as a general reporter or with a specified beat. Because journalists are often tasked with communicating with others during interviews, establishing rapport with sources and writing in a way that their audiences are receptive to their work, a degree in philosophy can be hugely valuable. Journalists make, on average, about $43,490 per year or $20.91 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7. Health Services Manager
Health services managers are tasked with planning, directing and coordinating healthcare providers' business activities. Doing this earns them about $99,730 per year or $47.95 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course, having a philosophy degree can help steer them and guide their planning decisions.
A caretaker is someone who needs to understand people and have the ability to empathize, so a degree in philosophy is hugely valuable. Caretakers may look after children, elders or even animals. And they can earn about $23,950 per year or $11.51 per hour doing their jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
9. Recruitment Consultant
Recruitment consultants are in charge of recruiting talent and helping companies to figure out their target demographic when it comes to candidates for certain job openings. They're essentially responsible for advising their clients on recruitment best practices and the most suitable recruiting and Talent Acquisition methods. They can earn about $48,986, according to PayScale. But the more they understand businesses and their needs (which a degree in philosophy can facilitate), the better they perform and the more money they can make.
10. Executive Assistant
An executive assistant earns an average total compensation of $47,656, according to PayScale. Their main job is to serve the executive of a company, helping with administrative tasks. A degree in philosophy can help them serve others, as philosophy acts as a guiding principle for their behaviors in the workplace.
A paralegal is a legal assistant who can perform a variety of tasks that ultimately support lawyers. Again, philosophy is a smart discipline to prepare someone for a support role. And paralegals can earn about $50,940 per year or $24.49 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Just because it doesn't pay doesn't mean that parenting isn't a job. In fact, parenting is one of the toughest jobs out there. Understanding people, society and society impacts people can color a parent's techniques for raising their children.
Being a high school teacher can earn you about $60,320 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, kindergarten teachers earn about $57,980 per year, and preschool teachers earn about $29,780 per year. Again, a degree in philosophy can support your teaching career by guiding your behaviors and helping you to understand student behavior, as well.
Like teaching, philosophy can also help tutors outside of the classroom. Tutors can earn about $26,970 per year without a degree, but a philosophy degree or a degree in a discipline like it can up their income.
15. Policy Officer
A policy officer is someone who typically works for the local government researching, developing and implementing public policies that affect the general public — which is exactly why a degree in philosophy can help them. The role usually involves advising senior or elected officials, as well, and the title can earn you upwards of about $94,429, according to Glassdoor.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.