Career Options for Philosophy Major


Anonymous writes:
I have just received a B.A. in philosophy with a minor in history and as a recent grad I have limited practical work experience outside of retail general office and construction. I was wondering what are my possible career options and where I may look to for help in my search that I may not have already tried such as through school postings etc.? I am also wondering as to how someone applies or gets a foot in the door for a career in politics?


The Career Doctor responds:
First your career options are wide open. While you may be at a slight disadvantage to someone who has a more focused degree the key to most employers is the degree. Employers figure they will have to do some training of all new employees especially for entry-level positions.

On a side note to all my arts-and-science colleagues teaching at universities and colleges across the country: You do a great job a educating these students but be sure to take a strong interest in their career development as well.

Decide what you want to do with your life – or at least this part of it since you’ll probably change careers several times before you retire. Job postings at college career offices are pretty much deadends as are many want ads but don’t neglect the possibility of networking with alumni.

What you need to do is a targeted job search. Decide on a region of the country where you want to live develop a list of companies you are interested in working for and write to them and ask for an interview. You could also go to those companies’ web sites and see if they post job openings on their site. You could also use either a national job board such as ours at Quintessential Careers or a geographic-specific job site for the area you are interested in. Lists of these job sites can be found in the job resources section of Quintessential Careers.

Finally the best way to get involved in politics is to join the staff of a local candidate or elected official … either as a volunteer (the easy way) or as a paid staffer. Once on board you can learn the jobs and either move up the staff ladder or venture off on your own and run for elected office. A political-science professor at your college may be able to help you or again you may have an alum who is an elected official or a staff member.