What Can I Do With A Master’s Degree In Philosophy?

philospher thinking

Most people associate the degree you get with the potential to make a good salary. That is why there are so many students going into engineering, computer science, medicine, or business. How much money you will make in the future with your degree is important, but it should not be the primary criteria. Instead, students should look for a field which fulfills them intellectually. That is where the field of philosophy comes into play.

When you think of philosophers, you might picture someone rambling on about a topic that is too deep for anyone to understand. Anyone who thinks that is completely wrong. Philosophy is not for the ramblers. Instead, it is a field of study which encourages its students to ask questions and then work towards answering them, even if they seem too difficult.

At the end of a program of a Master’s in Philosophy, you will have gained valuable skills that do not include rambling about various topics. These skills include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Effective communication
  • Argument building
  • Analysis
  • Information organization
  • Advanced research

So once you get your degree in philosophy and have gained all the necessary skills and knowledge that you worked for, you will have a diploma in your wall. Looking at that diploma, you will probably think “What now?”. Well, this article will go through the possible careers for philosophy majors, jobs that they might get, and what they can ultimately do for a living.

It is not only to guide those who have already graduated, but to give a list of opportunities to prospect students who want to study philosophy, but do not have information on what to do with it.

What Is A Master’s In Philosophy?

A Master’s in Philosophy is the study of human existence, its problems, and behavior. The field strives to use rational thinking and logical approaches to discover the knowledge that humans need in order to live well. It is the foundation of ideas on morality, ethics, government, and democracy. Those who have gotten a degree in other fields can transfer to philosophy out of curiosity or because of the flexibility that it gives you in terms of your career.

A Master’s in Philosophy can be of two types, either an MPhil or an MA in Philosophy. The MPhil is a strictly philosophical field which concentrates on equipping students with all the necessary skills in it. The MA in Philosophy on the other hand can be organized that it also incorporates the knowledge and skills of other fields to complement that of philosophy.

Careers For A Master’s In Philosophy

Philosophy is a diverse field with many applications. You gain so many useful skills that there are no boundaries as to what you can do with this degree. Your career path ultimately depends on what makes you feel more fulfilled or what gives you higher flexibility in working conditions or salary.

Nevertheless, if you are unsure of what to do with your Master’s in Philosophy, here are 7 career choices you can consider.

Fit for the Public Sector

Philosophers came up with the idea of the state and developed a tremendous amount of literature on it. They talked about how societies should be organized and how order is supposed to be kept. All our modern ideas about democracy and society come from one philosopher or the other. So it makes perfect sense that a master’s degree in philosophy would prepare you for a career in the service of the government.

The public sector is diverse, so you can pick and choose what you want to do. You can work in the main branch of government, in health care, civil society or any other area which you are particularly interested in. This is the sector where you get to apply the ideas you read and discussed in class.

Simply Teach

Philosophers are professors. That’s what you will constantly hear, and the statement is not wrong. The skills you gain during your master’s program in Philosophy are incredibly useful that others want to pass them down. This includes especially critical thinking and problem solving. That is why those with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy most often go into teaching. This could be at any level, primary, secondary, or tertiary.

In most countries, if you want to be a teacher you will need some form of teaching degree or teaching certificate. So if you want to teach, you will have to get an additional qualification and jointly with your master’s degree, you will educate young students.

If you are aiming to become a college or university professor though, you might not need any additional qualifications. You can teach in your own field, so you become a philosophy professor. Or you can get a certification in another field, such as business and teach business students better thinking skills.

Additionally, your problem solving skills make you great at research since you are able to look at it from various perspectives. This means you can become a researcher in any university and use your skills to publish useful knowledge.

Become the Ethical Authority

Philosophy is a field which encompasses teaching about what is right and wrong, and the fine line that divides the two concepts. Students learn how to navigate this grey area and that is what makes them excellent judges of character, morality and ethics.

It is no wonder then, that a good career for someone with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy is to become an ethical authority at any institution. This could include universities, hospitals, courts, and others which need someone to make decisions about what should and should not be done.

Edit and Publish

Getting a Master’s Degree in Philosophy means that you will have to read a lot. You will also have to write many essays, projects, and papers. This means that one of the key skills you have is communication. You will be able to write, proofread, and edit text perfectly. A career in publishing is a great choice then. Even though the platform of publishing has become more digital, people are still writing books that need those services. With a degree in philosophy you will be qualified to offer them and bring new insights and new authors in the public light.

Law and Legal

Legal systems are essentially made of philosophy. Any institution that works with the law needs in depth analysis, presentation of arguments, and problem solving. All of these are skills you get when you have a Master’s Degree in Philosophy.

If your goal is to become a lawyer, then your philosophy degree will be an immense help for you to achieve it. Those with a philosophy degree have the highest rates of acceptance in law school because they have the analytical capabilities required. So after you have completed one master’s degree, you can go on to apply for law school and jumpstart your career as a lawyer.

Computers and Programming

You might think that philosophy and computers have nothing in common. You are definitely wrong! Philosophers learn logic and thinking. They learn whether something is true or false, and how to go about analyzing it. Computers operate on logic and thinking. A statement or a number is either true or false, and a ton of analysis is needed to program it.

That is why many of those with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy go on to work in places with computers and programming. It comes naturally to them, they all say. Computers are logical and mathematical, and philosophers work the same way. So if you have always had a passion for analyzing complex problems and for computers, this degree is the one for you.

Human Resources

Philosophers learn how to understand people and their thought processes. As said, they are good judges of character and have a strong ethical background. That is why, as a person with a Master’s in Philosophy you would be great at fitting people into companies. Working in human resources requires that exact duty. You will go through people’s resumes, interview them, test them, and decide whether they would fit the job that needs to be done. While you interview, you will put into use your people skills and you can make better decisions, which will ultimately lead to better results in the company you work for.

Masters In Philosophy Earning Power

Despite the fact that money should not be the primary deciding factor of what profession you go into and what job you do, it is still something to think about. So after learning what you can do with a Masters in Philosophy, you might also wonder how much you will make. After all, we have to pay the bills and get the groceries.

A Masters in Philosophy is not exactly a degree which immediately determines your salary. Since you can go into many different career paths, your annual salary could also go in different directions.

This means that you could end up making as little as $39,000 as a Copy Editor or as much as a staggering $139,331 annually as a Systems Engineering Manager. The reality of it is that you will most likely make something in the middle, which is not bad at all.

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