Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
JOB SEARCH / DEC. 15, 2014
version 6, draft 6

How to Find a Job in Philosophy

Finding a job in philosophy is tough; even well-qualified candidates do not have any guarantees for an excellent opportunity. You should also note that an academic job is not the only place you can fit with a doctorate. It is wise to spend the first year of your graduate studies asking yourself and figuring out what you want to do after completing your education. You can teach undergraduates or graduates if you are good, research and write papers, edit academic journals, or serve on university committees, just to name a few. Assuming you already have a particular career goal, there are a few ways to go about finding a job.

Put Together an Application

While there are no standard application letters and curriculum vitae, the impression they create of you to a potential employer matters. Enrol the services of a professional to write a CV for you and have it read and edited by a couple of your faculty members. During your graduate studies, you will be researching on, producing, publishing and collecting documents that can decorate your curriculum vitae. Start a file that contains all your academic and field work and use them as a portfolio. Ensure you include your dissertation, especially if it addresses a topic in the industry you want to work in.

Pay a Recruitment Agency

Philosophy graduates can work in almost every sector, and this can make it difficult for job seekers who have to send so many applications. A recruitment agency can help narrow down your areas of focus depending on your skills and interests, and manage your applications. According to Pauwels Consulting, recruitment agencies also have access to openings that you as a job seeker might never know about.


Volunteering exposes you to potential employers and is a way to accumulate experience. The Corporation for National and Community Service quoted in Forbes Magazine cites that volunteering increases your chances of finding a job by 27 percent. If you want a lecturing job, for example, offer to volunteer as an assistant lecturer and help professors with course research and planning. Offer to take students for extra lessons and have the faculty observe you as you teach. As for a review of your work, make sure that in every place you volunteer you add it to your job file.


Join professional philosophy bodies to interact with fellow employees and employers. For example, in America, the American Philosophy Association provides members with updates about the job market and connects new members to senior experts in the industry. They also offer other membership benefits such as research opportunities that can increase your chances of finding a job. Talk to your placement adviser for insights on when and how to join the job market. If you have written work that would be of interest to certain industries, consider sending it to them to attract their attention. Initiate a relationship with off-campus researchers who can recommend you when job opportunities arise.

Overall, your chances of getting a philosophy job are on average 24 percent. The chances get higher if you graduate from an institution recognized by a national research council. It is, therefore, paramount that you are a ‘sellable’ candidate to survive in such a competitive profession. Work on your career-related skills such as research and interpretation of data, and keep updating your knowledge to stay relevant.


Image source: iStock

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