What Can I Do with My Philosophy Major?
According to the American Philosophical Association, the study of philosophy serves to develop intellectual abilities important for life as a whole, beyond the knowledge and skills required for any particular profession. Properly pursued, it enhances analytical, critical and interpretive capacities that are applicable to any subject matter, and in any human context. It cultivates the capacities for self-expression and reflection, for exchange and debate of ideas, for lifelong learning, and for dealing with problems for which there are no easy answers.
Students majoring in philosophy develop knowledge of the history and current state of the philosophical discipline, a grasp of representative philosophical issues and ways of dealing with them, a capacity to apply philosophical methods to intellectual problems, and a sense of how philosophy bears on other disciplines and on human life more generally. Students who chose to major in philosophy will develop a critical mind, a balance of analytic and interpretive abilities, and a capacity for the imaginative development of abstract formulations and their concrete applications.
Students who choose to major in philosophy at Georgetown tend to embark on a wide range of career paths, including law, journalism, museum curators, consulting, and nonprofit management.
The study of philosophy allows for the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. Throughout your experience in the program, you will obtain the following skills:
Critical Thinking Skills
- Ability to analyze relationships
- Competency to identify and answer key questions
- Capacity to think and express oneself logically
- Approaching problems from multiple perspectives
- Weighing alternatives
- Ability to communicate persuasively
- Aptitude to speak articulately and listen objectively
- Reading critically
- Writing effectively
Problem Solving and Additional Skills
- Conduct and explain research
- Understanding of broad range of topics
- Awareness of and respect for various systems of thought
You can use the examples above, and experiences from classes or research projects to enhance your resume. Try plugging in some of your experiences or skills gained into this formula: Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).
Sample Resume Class 1, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Member of Class, taught by Prof. ______
- Investigated 17th– and 18th-century philosophy and engaged critically with (insert topics or readings) through written reflections, video productions, and an analytical essay in PHIL 282 History of Modern Philosophy.
- Explored topics in the psychological foundations of morality, including obedience to authority, motivated reasoning and bias, and the nature of responsibility and agency through weekly readings and reflective writing in PHIL 143 Morality and Psychology.
- Examined the philosophical writings of authors representative of existentialism including (insert philosophers) through close reading of texts, discussions, and reflection papers in PHIL 159 Existentialism.
Georgetown Alumni have taken their philosophy degree across multiple different industries and have applied the skills they learned in philosophy across multiple disciplines.
Additional information about these outcomes can be found in Cawley’s Post Graduation Outcome Report
Helpful Keywords to Improve Searches
There are lots of ways to find good keywords to help your job or internship search process, or even just to learn more about the types of jobs you can do within a specific major. One way to explore this is by checking out the job search tool on Google.
Once you are in, type in something generic like your major and the world internship afterward. Once you hit enter, it will give you lots of options to explore, but if you want to explore titles, possible career paths, or keywords, hover your mouse over the ‘Title’ tab on the top of the page. This will give you a ton of ideas and options to explore possible keywords.
Sample Internship Opportunities
- Communications (e.g., The Washington Post, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, Fleishman-Hillard, Inc)
- Consulting (e.g., Accenture, KPMG, IBM)
- Government (e.g., Environmental Protection Agency, Goddard Space Center, Department of Transportation)
- Nonprofit Organizations (e.g., The Genocide Prevention Center, The Red Cross, National Organization of Women)
- Political Action Committee (e.g., American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Human Rights Campaign)
- Research/Think Tanks (e.g., The Blackstone Group, Brookings)
The Georgetown Philosophy Department Website is rich with additional information on studying Philosophy.
Professional Associations are a great place to go to dive deeper into the field of philosophy and learn more about what post grad life might look like.
- American Philosophical Association
- American Philosophical Society
- Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy
- Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
- Society for Social and Political Philosophy
Vault is a fantastic resource to learn more about specific career fields in philosophy. Vault has information such as salary information, work environment, education and training requirements, outlooks, and specific tips for entering into the field.
Professors & Academic Deans
Georgetown professors and faculty members can be a wonderful resource for Georgetown students. If you are still curious to learn more about the disciplines of a specific major, we’d encourage you to connect with your professors! Outside of office hours, Georgetown has an online interface called GU360 where students can explore and connect with faculty members that are eager to mentor and support students. You can use this interface to learn more about specific department research, specialties, and areas of study within a major.
You can also connect with your academic dean or counselor to further discuss opportunities within a given major.
Lastly, each department has a dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). This is the individual in charge of coordinating the major program or department as a whole. You can find the Director of Undergraduate Studies by exploring the faculty and staff pages of individual departments websites.
Connecting with alumni is a fantastic way to explore a day in the life of any given major student. There are several different ways to connect with Georgetown Alums. Hoya Gateway is Georgetown’s premier networking platform which connects alumni and students to have meaningful conversations and build a strong network of support. This is a platform alumni opt into with the sole purpose of supporting current students, which means there is an extremely high response rate.
You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with Georgetown Alum. A simple alumni search on Georgetown’s LinkedIn profile will help you get connected to approximately 130 thousand alumni, which you can then filter to meet the location, major, industry, or skills that you are interested in exploring.
You can also check out our Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about what Georgetown alumni in specific majors are up to after graduation. We survey our seniors at the end of each year and into the following year to learn about jobs they secured, service opportunities they committed to, or graduate schools they decided to attend. You can filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. You’ll see in many cases that alums are using majors in a wide variety of ways, and your major doesn’t always equal your career path.
Career Center Staff
You can also connect with career center staff to talk through the possible outcomes of one major over another. In short, there are endless opportunities no matter what major you choose. However, connecting with someone might help you navigate your decision making process a little bit easier.
At the career center, you have the opportunity to meet with either a Career Exploration Counselor or an Industry Advisor. Career Exploration Counselors can help you talk through concerns, goals, the big picture, and strategies to move forward. You can think of them as generalists and a great place to get started. Industry Advisors can help you think through specific questions about a given career path and provide specific industry information and trends. You can think of them as specialists for once you start to narrow down your possible path. If you think an appointment with one of these individuals would benefit you, you can make an appointment on Handshake.