Careers with philosophy
All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening
classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.
We actively assist our students with their professional development and search for employment or further study.
We encourage you to speak to any member of staff about your plans for the future, but particularly to
Fiona Hughes, our careers link
in the School and our Director of Employability, or to Lynne Jordan, our dedicated adviser
for philosophy in our Employability and Careers Centre.
What can you do with a philosophy degree?
A philosophy degree is highly advantageous and relevant to a wide range of professions. As more and more
areas of employment, from government to business, have become aware of the importance of wider ethical and
philosophical issues, philosophy graduates are increasingly attractive to employers.
We encourage you to be aware of the transferable skills you develop during your course. This will
be particularly useful for writing CVs, job applications and interviews.
As a philosophy graduate, you will be able to:
- define the task you are engaged in and exclude what is irrelevant;
- seek and organise the most relevant sources of information;
- process large volumes of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments;
- compare and evaluate different arguments, and assess the limitations of your own position or procedure;
- write and present verbally succinct and precise accounts of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications;
- be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate your own views in ways that are accessible to them;
- think laterally and creatively - see interesting connections and possibilities, and present these clearly rather than as vague hunches;
- maintain intellectual flexibility and revise your own position if shown to be wrong; and
- think critically and constructively.
The skills philosophy teaches are widely recognised in the media:
- ‘A mind sharpened by the study of philosophy is ideal for today's workplace’,
Times Higher Education
- ‘Philosophy graduates are suddenly all the rage with employers’,
- ‘What can you do with a degree in Philosophy’,
- ‘Studying philosophy equips you with an adaptable mind and vital life skills’,
Our graduates go onto to find work in a wide variety of careers:
- Administration in higher education and local government
- Banking sector
- Celebrity PR officer
- Charity and aid work
- Civil Service
- Compliance Manager at HM Revenue and Customs
- Fire service
- Freelance writer
- Law firm
- Police force
- Radio presenter
- Recruitment consultant
- Television presenter
- Teaching English as a foreign language
Many of our graduates also pursue postgraduate study at Masters
and PhD level. Read about the
some of the careers paths our graduates followed after leaving the University.
Gain experience during your studies
Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you make the most of
all the available opportunities for personal and professional development
during your studies, as well as assisting with finding jobs, CVs and making applications.
There are many chances to gain work experience while you study with
internships and our frontrunners work placement scheme. We also
offer a variety of options for study abroad, while our
Languages for All programme allows you to learn a language
for free alongside your course.
What our students say
Read how BA Philosophy graduate Josh Gallagher developed his employability during his studies, including with
the Big Essex Award:
Josh Gallagher, BA Philosophy
What made you interested in the Big Essex Award?
“I completed the award during the final year of my degree to help me get ready to look for
graduate employment - employability has been constantly at the forefront of my mind. Participating
in the Big Essex Award was the perfect opportunity to get various experiences, develop skills
and it allows me to have something to put on my University transcript to set me apart from other candidates.
What have you achieved through the Big Essex Award?
“I did many forms of volunteering as part of the Award. They were all in areas which I find enjoyable.
It gave me a chance to have this present on my University Transcript as an accredited award, not just some separate
activities that I could put on my CV.
What types of projects have you been involved in?
“I was spending around five hours per week as a volunteer three separate projects –
I was working with the mental health charity ‘Mind’, teaching English to Japanese
students on campus and also working with refugees to improve their living quarters. This
allowed me to cover a wide variety of skills and gave me the opportunity to experience a
variety of cultures and appreciate diversity, which is really sought after by employers,
especially in the teaching industry which I am interested in going in to.
How was your experience?
“I really enjoyed taking part in the Big Essex Award. I deliberately chose
volunteering options which I would like, which meant that it seldom felt as though
I was doing anything extra or ‘out of my way’.
What skills have you developed with the award?
“I developed a number of skills such as working with a variety of people, recognising and
supporting diversity, showing empathy, as well as generally improving my communication skills and
interpersonal skills. The experience of volunteering even benefited my research for my dissertation.
Would you recommend the Big Essex Award to other students?
“I would definitely encourage students to take part in the Big Essex Award. Even if you haven’t done
so in your first or second year, it is never too late to do so - and the skills you learn are invaluable.”
Support after graduation
You can use the services of our Employability and Careers Centre for
up to three years after you graduate. Our staff also regularly provide references for our students
and graduates to assist with applying for jobs and further study.
We have lots of careers events and workshops running this term, all designed to
help you develop skills, research future career options and meet employers. Some are one-off annual events, so don't miss out.
frontrunners is our original placement scheme that offers students paid work opportunities on campus. You'll get on-placement training and great experience to add to your CV.
Internships are an excellent way to earn money and develop a stand-out CV. Register with us for
information on paid internship opportunities with local, national and even international employers.
Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you develop the skills for a successful career. Our friendly staff and excellent resources help you to make
informed career choices and to enter your chosen field.