What career opportunities are there in philosophy?

What career prospects do I have after studying philosophy?

Those who study medicine can become doctors, those who study architecture can become architects. There is no such clear professional profile for philosophy students. Still, there are a number of career options for someone who has successfully completed their philosophy degree. There are basically three possible occupational fields:

(i) The most reliable option for planning is to become a teacher of philosophy and ethics at a school.

(ii) There is a broad, not clearly defined professional field in which the skills acquired in the course of studying philosophy are highly valued. You can, for example, work in adult education, in the library system, or take on activities in the area of ​​organization, management, consulting and controlling in politics, business or culture. The possibilities are endless. It should be clear, however, that the content of the philosophy degree plays a rather subordinate role for work in these areas of activity.

(iii) There is also a very limited opportunity to pursue an academic career at the university. If you want to take this path, you can complete your master’s or teaching degree with a doctoral degree, which leads to the acquisition of a doctorate.

In this brochure from the Humboldt-Universität you will find further information on professional fields for humanities and social scientists (possible newer versions are available from the Humboldt-Universität).

Jacob Rosenthal (professor in the department):

A philosophy degree conveys less specific content-related knowledge than the ability to argue with fundamental questions. A feeling for phenomena, conceptual discernment, the ability to analyze and evaluate arguments make it possible in the ideal case to comply with the well-known Kantian dictum:

"Enlightenment is the exit of man from his self-inflicted immaturity. Minority is the inability to use his mind without guidance from another. [...] Sapere aude! Have the courage to use your own understanding! Is the motto of the Enlightenment. "

However, in the case of the fundamental questions mentioned, this use of one's mind often leads to strikingly different results for different people:

"Where two people agree, at least one of them is not a philosopher." (unknown)

One has to cope with that, and it also gives the history of philosophy its peculiar character. In the words of Nietzsche:

"The philosopher believes that the value of his philosophy lies in the whole, in the building: posterity will find it in the stone with which he built and with which, from then on, it will be built even more often and better: that is, in the fact that that building is destroyed can and still has value as a material. "


Samuel Kis (PhD student):

Above all, the family atmosphere in the department creates a wonderful working atmosphere for doctoral students. The exchange with other scientists in the departmental colloquium, the Konstanz-Zurich-Colloquium and other events also distinguishes the philosophy in Konstanz. With Lake Constance, Konstanz also offers a good deal of quality of life. If you have to write a book, you should do so under such conditions.


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