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UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making> What can I do with a Major in... > Philosophy


Description of Major
The philosophy program is designed to offer students the opportunity to study systematically the works of significant figures in philosophy; investigate the fundamental problems and systems of thought that frame philosophical inquiry; develop the ability to think and write critically and effectively; and cultivate the logical, analytical, and conversational skills necessary for stimulating and fruitful philosophical inquiry.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM philosophy faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying philosophy are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Leadership/Management Skills:
- judging
- unwillingness to automatically accept the
status quo
- analyzing
- conceptualizing
- making decisions
- identifying alternative courses of action


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- demonstrating premises and reasoning
to their conclusion
- writing effectively
- identifying and communicating value
judgments effectively


Instructing/Educational Skills:
- explaining - ability to hear and answer questions


Research/Analytical Skills:
- developing new approaches to problems
- breaking down principles into parts
- understanding and using organizing
-applying appropriate methods to test the
validity of data
- analyzing the interrelationships of
events and ideas from several perspectives
- analyzing and evaluating ideas and
- perceiving and defining cause and effect
- formulating questions to clarify a
particular problem or issue


Artistic/Creative Skills:
- aware of the value of symbolism  


Additional Skills, or Skills Peculiar to the Philosophy Discipline:
-conceptual analysis -synthesizing data


Jobs Obtained by UMM Philosophy Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. About 40% of the philosophy graduates from 1964-1998 said their job was in the same field or related to their undergraduate major. Other studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes use of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM philosophy graduates:

Administrative Assistant
Administrative Support
Chemistry Professor
College Philosophy Instructor
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer Tech. Support/Web Design
Economic Development Consultant
Export Manager
Graphic Artist
Group Insurance Underwriter
Hospital Housekeeping Manager
Human Resources Manager
Insurance Claims Consultant
Labor Relations Manager
Legal Publishing Editor
Mechanical Design Engineer
Middle Manager
Newspaper Publisher
Pilot (Military)
Plant Operations Specialist
Program Administrator
Public Administrator
Rural Mail Carrier
Sales Executive
Sales/Public Relations
Sales VP
School Superintendent
Secondary Biology Teacher
Senior Accountant
Service Representative
Social Worker
Software Consultant
Superintendent of Schools
Television News Producer
University Administrator


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of one-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain sills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one’s general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Philosophy (Adobe Acrobat Supplement)
Graduate/Professional Schools in Philosophy
Links to Philosophy Jobs