The top career paths (and most marketable skills) of philosophy and language grads

So, what are you going to do with that philosophy degree?

A new study looks at the career paths of university grads and compares the trending correlations between what they studied and where they work. The authors took a particular interest in seeing which jobs people who graduate with philosophy and language degrees end up holding.

If you checked the job postings on CareerBeacon lately, you’ve probably noticed that there isn’t a high demand for philosophers on the job market.

For some degrees, the answer is no mystery. For example, most engineering grads become engineers, and graduates of computer science programs tend to go on to develop software.

Sales, marketing, management, and business and financial analysis appear in the top ten most popular outcomes for almost all degrees. However, this report attempts to shine a light on what happens to graduates of those programs that are often considered to be less valuable on the job market. What jobs do they get hired for?

The first jobs of philosophy and language grads:

  • Education (17 per cent)
  • Journalism/writing (10 per cent)
  • Sales (10 per cent)
  • Marketing (7 per cent)
  • Service-oriented non-profits (6 per cent)

Other top fields worked by these grads include office and admin positions, human resources, management, and business and financial analysis.

Because these degrees are not career-path specific, graduates tend to work in multiple fields throughout their careers. So, for example, when it comes to the first job taken by philosophy and language graduates, the fourth most popular type of job is in marketing.

By the time they are on the third job of their careers, marketing has become the second most popular field they work in. (Education consistently holds the top spot.)

The third jobs of philosophy and language grads:

  • Education
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Journalism and writing
  • Service-oriented non-profits

According to the report, the most marketable skills that philosophy and language grads being to the table consist of tactical communication, strategic communication, interpersonal oversight, and operational oversight. That is to say, they are good at organizing and planning, interacting with people, and communicating.

See also:

The top five first jobs and university degrees of the world’s richest people.

According to Statistics Canada, this country’s highest paid workers studied one of these three things in school.


For more detail and the methodology of this study, you can download the full report from the EMSI here.

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