Career in Philosophy

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Philosophy as a Career

The study of Philosophy is an attempt to seek answers to abstract and abstruse questions. If you are interested in a challenging vocation and have a flair for intellectual debate and discourse, then being a philosopher might be the right choice for you.

One of the important fields of humanities, it covers formal disciplines like logic and social sciences, says Dr Shubhada Joshi, professor and head of department of Philosophy, University of Mumbai. The brief is to think and to question.

From Plato to Nietzsche, philosophers have dominated the pages of history and our thought processes. “Philosophy and philosophers have always influenced thinkers, scientists, artists, political leaders and common people. Even in the 21st century, not all crises have been answered by science, technology or natural sciences. Philosophers have helped in such situations.

Philosophy Careers Academics :

To pursue Philosophy as a career, the completion of a graduate or master’s program in Philosophy is required. The destination for students of Philosophy is usually joining the faculty of a university but several other avenues have also opened up lately.

There are different areas in Philosophy – religion, politics, mind, physics, mathematics and language – along with logic, epistemology (theory of knowledge) and metaphysics.

It can be studied at every level from short ( ten week ) online courses to doctorates, says Marianne Talbot, director of studies in Philosophy, department of continuing education, Oxford University. Many colleges require their teaching staff to have a PhD in the field. It combines course work, research and a dissertation on an original topic from several aspects of Philosophy.

Skills for Philosophy Careers :

Critical thinking and problem solving, communication skills and extensive research are the three prerequisites for this career path. Students of Philosophy should be dexterous in understanding difficult material, engage in intellectually stimulating debates and cultivate an analytical bent of mind for problem solving from several perspectives.

Clarity of expression in verbal and written mode is a must along with persuasive and argumentative skills.

Philosophy Careers Job Opportunities :

The study of Philosophy arms you with an education rather than a professional qualification, thus opening up a world of opportunities for you. There is no particular vocation tailor made for a philosopher though writing, teaching and researching are often the preferred destinations.

Students of Philosophy go on to all sorts of things such as management consultancy, computer science ( philosophers are the only students other than mathematicians and computer scientists who study logic ) and the law, says Talbot. Apart from academic careers in a variety of streams, law and medical practice, business, public relations, policy analysis, journalism, consulting, government work, social work and empirical subjects are other avenues that can be explored.

Scope for Philosophy Careers :

With Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts in Philosophy, the branches for further studies are journalism, law ( especially logic, moral Philosophy and sociopolitical Philosophy ), MSW ( social welfare ) and MLW ( labour welfare ).

One can sit for competitive exams like UPSC and MPSC with Philosophy as main subject and join IAS, IPS, IFS, etc or take JRF / NET / SET exams for academic pursuit of Philosophy, research for PhD degree and or eligibility for assistant professor of Philosophy.

Philosophy Careers Prospects :

I doubt if Philosophy has ever been a ‘suitable’ career if money is what you are after, says Talbot. A reverse flow towards college education has led to more posts opening up for philosophers in colleges and universities.

Philosophy Careers Institutes in India :

  • Christ College, Bangalore
  • Garden City College, Bangalore
  • St Xavier’s College, Kolkata
  • St Xavier’s College, Mumbai
  • Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi
  • University of Mumbai
  • University of Calcutta
  • Jadavpur University, Kolkata
  • St Stephen’s College, Delhi
  • Presidency College, Kolkata
  • St Joseph’s College, Bangalore
  • Scottish Church College, Kolkata
  • Loyola College, Chennai
  • Fergusson College, Pune
  • Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata
  • Hansraj College, Delhi.

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