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Careers from Philosophy/Political Science Degree?

BazzleBazzle 97 replies9 threads Junior Member
edited May 2011 in Other College Majors
I've been searching for an answer to this question, and the majority of the answers I've seen consist along the lines of "Liberal Arts are worthless". I have found out however, that many people that go to Law School major in Philosophy and Political Science, but that's about it...

So, are there any other jobs out there that you can get with these degrees?
edited May 2011
30 replies
Post edited by Bazzle on
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Replies to: Careers from Philosophy/Political Science Degree?

  • BIGeastBEASTBIGeastBEAST 1538 replies7 threads- Senior Member
    Political Science is good for government jobs and research careers (analysts, policy).

    If you go for Poli Sci, don't waste your time with lots of theory and political philosophy. Focus on research methods, applied statistics, and other quantitative research. Look at your schools geography program and take some GIS (Geographic Information Systems) courses.

    Also, take some advanced computer science courses that focus on database systems, that's important. Poli Sci is writing intensive, but push yourself with some upper-level writing courses that are technical in nature.
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  • ThePhilosopherThePhilosopher 1605 replies56 threads Senior Member
    I just googled your question. This was an interesting, but by no means complete, list: Careers In Political Science | APSA
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  • BIGeastBEASTBIGeastBEAST 1538 replies7 threads- Senior Member
    Remember, most of the positions Poli Sci majors want (intel analysts, foreign service officers, program managers) aren't entry level positions. So don't get discouraged when you don't have your dream jobs offered to you upon graduation.

    Just focus on keeping your GPA high, getting some good internships and then take whatever job offer you get upon graduating. Then use that experience (even if it seems unrelated) to market yourself into something you are more interested in.

    If I knew some things you wanted to do, I could help more.
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  • TheRippaTheRippa 198 replies42 threads Junior Member
    If you opt to major in philosophy, you should double major with something that is fairly practical, or minor in something practical. A philosophy is great for law school, and even better if you want to strive for a philosophy PhD (obviously). But if you want to find employment immediately after college, a philosophy degree will make it harder for you to do so as compared to say....business administration. Make sure you make great use of your school's career center. Take a class on resume writing and overall professional development. All of those skills will help you when you have to market yourself after college. Philosophy major requirements are typically not that demanding, and I don't mean the material isn't demanding. What I mean is, from what I've seen, they require no more than 10-12 classes to complete the major. That gives you a ton of room to pursue other interests.
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  • BIGeastBEASTBIGeastBEAST 1538 replies7 threads- Senior Member
    I agree with The Rippa, if you think you can handle the workload, take a double major. For example Poli Sci and Business, or Poli Sci and Computer Science would be very marketable, especially in the government.

    I think Philosophy combined with the two mentioned majors also works well.
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  • BillyMcBillyMc 7704 replies49 threads. Senior Member
    I'm fairly certain, by the post, that the OP does intend to double major... in Philosophy and Political Science. You'll have job opportunities in DC, state capitals, and abroad (especially if you speak a foreign language). You may want to look into some government agencies, depending upon what you want to do. If you want to work on policy, look up what you can do with that (work for Senators/Congressman, internal government agencies, etc), if you want to focus on foreign service, there are a lot of opportunities there.

    Also, with Philosophy, you can go on to study pretty much anything. Philosophy will never hurt you, and provides insight into any field that you might enter, making you valuable to your employers. Plus college professors and career centers will likely be able to help.
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  • BIGeastBEASTBIGeastBEAST 1538 replies7 threads- Senior Member
    A double major in Poli Sci and Philosophy is redundant and doesn't diversifty you.

    Pick one or the other, then combine it with a much more practical major like Computer Science, IT, Business, Accounting, or a language.
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  • bos4079bos4079 130 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Well if you plan on majoring in political science and POLITICAL philosophy, yes that would be redundant. However political philosophy is such a small subset of the discipline. If you have other interests besides political philosophy, then I think philosophy is a great compliment to poli sci.
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  • BillyMcBillyMc 7704 replies49 threads. Senior Member
    A double major in Poli Sci and Philosophy is redundant and doesn't diversifty you.

    Pick one or the other, then combine it with a much more practical major like Computer Science, IT, Business, Accounting, or a language.
    Yes, because everything you ever do should be geared toward getting a job in a business, right? (don't think so) If the OP doesn't like those fields, there's no point in making college miserable just to get a job not in their interest. There are plenty of fields for Political Science, and Philosophy is just a plus. Plus, all of academia is still open.
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  • BIGeastBEASTBIGeastBEAST 1538 replies7 threads- Senior Member
    Well, if he doesn't want a career in business, the only other option is the public sector or academia.

    Business, CS, IT, Accounting, or a Language would all be good choices for the public sector as well.

    If he wants to work in the government, major in Poli Sci, if not - pick a better major.
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  • BazzleBazzle 97 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for all of the replies guys.

    Yes, I do intend to double major in Philosophy and Political Science, with my philosophy focus most likely on ethics or epistemology.

    I personally despise math (even though I do pretty well in it) and don't really think I could see myself doing too many things that are math related. However, the computer science idea isn't that bad because I have taken intro to Computer programming, and i actually found it interesting. My school offers AP Computer Science, and I know the teacher well, so I might end up taking that my senior year.

    So do you think it would be more beneficial to drop Philosophy as a major and take Computer Science instead, even if philosophy is my favorite topic?
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  • IBfootballerIBfootballer 2220 replies30 threads Senior Member
    if you have not sufficiently explored computer science enough to have taken the AP yet, it is far too early to decide that it should be your major, especially if your other option is something you distinctly enjoy.

    Be advised that good jobs in the Polisci field will often require a graduate degree.

    I advise against listening to the ilk of Bigeast. The dollar signs or practicality of your major should not be your primary concern at this point (a rising HS senior, I presume). That is not to say they should not be a concern (especially with this economy). Investing 200k in a philosophy degree is not well advised these days. However, given that a) college is a time of academic exploration and b) the majority of people enter a career in a field other than their college major, Bigeast's thinking is not a very good way of thinking for a thoughtful and inquisitive person such as yourself.
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  • ThePhilosopherThePhilosopher 1605 replies56 threads Senior Member
    If you enjoy a subject, then take it. You don't even necessarily have to "major" in it. If you don't take classes that you enjoy, then you will not do well in them, and you will not enjoy the college experience.
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  • BIGeastBEASTBIGeastBEAST 1538 replies7 threads- Senior Member
    I think people need to understand that many people don't come from backgrounds were they can pay $100,000 + just for "academic exploration" - that is stupid.

    People are attending college to improve their lives and provide them with skills to build a career. Not to "academically explore."

    A double major is Poli Sci and Philosophy is stupid. It's like majoring in the same subject twice. Just pick one or the other, or combine it with a practical major if you want to double.

    If you like Poli Sci, major in it. If you like Philosophy, major in it. But don't double, that will just give you alot of headaches with zero return. Because a double major in Philosophy and Poli Sci isn't any more valuable than a single major in either subject.

    However, combine one of those majors with a practical degree - then you just made yourself pretty marketable.

    Don't listen to the academic snobs who talk about "academic exploration", you/your family will be paying alot of money for you education, make the wise decision and maximize the investment.
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  • BIGeastBEASTBIGeastBEAST 1538 replies7 threads- Senior Member
    b) the majority of people enter a career in a field other than their college major, ~ IBfootballer


    Yeah, that's because most people can't find jobs in their given fields, primarily humanities - so what does that tell you?

    Pay $100,000 + for a education that you most likely get to use for the rest of your life? Where is the logic in that?

    Oh right, "Academic Exploration", pffff.....joke.
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  • TheRippaTheRippa 198 replies42 threads Junior Member
    Academic exploration IS important, but not important enough to be spending at least 100 grand on it. If the OP can find a way to cheapen his college education, whether its through scholarships or attending a fairly cheap state school, then by all means he should explore. But BigEast is right, for the most part. Major in something you like, but also take classes that make you marketable as well. A philosophy and economics double major is certainly feasible. Political science and economics would probably be even easier, since many schools offer condensed dual majors in those areas.
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  • BIGeastBEASTBIGeastBEAST 1538 replies7 threads- Senior Member
    I obviously made a typo in #16, I meant to say "a degree that you most likely won't use for the rest of your life."

    Was typing in the Airport on a netbook, tiny keys.

    Like I said, major in whatever you want, but if you are able (and want) to do a double major, make sure one is at least practical for the job market (Business, Marketing, Advertising, MIS, Accounting, CS,). Otherwise, you'll just be giving yourself a heavy courseload and never really see a ROI.

    To an employer, Poli Sci and Philosophy basically represents the same skill set (some research, writing, analytics), so doubling in those subjects IS redundant, at least when preparing for your career.

    However, if you're looking to drop big bucks for the purposes of "Academic Exploration", be my guest.
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  • BazzleBazzle 97 replies9 threads Junior Member
    I didn't mean to start an argument when posting this topic....

    But anyway, my family makes a decent mount of money, but we will still definitely financial aid if I go to a non-SUNY school.

    As of now, I am considering law school after college. I've seen some practice LSATs to see if it's something that I could do well on, and they honestly don't seem too difficult. It's all logic, so I think that majoring in Philosophy would be very "practical" for this.

    However, I know that my question was about other careers, so I understand what you guys are saying. I just think that college will suck if I simply major in something incredibly boring that I don't like.


    BTW, I'm a rising junior, but I have to start looking at colleges next year so I figured that picking my major will help me focus on certain colleges when it comes to that.
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  • PerfectSkyPerfectSky 182 replies52 threads Junior Member
    Dont major in something JUST because it could give you a better job, if you really want to major in philosophy, major in philosophy. Also like others have said philosophy majors tend to do really well on the LSAT and other tests. Majoring in philosophy can be great for undergrad studies, and if you want something that will land you a specific job go to grad school for that. law school is a great option, and so is optometry school, neither require you to have a specific major and both will lead you to great careers. best of luck with your choices. on a side note i find it lame that people try to persuade people to major in things because "philosophy wont get you a job." for me, and a lot of other people philosophy is a more important major than anything else. until people understand why students are majoring in philosophy they will always see it as the major that doesn't land you a "sick job."
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  • AndrewskyAndrewsky 166 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Dont major in something JUST because it could give you a better job

    Well, I won't say to pick a major that does not interest you whatsoever, but realistically philosophy and political science won't really lead anywhere except to a position as a waiter at Chili's. Well, not really, you will need work experience for that.

    I fail to see how law school is a great option. There's a ton of lawyers with over $100k in debt that are unemployed or are making less than $50k.



    Philosophy will not help you on the LSAT that much. About 77% of the LSAT is reading, the rest are logic games. The people who are best at these are actually people with quantitative degrees. Just buy Logic Games for Dummies and you'll get good at them.

    I just think that college will suck if I simply major in something incredibly boring that I don't like.

    Oh boy. You might want to read some academic articles in Political Science. It is very dry and stupid. Then again I'm not even sure why they call it "science" when much of it is opinion-based. *puts flamesuit on*

    I have a BA in History and it sucked. They have very high expectations in a liberal arts college.

    And it's not that if you major in liberal arts you will simply make a little less than other majors. It's more likely that you won't have a respectable job at all. A lot of people will make up jobs while ignoring intense competition for said jobs. For example, they'll tell you you can be a CIA analyst, a foreign service officer, or even allude to some non-existent general government (paper pushing) job.

    Government jobs that pay decent are in fields such as accounting, engineering, or even healthcare. We do not, in fact, have an enormous amount of paper pushing government jobs for poli sci grads in this country.

    The best advice I can give you is to look at large corporations in your area and look at their job postings. You will see that the postings are sparse. Usually they have zero entry-level positions available. The ones that are available require very specific experience or a fairly unique technical background. There will certainly be nothing for a major in Poli Sci or Philosophy.

    Now if my post comes off as a little biased toward liberal arts...

    It's because I am.:D Pick from the following:

    Hard science
    Accounting
    Engineering
    Healthcare
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