As the world celebrates World Philosophy Day on the third Thursday of November every year, students and scholars of this ancient discipline revisit a frequently asked question: What are my prospects in the labour market?
This year Al-Fanar Media is providing a list of some of the most important job opportunities for philosophy graduates in the Arab world and elsewhere. The major categories include:
Teaching philosophy: Teaching is near the top of jobs available to holders of a university degree in philosophy. This includes working at a university, in secondary schools, or in civil society organisations.
Psychological and behavioural counselling: Philosophy studies many aspects of human personality and life. This can qualify philosophy students to work in psychological or behavioural counselling.
Marketing: The ability to analyse and anticipate the needs of individuals and society is one of the skills that philosophy students master, especially if their study is enhanced by a more specialised diploma in this field.
Unesco has designated the third Thursday of November every year as World Philosophy Day to underline the discipline’s importance. Philosophy studies human existence, knowledge, and reason, and teaches critical thinking skills.
Journalism, publishing, law, and health: Philosophy graduates can present their insights to readers through specialist press platforms and websites. Their analytical and communication skills are also good preparation for advanced studies in fields like law, public policy and health. Even without an advanced degree, philosophy majors are well equipped for jobs like paralegal services, which involves conducting research, preparing case reports, and providing other support to lawyers.
The stock market or real estate: Being a stock broker or working in real estate are other options to those with a university degree in philosophy, given their ability to analyse, persuade clients, and read economic and financial indicators.
Why Celebrate World Philosophy Day?
Since 2002, Unesco, the United Nations cultural organisation, has celebrated “philosophy day” on the third Thursday of November each year. In 2005, it officially proclaimed that date as World Philosophy Day to raise awareness about the importance of philosophy and promote teaching it as a way of developing critical thinking skills.
In establishing World Philosophy Day, the organisation’s objectives were:
- To renew the national, subregional, regional and international commitment to philosophy.
- To foster philosophical analysis, research and studies on major contemporary issues so as to respond more effectively to the challenges that are confronting humanity today.
- To raise public awareness of the importance of philosophy and its critical use in the choices arising for many societies from the effects of globalisation or modernity.
- To appraise the state of philosophy teaching throughout the world with special emphasis on unequal access.
- To underline the importance of the universality of philosophy teaching for future generations.
Why Philosophy Is Important
Philosophy plays important roles in our lives, as individuals and societies. In short, it “still matters,” Emmaline Soken-Huberty writes on The Important Site. She summarises some of the reasons as follows:
- Philosophy raises important questions about our existence and the major issues that concern us, which contributes to a better understanding of ourselves and our lives.
- Philosophy develops critical thinking skills, teaching you how to analyse arguments to determine whether they are weak or strong.
- Philosophy teaches persuasiveness because it enhances your ability to present strong, coherent arguments, and to conduct in-depth dialogues with different parties.
- Philosophy teaches problem-solving through techniques like observation, intuition, and logic. It helps you reach the roots of ideas and examine them in an abstract way, which contributes to a clearer understanding of the problem.
- Philosophy helps you sort through your own beliefs, and to differentiate between logical and superstitious ones. Questioning your own beliefs and collecting evidence of their validity can be life changing.
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