Philosophy is one of the most intellectually stimulating and enthralling academic disciplines, but it is also one of the least understood. Contrary to popular belief, philosophy is one of the best degree programs and can prepare you for a wide range of careers.
Philosophy is centered around its literal name: “Philos” (love of) and “Sophia” (wisdom). When the discipline emerged several thousand years ago, the love of wisdom was never separated into competing arts and sciences. Instead, the field included ethics, natural sciences, religious discussion, the arts, and much more.
What are the best concentrations and minors for students seeking an online associate degree in philosophy?
Philosophy is a broad major, and having a concentration can help you specialize in a particular sub-field of the discipline. This will make you more knowledgeable in your chosen area.
Choosing a concentration for your philosophy program is a very crucial decision because this can help shape both your academic experience and career path in the future.
Below are some of the most common philosophy concentrations.
Bioethics: Majoring in bioethics is a perfect move for philosophy students who plan to pursue health-related careers. This field marries the study of ethics and health care, focusing on the crucial issues surrounding medicine’s morality. Typical course titles within this subdiscipline include The Ethics of Medicine, Sociology of Mental Health, and Bioethics and the Law.
Political Science: For those who desire to work in public office, administration, or public affairs, a philosophy degree with a minor in political science is a wise option. Courses may include Power and Politics, Topics in Political Philosophy, and Philosophy, Economy, and Society.
Mathematics: This is quickly becoming a popular concentration in philosophy. The study of mathematics can prepare you for careers in STEM fields or even further study beyond the associate degree.
Those who combine the study of philosophy with mathematics will gain a broader understanding of the logical methods that drive mathematical theories. With this concentration, students will come across courses like Mathematical Reasoning, Topics in Mathematical Logic, and Symbolic Logic.
Economics: A philosophy degree with a concentration in economics facilitates the study of different topics like social justice, economic theory, and economic policy. This is specifically suited to those who want to secure a career in economics.
Key Point: While an online associate degree in philosophy can help to prepare you for a number of career opportunities, focusing on a concentration or minor will make you even more valuable to employers.
What careers options are available for graduates with an online associate degree in philosophy?
Although there are limited entry-level career options in philosophy itself, there are related jobs in many different industries and fields that are suited for graduates with an associate degree in philosophy.
Following are some potential career options for graduates with an online associate in philosophy:
Legal Assistants and Paralegals: These are popular choices for those who hold an online associate degree in philosophy. The two-year associate degree program will give students an introduction to critical ethical concepts that will later serve them well in the legal environment.
Students in online associate in philosophy programs will learn how to research efficiently, think critically, and write clearly—all important skills for legal assistants. Paralegals are charged with helping lawyers prepare for cases by conducting research, gathering facts, and writing briefs.
Writer/Author: Clear writing needs clear thinking. For online associate philosophy majors, clear and logical thinking is the priority. An online philosophy program requires students to take classes in logic and reasoning, and they will routinely take part in debates that summon their deep level of thought and analysis. All these things make for great preparation for a budding career as an author or a writer.
Community and Social Service Managers: Because online philosophy students study social issues thoroughly in their associate degree program, they are the perfect candidates for community and social service management positions.
Philosophy graduates in this role create and oversee plans to create, maintain, and enhance local social service and community programs. These professionals rely on their impeccable thinking skills to assess the efficiency of their plans and create necessary adjustments and changes.
Teacher: An online associate degree in philosophy is a great addition to a student’s portfolio when entering a teacher’s college. This degree will prepare students to teach general humanities courses in private and public high schools.
Note that teaching in a public high school requires a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. Graduates may also desire to teach at a college or university, although that requires an additional post-graduate degree.
Bottom Line: An online associate in philosophy degree can be a great stepping stone into many career fields. However, to secure a position beyond entry-level typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree.