Careers for Philosophy PhDs Outside of Academia

David E. Storey, PhD

The job market in academic philosophy collapsed hard and suddenly with the rest of the economy in 2008, unsettling many of us who were then graduating or who would graduate with a Philosophy PhD within the past four years. A lot of us, whether from necessity or disillusion with the academy, are thinking about life beyond the academy. My friend from graduate school Dave Storey has developed a website chock full of resources for Philosophy PhD’s contemplating careers outside the professoriate that we may never join, despite preparing and sacrificing a decade or more of our lives for it. Check out his fascinating interview with Dan Mullin who also runs a very good blog called The Unemployed Philosopher’s Blog (and who will be defending his dissertation next week–congratulations, Dan!). Listening to the interview I had déjà vu of stimulating conversations I’ve had with Dave myself. If you have some Vietnamese food or stand in a stairwell as you listen, you can very closely approximate reliving my conversations with Dave.

As the interview goes on they get into an in-depth discussion of the exciting subject of philosophical counseling (which Dave helped me get involved with). Dave enthusiastically recommends the book Philosophical Counseling: Theory and Practice by Peter Raabe. Dan also has interviewed Raabe on the topic of philosophical counseling. In the interview Dave recommends Lou Marinoff’s and Vaughana Feary’s American Philosophical Practitioners Association certification program, which he also recommended to me and which I took (and loved) last summer.

If you are interested in talking to me about philosophical counseling for yourself, write me at camelswithhammers at gmail. I have one longstanding counseling relationship with a client and it’s been an extremely rewarding experience for both of us. I will talk more about what I see this as about in the coming months as I try to build a practice.

APPA Certification Program, New York, August 2012.

Your Thoughts?

  • Dan Mullin

    Thanks for recommending the podcast, Daniel.

  • Zugswang

    The first option I thought of was writing books. Seems that no matter what your educational background, if you’re able to communicate ideas effectively (which describes just about 90% of the people I know who earned post-grad degrees in Philosophy), you’ve got a pretty good chance of making a living as a writer. Well, relative to the chances of landing a professorship, anyway.

  • Felix

    “APPA Mission Statement

    The APPA is a non-profit educational corporation that encourages philosophical awareness and advocates leading the examined life. Philosophy can be practiced through client counseling, group facilitation, organizational consulting or educational programs. APPA members apply philosophical systems, insights and methods to the management of human problems and the amelioration of human estates.”

    The “amelioration of human estates” … doesn’t that mean taking money of people?