Philosophy Works: An Exploration of Careers for Philosophers Outside of Academia

Carolyn Jennings
Cognitive and Information Sciences
UC Merced

As in nearly all academic disciplines, a substantial proportion of philosophy PhD graduates do not obtain permanent academic employment. This proportion is larger if we take into account those who do not complete their graduate education, with up to a third leaving their PhD programs prior to completion. All told, a significant proportion of those who apply to philosophy PhD programs end up in non-academic careers. Yet, there is little explicit encouragement and preparation for these careers. It is our contention that philosophy PhDs have much to offer outside of academia, and in this application we seek support for a workshop designed to address these issues with philosophy faculty across the UC system. Some members of this team have the ultimate goal of developing a graduate program focused on non-academic careers, which could serve as an example for other programs. We aim to host a workshop with philosophy faculty from across the UC system to discuss the potential careers for philosophers outside of academia, and how best to support those careers. This workshop will be hosted at Asilomar Conference Grounds by a planning team based at UC Davis, UC Merced, and UC Riverside.