An academic career in Philosophy or Religious Studies
Though perhaps less common than degrees in business, law or other vocational fields,
some university students seek a deeper understanding of life by pursuing a degree in
Philosophy or Religious Studies. Upon graduating, however, these students may face the
challenge of finding employment while deepening the understanding that they’ve cultivated
throughout their degree. If such a student wants to continue their inquiry and receive
compensation for it, perhaps the most frictionless path is to become an academic in
philosophy or religion. As such, this report will analyse the opportunities and challenges
associated with an academic career in philosophy or religion. To this end, this report will be
focused on an interview conducted with Dr. X, a 42-year-old Lecturer at University’s Centre for Philosophy and Religion. In addition to the insights of Dr.
X, this report will explore common career paths for those seeking to become academics
the challenges and opportunities associated with such an endeavour, and even what it’s
actually like to be an academic in the humanities.
Traditional pathways to an academic career tend to occur in a predictable trajectory: A
student will complete their undergraduate degree in their chosen field of study and then
pursue a post-graduate degree in that same field. In the process of completing a post-
graduate degree, students will publish research and potentially gain teaching experience
that will enhance their opportunities to find a teaching position at a university. While there
are many nuances to this process (like whether to pursue an honours degree and proceed
to a Ph.D. program, or whether to seek an M.A. before a Ph.D.), the general pattern is
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