What job does the economic system do
philosophy : Breadless art? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that!
The ivory tower is just one of many places where philosophy is encountered today. In the Philosophical Quartet on television, Peter Sloterdijk asks whether the world can still be saved. In the feature sections of the newspapers, Jürgen Habermas thinks about free will and Europe. The ex-Minister of State for Culture and philosophy professor Julian Nida-Rümelin philosophizes on the radio about democracy and truth. Philosophers are more in demand than ever: Can one, as in the case of the child murderer Magnus Gäfgen, threaten torture in a constitutional state in order to save human lives? Should euthanasia be allowed? How fair is our economic system? The successors of Aristotle, Kant and Heidegger should help to find solutions to the pressing questions of the present.
This gives the thinker industry a boost. Above all, the elite of philosophers is addressed here. But even the young scientists who do not work in ethics committees or political advisory bodies have good chances on the job market today.
1700 students are enrolled in philosophy at the three major Berlin universities (Humboldt University, Free University and Technical University). That is one in 77. Around 130 graduate each year and look for work - unless they decide to pursue an academic career. You apply to business, foundations or associations - and obviously with great success.
That philosophy is a breadless art turns out to be once more a myth. “The number of unemployed philosophers is negligible. In Berlin it is 0.06 percent, ”says Erik Benkendorf from the Berlin employment agency. Philosophers can be used in a wide variety of professions. You work as a journalist or management consultant, as a businessman or as an IT user. At first glance, only a few job advertisements are aimed directly at philosophers. However, the qualifications that they would have acquired during their studies would make them attractive to many employers.
“During their studies, philosophers learn to sharpen their critical expertise,” explains FU professor Anne Eusterschulte, explaining what distinguishes the graduates. You will deal with Kant's affirmative concept of totality or the ontological proof of God and learn from them how justifications work. They discuss theories and write their position on them in their own language, explains the philosopher. The spokesman for the employment agency sums it up as follows: "Philosophers are often able to analyze and evaluate complex relationships," says Benkendorf. You have good language skills and know how to convey content. These skills are sought after on the job market.
“Philosophers fit well into our teams,” says Per Breuer, head of HR at the Roland Berger management consultancy. The philosophers who sit across from him in the interview often appear more angular, more individual and less polished than economists. But Breuer finds that very sympathetic.
As with graduates from other disciplines, experience abroad is a bonus and a good general education. "An applicant should also have already picked up a business administration script and know what a 'cash flow' is," he says. Graduates who let a few years pass after their graduation without further professional qualifications would, however, have bad cards - as long as there is no easily explainable red thread in their résumé.
Philosophers who make it to a contract, like other non-business beginners, are made fit in special training courses in business administration, rhetoric and teamwork.
Business administration and the so-called key qualifications can now be learned by philosophers at the university. With the Bologna Process, universities are increasingly relying on professional orientation. The career centers and faculties offer lectures and seminars that are designed to make it easier for students to start their careers and recommend internships. At the Humboldt University (HU) you can attend courses such as “Journalistic work for philosophers”. “You should definitely take advantage of such offers,” recommends the head of the HU Career Service, Rosemarie Schwartz-Jaross.
Prepared in this way, your career start may be less bumpy in the future. So far, internships, temporary positions and further training have been the rule before graduates have a permanent job - and an income that is easy to live with. According to the Federal Association of German Management Consultants, those who manage to get a permanent position at management consultancies like Roland Berger can look forward to an annual starting salary of 35,000 to 48,000 euros, depending on their qualifications and employer.
Frank Milschewsky took the rather bumpy path. 15 years ago he graduated from Freie Universität (FU) with a degree in philosophy; today he is marketing manager at Aufbau Verlag. During his studies, he gave little thought to his career, he says. First the master's thesis, then the doctoral thesis, that was how he had initially planned it - and then see how things would go on. But when he was sitting in a doctoral colloquium over the texts of the Berlin enlightener Friedrich Nicolai, he suddenly made a different decision. “I feared that I would continue to specialize and become more and more useless for the job market,” he says. He's also started a family. A secure job was suddenly important.
While studying, he had worked in a bookstore. Now, through an acquaintance, he found a job as sales manager for a small Berlin publishing house. In order to delve deeper into the subject, he qualified in a one-year advanced training course as a marketing assistant for book retailers and publishers. That brought him forward decisively. As part of his training, he completed an internship at Berlin Verlag. With the certificate he applied as a sales assistant at Aufbau Verlag. He switched to marketing three and a half years ago. There he is now working on marketing concepts and is responsible for internal communication. The experience from his studies is useful to him: "Mental agility is an important prerequisite for creative work in marketing," he says. He enjoys his job a lot.
Like many of his fellow students, he feels the same way. According to a study by the University Information System (HIS), most humanities scholars work their way from one temporary position to the next until they finally get a permanent position. However, they are mostly satisfied with the working conditions and the content of their professional activity. Even if they do not, like the elite thinkers, get to the bottom of the social questions of the time.
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