What You Can Do With This Degree
Philosophy is interesting; but is it practical? Can you actually get a job with a degree in philosophy? Absolutely! Here are some of the many great career options for philosophy majors.
- Teaching philosophy. We’ll be honest, this isn’t the most practical option for everyone. The job market for philosophy professors has always been competitive, and currently it is very competitive. But if this is truly what you want to do, majoring in philosophy is the right first step. Many of our alums have gained admission to high quality graduate programs at both the Masters and Doctoral levels.
- Law. Philosophy is an excellent pre-law major. Philosophy majors are among the highest scorers on the LSAT, beating every other major except for math and physics. The reason is simple: Philosophy teaches the analytical, critical and argumentative skills that make up so much of legal work. Several of our majors have become successful lawyers.
- Medicine. This may come as a surprise: Don’t you have to major in biology to go into medicine? Biology is an excellent pre-med major, but the truth is that as a pre-med, you can major in whatever you want, as long as you satisfy the pre-med curriculum. Humanities majors are actually an excellent option, and philosophy majors have one of the best success rates when it comes to getting into medical school — even beating out traditional pre-med majors such as biology and chemistry. Again, the critical thinking skills you gain as a philosophy major are incredibly valuable, and medical schools know it. Some of our own majors now have successful careers in medicine, and you could be next!
- Business. Philosophy majors score very high on the GMAT exam, even beating economics majors. Many of the world’s top business leaders have degrees in philosophy, including Hewlett Packard’s former CEO Carly Fiorina, investor Carl Icahn, hedge fund manager George Soros, former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, and many more.
- Government. People have used their philosophy degrees to work in all levels of government.
- Information technology. This may surprise you, but philosophy can prepare you for a good job in information technology — just ask several of our alums, who now work in this area.
- Writing/Journalism. Many people assume you need a degree in a different subject, such as English or communication, to work in this area. These are certainly great options, but surprisingly, so is philosophy. Philosophy graduates include novelists (David Foster Wallace), journalists (Matthew Yglesias), filmmakers (Ethan Cohen), movie critics (Gene Siskel), and more.
- Graduate school. Many careers these days require graduate school, and a philosophy major can be great preparation. Philosophy majors are the top scorers on the Verbal and Analytical Writing sections of the GRE. (This surprised even us; we expected to lose to English.)
We won’t lie, a philosophy degree doesn’t offer you career-specific training, unless you want to teach philosophy. What it does offer is something more valuable. It gives you analytical skills that you can use in any job, which can be more valuable than job-specific training in the long run.