What Can I Do With a Philosophy Degree?

Philosophy is interesting; but is it practical? Can you actually get a job with a degree in philosophy? Absolutely! UIS Philosophy majors have successfully pursued careers in law, medicine, finance, higher education, information technology, marketing, web publishing, and more.

Here are some of the many great career options for philosophy majors.

  • Teaching philosophy. We’ll be honest, this option isn’t 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.)

Philosophy was recently listed as one of the top 50 degrees of the future:

Through the completion of a Philosophy degree, students can enter into a variety of different careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many Philosophy students enter into the profession of writing. The median annual salary for writers is $61,820/year. This industry is expected to grow 8% by the year 2026. Typically, the entry-level of education needed for this industry is a Bachelor’s degree.