A major in philosophy provides the finest in a liberal arts education. A liberal arts education helps you gain basic skills that are absolutely essential for success in virtually every career path, especially in today's information age. As you think about the career opportunities a philosophy major provides, there are three things to consider:
What skills will I gain?
How are these skills valuable?
These are basic skills—the reasoning, researching, planning, and communication tools you need to successfully communicate, problem-solve, and argue effectively. All employers are looking for people who have these skills and you are more likely to be hired and eventually advance in your career if you possess them. These skills provide you with the ability to learn in a new situation.
These are transferable skills—not job-specific. You can take these skills with you from one setting to another. This is critical, given the latest prediction that in your professional/career lifetime, you can expect to hold 10-12 jobs in three to five different fields. You will be prepared to be a life-long learner both professionally and personally, and help you find personal satisfaction while pursuing just about any area of interest such as reading, writing, sports, gardening, music, chess, and politics.
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What are my career options?
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Employment settings might include college or university, prisons, hospitals, government agencies (county, state or federal), private companies and in diverse capacities such as personnel, financial aid, or public relations.
Employment settings might include management, sales, consulting public relations, fundraising, systems analysis, advertising and banking.
Employment setting might inlcude federal agencies and bureaus, state and local governments, United Nations and in capacities such as congressional staff member, foreign service, and cultural affairs relations.
An agent or broker might be in your career path.
Employment as a reporter or critic in areas such as books, dance and film, might be in your career path.
Employment areas might include sales, editing, management, freelance, technical writing for a company or government, or script writer.
A philosophy major also provides excellent undergraduate preparation for law school, MBA programs, medical school, and seminary.
On standardized tests for law school (LSAT), philosophy majors rank the third highest in performance (mathematics majors are first followed by economics). On standardized tests for graduate school (GMAT) philosophy majors rank the second highest, preceded by mathematics majors. Philosophy majors rank first on standardized verbal tests for graduate school (GRE/verbal).
What can I do to enhance my job skills?
The Department highly recommends that you supplement you course work with a Professional Practice/Internship experience to enhance your skills. For more information contact the Philosophy Faculty Advisor.