Careers for Philosophy Majors
Individualized Career Coaching for Arts & Sciences Students
College of Arts & Sciences students can take advantage of individualized career coaching, with many resources to help them prepare for successful lives. Students with liberal arts degrees are highly sought after because they are educated to think critically and become problem solvers for 21st century issues.
Law, Business, and Professions that Need Critical Thinkers
Students sometimes wonder about the career prospects for philosophy majors. While some philosophy majors pursue graduate study and then academic careers at colleges and universities, an undergraduate degree in philosophy is excellent preparation for many careers outside the academy as well.
Philosophers are trained to think, speak, and write clearly, critically, and independently; thus, philosopher majors are positioned to make significant contributions to any profession in which these skills are prized.
One noteworthy profession in which this is true is the law, with philosophy majors consistently among the highest scoring majors on the LSAT.
Another profession, as the ancient example of Thales presages, is business. Business leaders today are increasingly noting the value of hiring those with philosophical training.
The value of philosophy for a wide range of professions is consistently supported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveys showing that the competency they value the most in potential employees is critical thinking.
Philosophy, of course, is the discipline par excellence when it comes to training in critical thinking. A second major in philosophy or a minor in philosophy would allow you to tell a compelling story about your training as a critical thinker to potential employers.
Philosophy Careers in the News
The following articles authored by business leaders extol the value of philosophical training for a career in business.
Be employable, study philosophy: The discipline teaches you how to think clearly, a gift that can be applied to just about any line of work, by Shannon Rupp in Salon (July 1, 2013)
The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors are Changing the World of Business, by Carolyn Gregoire in the Huffington Post (March 06, 2014)
Graduating with a philosophy degree? There's more than Starbucks in Your Future, by Marnie Eisenstadt at Syracuse.com (May 14, 2015)
First Philosopher—First Recorded Case of Futures Trading?
Did you know that Thales, one of the first philosophers, is also thought to have conducted the first recorded case of futures trading?
Aristotle tells us that Thales "was reproached for his poverty, which was supposed to show that philosophy was of no use. According to the story, he knew by his skill in the stars while it was yet winter that there would be a great harvest of olives in the coming year; so, having a little money, he gave deposits for the use of all the olive-presses in Chios and Miletus, which he hired at a low price because no one bid against him. When the harvest-time came, and many were wanted all at once and of a sudden, he let them out at any rate he pleased, and made a quantity of money" (Politics, 1259a9-16; translated by Benjamin Jowett).