What can I do with a degree in Philosophy?

Almost anything! Studying philosophy prepares students for any profession that requires rigorous and cogent thinking, reasoned argumentation, and clear and persuasive writing. In a survey of US business and nonprofit leaders conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 93 percent of employers indicated that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than a candidate's undergraduate major. So, the question philosophy majors face upon finishing their studies is not, “What can I do with a philosophy degree?” but rather, “Of the many career options open to me as a philosophy major, which one is best for me?”

Does philosophy prepare you for law school?

Absolutely. Many students who hope to go to law school assume that they must major in a subject that has something to do with the law (such as Political Science). But this is a mistake. Law schools are looking for students who read carefully, who think analytically and critically, and who write clearly and persuasively. These are precisely the skills that students cultivate when they study philosophy. This may explain why philosophy majors do as well or better on the Law School Admission Test (required for admission to US law schools) than students in any other major.

What about business school?

The same goes for business school. You don't need to major in Economics to go to business school. On the contrary, philosophy majors perform better on the Graduate Management Admission Test (required for admission to US business schools) than students in most other majors, including Economics.

What about graduate school in another subject?

Majoring in philosophy prepares for graduate work in almost any field. Most US graduate programs require prospective students to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Philosophy majors consistently perform better than students from any other major on the verbal and analytical writing sections of the GRE. They also tend to score quite well on quantitative section.

What can you do with a degree in philosophy? Well, you can become . . .

President of Morgan Stanley (Robert Greenhill)
A ridiculously wealthy investor (George Soros)
CEO of Hewlett-Packard (Carly S. Fiorina)
US Supreme Court Justice (Stephen Breyer and David Souter)
Mayor of Los Angeles (Richard Riordan)
US Secretary of Education (William Bennett)
Prime Minister of Canada (Paul Martin, Jr.)
Pulitzer-Prize winning author (Studs Terkel)
Host of an iconic game show (Alex Trebek)
Nobel Peace Prize Winner (Aung San Suu Kyi)
Co-founder of Wikipedia (Larry Sanger)
A renowned comedian and producer (Ricky Gervais)
Academy-Award winning filmmaker (Ethan Coen)
A four-star General in the US Army (Jack Keane)
A French resistence figher in WWII (Stephane Hessel)
Pope (John Paul II and Benedict XVI)
Co-author of the UN Declaration of Human Rights (P. C. Chang)
CEO and co-founder of Trend Micro (Eva Chen)
A groundbreaking anthropologist (Claude Levi-Strauss)
A champion NBA basketball coach (Phil Jackson)

News Articles

Still unsure about where a philosophy degree can take you? Are your parents skeptical? Show them some of these articles from major newspapers and magazines lauding the study of philosophy.

The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business
Huffington Post | January 3, 2017

For Philosophy Majors, the Question After Graduation Is: What Next?
Washington Post | June 20, 2017

The Sword of Damocles: The Value of Philosophy to a Business Leader
Chicago Business Journal | June 1, 2016

That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket
Forbes | July 7, 2015

How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader
Harvard Business Review | September 19, 2014

The Truth Is, Philosophy Rules Your World
NPR | March 12, 2014

What Do Philosophers Do? Outside of Academia, That Is
Atlantic | July 8, 2014

Why Study Philosophy? To Challenge Your Own Point of View
Atlantic | February 27, 2014

Bernanke to Economists: More Philosophy Please
Buinsess Week | August 6, 2012

In a New Generation of College Students, Many Opt for the Life Examined
New York Times | April 6, 2008

I think, therefore I earn
The Guardian | November 20, 2007

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