What Can I Do With a Philosophy Degree?

Philosophy hones your ability to reason and argue, refines your ability to analyze complex concepts and situations, and offers you skills and resources for articulating your ideas with maximal clarity and precision.  In short, philosophy develops skills vital for any career or employer; philosophy is to the mind what a gym is to the body.

 
Need proof? Read on!

Thinking about law school?  Philosophy majors outperform all other majors on the LSAT, the test required for admission to law schools.

Thinking about graduate school or medical school?  A philosophy degree is excellent preparation for graduate school, even in non-philosophical fields!

On the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Philosophy majors rank first on the verbal section, second on the analytic, and higher on the quantitative than any other humanities or social sciences majors. On the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), Philosophy majors rank second highest, ahead of all types of Business majors.

What about getting a job with good pay?  In terms of money-making potential, Philosophy majors actually compare quite well with many other majors! A philosophy major actually earns more mid-career than someone with a business management degree. For instance, read this report, which compares undergraduate degrees by salary.

"Philosophy graduates are suddenly all the rage with employers." Read "I Think, Therefore I Earn" (from The Guardian, 2007) to find out why! This article points out that the correct answer to "What can you do with a philosophy degree?" is "anything you want!"

Finally, here is what the London Times says about the value of a philosophy degree: 

In the US, where the number of philosophy graduates has increased by 5 per cent a year during the 1990's, only a very few go on to become philosophers. Their employability, at 98.9 per cent, is impressive by any standard....Philosophy is, in commercial jargon, the ultimate 'transferable work skill'." 

 

So, what can you do with a philosophy degree? As it turns out, anything you want!  Here are what a few philosophy majors are doing:

President of Morgan Stanley (Robert Greenhill)

Founder and Manager of a Hedge-fund (Don Brownstein)

Investor (George Soros)

CEO of Overstock.com (Patrick Byrne)

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.)

Network Television Journalist (Stone Phillips)

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author (Studs Terkel)

Host of an Iconic Game Show (Alex Trebek)

Co-founder of Wikipedia (Larry Sanger)

Comedian/Actor/Producer (Ricky Gervais)

Academy-Award Winning Filmmaker (Ethan Coen)

Four-star General in the US Army (Jack Keane)

Fighter in the French Resistance in WWII (Stephane Hessel)

Co-author of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (P.C. Chang and Charles Malik)

Martyr to German Opposition to Nazism in WWII (Sophie Scholl)

Pope (John Paul II and Benedict XVI)

Influential Anthropologist (Claude Levi-Strauss)