Philosophy is a way of thinking about the world around you. It’s a form of thought that requires several hours of critical thinking and analysis to reach a conclusion. If you have a passion for logic and reasoning, then a philosophy major may be right for you.
Among liberal arts college degree programs, a philosophy major is one of the most enriching when it comes to critical thinking. You’ll confront many difficult topics and concepts.
Upon graduating, you’ll have a greater understanding of the world around you and the ability to answer questions and approach concepts that many people find difficult to consider. Below is a guide on philosophy majors and what careers you can secure upon graduation.
What Is a Philosophy Major?
A philosophy major is a humanities degree path where students examine questions that don’t have a concrete answer. Does God exist? Do we have free will? Is there a meaning to life? What is a good life? These are questions you explore within this program.
Throughout philosophy major courses, students explore logic in a variety of ways and explore the reasoning and logic behind these questions we cannot answer. Students also take part in mathematical logic courses and learn how to create a sound argument.
Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy
A bachelor’s degree program in philosophy introduces students to the fundamental principles and concepts of this field of study. This degree level is where students learn all about analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, and rhetoric.
Master’s Degree in Philosophy
A master’s degree program in philosophy builds upon the skills students obtain in their undergraduate program. This graduate school program explores much more complex topics and theories that truly push a student’s mind and critical thinking skills.
In most programs, students must complete a thesis and pass a comprehensive exam to get their degree. Most graduates from this program tend to pursue more academic careers.
Doctorate in Philosophy
The doctorate in philosophy is the highest level of degree students can earn. This degree level is for students that want to push the boundaries of philosophy. Students primarily focus on a dissertation that covers topics such as existentialism or ethics.
While several careers become available to holders of a doctorate in philosophy, many people who earn this advanced this degree work in research or as professors.
What Is a Philosophy Major Good For?
There are several career opportunities for philosophy students. Today, many organizations and corporations look to philosophy graduates to think critically about the actions of a business or company.
Philosophy majors use their knowledge and skills to explore the ethical aspects of a company’s actions. Below is a list of some of the more common occupations for philosophy majors.
Philosophy Major Careers
Professor: After earning your doctorate in philosophy, you can become a professor. While the primary responsibility of a professor is to teach students, they also have the resources to research philosophy and publish books and scholarly articles based on their findings.
Lawyer: The transition from a philosophy major to law school isn’t difficult and many people do so after earning their bachelor’s degree. As a lawyer, students use their philosophy degree teachings to think critically and quickly in intense legal situations. Lawyers with a philosophy degree also have skills in analyzing and creating sound arguments.
Paralegal: While not quite a lawyer, this pre-law occupation does work closely with them. Paralegals complete research and provide support services to lawyers however they can. This means organizing paperwork and interviewing clients.
Psychologist: While most professionals earn a psychology degree to work in this field, it is possible to work in psychology after completing a philosophy degree program. While you will need additional training, professionals with a philosophy background who work as psychologists often find success thanks to their understanding of other people’s ideas and beliefs.
Data Scientist: A data scientist interprets complex data to advise businesses on what directions they should take. Data scientists typically have advanced degrees in technology. A philosophy major with technology training can use their analytical skills to become an effective data scientist.
Journalist: A journalist investigates and composes stories based on their findings. The skills of a philosophy major, such as their strong communication skills and analytic writing abilities, make this a great career for those who have a passion for writing.
Marketing: As a philosophy major, students develop skills and a strong understanding of culture and society. Those skills lend themselves to marketing careers in a very big way. A philosophy major’s ability to understand people means they have a strong sense of what advertising campaigns will most likely work for a target audience. Philosophy majors can work in branding, promotions, and advertising.
Is Philosophy a Good Major?
Many people worry that philosophy isn’t a good major because it has no direct connection to a lucrative career. While philosophy programs don’t specifically teach the technical skills needed to work in a particular field, the skills and knowledge you do acquire are useful for pursuing careers in various fields.
Philosophy majors have gone on to become presidents of large companies, authors, mayors, CEOs, secretaries of education, network TV journalists, Supreme Court Justices, prime ministers, and even popes.
Is a Philosophy Major Right for You?
If you have a love for critical thinking and analysis, then a philosophy major may be right for you. Philosophy degree programs require you to have strong writing and reading abilities. You’ll constantly read complicated texts and have to communicate your ideas and opinions effectively.
A major component of studying philosophy is the complexity of the subject. Students constantly come across problems that don’t have a concrete answer. You’ll have to use logic and reasoning to support your findings and present why you feel your theory is correct.
This means you will face criticism and feedback from your peers and professors as they explore the theories you present in detail. If a field where you’re constantly being challenged and delving into topics that people have explored for countless years interests you, then a philosophy major may be right for you.