Why Major in Philosophy?

The Most Important Reason

Philosophy is FUN. The entire discipline is devoted to exploring answers to some of life’s biggest questions. Is there a God? What is a person? What is acting justly? Of what can we be certain?

However, here are some other reasons.

Graduate/Professional School

  • Philosophy majors outperform all other majors except Math/Physics, and perform equally well as Economics majors, on the LSAT. See here.
  • Philosophy majors admitted to law school at a higher percent than any other major. See here.
  • Philosophy majors outperform all business and accounting majors on the GMAT.
  • Philosophy majors outperform all other majors on the GRE Verbal and Analytic. See here. Graph here.
  • Philosophy majors outperform all other humanities majors on the GRE Quantitative. See here.
  • Prospective philosophy graduate students earn the highest mean scores of students heading into any arts or humanities in all three areas of the GRE. See here.
  • Philosophy majors have the third highest acceptance rate to medical school.
  • Mid-career salaries for philosophy majors are the highest in the humanities and higher than those of accounting, business management, and marketing majors.

The Business World

  • See "How Philosophy Can Make You A Better Manager," in Forbes, July 31, 2015: The Logic of Aristotle, Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems, Wittgenstein On Communication, Rawls' Veil Of Ignorance, all of these can make you a better manager.
  • See "That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket," in Forbes, July 29, 2015: '"Studying philosophy taught me two things," says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco's South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. "I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings."'
  • See "The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors Are Changing The World Of Business," in The Huffington Post, March 2014: "In fact, many leaders of the tech world... say that studying philosophy was the secret to their success as digital entrepreneurs."
  • See "Be Employable, Study Philosophy," in Salon, July 2013: "Because it delivers real skills, philosophy doesn't go out of fashion the way the vague, trendy subjects do."
  • See “Philosophy is Back in Business,” in Bloomsberg Businessweek, January 2010: “Forget economics. Philosophy offers a deeper, broader way of thinking to help guide companies through times made tougher by overspecialized experts.”
  • See "Study of Philosophy Makes Gains Despite Economy," in The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 15, 2011: "some students are turning to an ancient study that they say prepares them not for a job, but for the multiple jobs they expect to hold during their lifetimes."
  • See "Business Educators Struggle to Put Students to Work", in The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 21, 2011: "On average nationally, business students enter the work force with higher starting salaries than those of humanities and social-science majors. By midcareer, however, some of those liberal-arts majors, including in political science and philosophy, have closed the gap."
  • See “The Management Myth,” in The Atlantic Monthly, June 2006. A founder of a consulting firm writes: “If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an M.B.A. Study philosophy instead.”
  • See “I Think, Therefore I Earn,” in The Guardian, Nov 20, 2007, on why philosophy graduates are all the rage with employers.
  • See “To Beat the Market Hire a Philosopher,” in The New York Times, January 10, 1999, discussing how well philosophers do on the job market.
  • See "Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off in Life and Work", in The New York Times, December 26, 1997, discussing how well philosophers do on the job market.
  • See “How to Get to the Top: Study Philosophy,” by Thomas Hurka (Toronto: Harcourt Brace, 1994). Hurka writes: “Once hired, philosophy majors advance more rapidly than their colleagues who possess only business degrees.”

In General